The challenges and importance of measuring content marketing results is central to what we do at Appinions, and so we’re excited to see the new Altimeter report “Content Marketing Performance: A Framework to Measure Real-World Impact.” Susan Etlinger and Rebecca Lieb do a great job in this report explaining the challenging current standards and practices for measuring content marketing results.
Content Results Must Be Measured
The report begins with a great definition of the problem: “…there are few to no standards that adquately capture the impact of content on the business, whether from a reputation, revenue, operational, or brand perspective.” Twenty five pages later it concludes by stressing the importance of finding better solutions: “There is no content strategy without a measurement strategy.”
We couldn’t agree more.
The Appinions Attention Analytics platform addresses a central theme of the report – the fact that the diversity of content marketing channels and the endless ways consumer consume and share content cannot be captured and reflected by the simple volume counting metrics (clicks, follows, downloads, etc) that most marketers use to attempt to measure content marketing progress and results.
Measuring Aggregate Impact Rather Than Component Performance
The metrics that come from web analytics packages, social media monitoring tools, and campaign-based platforms are focused on measuring the individual elements of diverse and campaign based content marketing program. They may have the ability to ‘role up’ results for a series of releases, or to summarize the actions causes by a particular channel, but they’re ultimately providing feedback about components of your overall effort not the results of the aggregate effort. In contrast, the Appinions Active Attention Index provides a single comprehensive measure of content marketing impact across all activities and all channels – exactly the kind of solution the report strongly advises.
The key to creating this universal measure is that in order to calculate our attention index, we look at the full spectrum of reactions people have across news, blogs, and social media. So no matter what format your content takes, or where it is published, reactions are captured if they result in quotations in the press, discussions among bloggers, or tweets from customers. By finding all relevant opinions shared across the media landscape, the Attention Index is able to encapsulate and summarize the overall impact of your diverse campaigns.
Measuring Brand Health
Altimeter uses the term “Brand Health” to summarize the first and most fundamental layer of recommended measurement. They define this category as the “attitudes, conversations and behaviour directed towards the brand” and it represents the class of measurements that Appinions most strongly and completely delivers to content marketers.
In fact, our Attention Index is a more comprehensive measure of the brand health issues the report discusses than any of those they employ in the included case study or in the supplimental ‘Metrics and Insights’ list – although the Appinions platform does provide each of those metrics as well. To learn more about how Appinions delivers the “Who-What-Where” group of metrics they recommend, check out our ‘Data Drive Content Marketing‘ white-paper which includes details and examples.
Share of Attention and Other Benchmarks
In the report, Altimeter notes the value of tracking metric changes over time. This has long been an Appinions best practice, as we encourage early-and-often benchmarking for attention levels and attention share in a marketplace, for your brand, for brand thought-leaders as well as the comparative tracking of competitors. Measuring the impact of your programs in terms of each of these facets, is a powerful way to guage the overall effect that your diverse content marketing programs are having across your marketplace over time.
The Altimeter Report concludes with four valuable recommendations:
- Measurement must be the foundational principle of content strategy.
- Every measurement strategy must focus on business outcome.
- Know your metrics and your data.
- Be realistic about organizational capabilities and tools.
Using the Appinions platform to anchor content marketing measurement is a powerful step towards implementing these four important recommendations. Using your Attention Index as the central measure of your program, makes a metric-driven ‘foundational principle’ clear for the entire organization. The rich nature of the supporting Appinions data provides each member of the team with actionable insights that support their desired business outcomes.
To learn more about the Appinions platform and schedule a personal demonstration, contact us today.