Feeling Like Your Content’s Invisible in 2023? Here’s the What, Why, and How to Measure Your Content
Ah, 2023. We’ve got smart fridges that can order milk when you’re running low and AI robots that throw better shade than a parasol on a summer day. Yet here we are, still trying to figure out if that blog post from last week was a hit or a bigger flop than those battery-powered, self-lacing shoes.
Content, lovely readers, is everywhere. It’s the heartbeat of the digital world. Your Aunt Mabel’s cat video on Facebook? Content. That “how to set up your smart toaster” video on YouTube? Yep, content. The tweet (or X – at the time of writing this blog, I’m still not clear what it’s called!) you posted about said toaster catching fire and becoming sentient? Absolutely content (and also, perhaps, a sign you should stick to regular toasters).
With this digital tsunami of information, every brand, every marketer, and every toaster enthusiast needs a way to shout above the din and ensure their content isn’t just seen but felt. But, how do you know if you’re hitting the mark or just throwing digital spaghetti against the wall? You measure, you adjust, you repeat. It’s like baking, but less delicious and with more graphs.
Some folks reckon if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But when it comes to content, the wise among us know that you can’t even begin to understand what’s “broke” without some top-notch metrics in hand. You don’t just want your content to exist – you want it to thrive, resonate, and maybe even do a little digital jive when no one’s looking.
So, are you prepared to enter the world of content metrics? To decipher the analytics and emerge with treasure that’s more valuable than likes and shares (yes, there’s such a thing)? In this blog post I’m going to dive into the What, Why and How to measure your content in 2023.
WHY: The Zen and Art of Content Measurement
Ah, the ever-elusive ‘why’. It’s the question every toddler relentlessly fires at you, much to your chagrin. But when it comes to content, we’re not toddlers (even if we do occasionally throw digital tantrums). We’re seekers of digital truth, and the ‘why’ of content measurement is our guiding star.
Understanding the Digital Echo Chamber
Every piece of content you produce and release into the wild creates an echo. A tiny reverberation in the vast digital universe. Now, imagine if you could tap into this echo and understand its nuances. Does it roar like a lion, or is it barely a whisper? Is it resonating with authority or disappearing into the ether?
Without understanding the ‘why’ of measuring your content, you’re effectively walking around this digital echo chamber with noise-cancelling headphones on. And trust me, you’re missing out on some sweet tunes (or vital feedback).
ROI: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Metrics
Yes, the term ROI has been thrown around so much it’s practically bouncing off the walls of every marketing department across the globe. But there’s a reason it’s not going anywhere – it’s the lifeblood of your content strategy.
Imagine investing in a vintage vinyl collection without a record player. Sure, it looks cool, and you can flash it on Instagram, but are you getting real value out of it? Similarly, pouring resources into creating content without gauging its Return on Investment is like…well, buying vinyl records for a Spotify generation.
Here’s the Lilach-tastic bit: ROI isn’t just about hard numbers. It’s about understanding the value – emotional, educational, and yes, financial – that your content brings to the table.
Forecasting: Or Gazing into the Digital Crystal Ball
Gone are the days of ‘publish and pray’. In 2023, with all our tech and insights, we’re not mere content creators – we’re content fortunetellers. Measuring content isn’t just about looking back to pat ourselves on the back (or occasionally, administer a gentle facepalm). It’s about using that data to predict, plan, and preempt.
Remember, your content is telling a story. By understanding the ‘why’ of measuring it, you’re ensuring it’s not a tragicomedy but an epic tale of digital triumph.
Adapting: Evolution is Key
In the digital world, things change faster than a chameleon on a rainbow. If you’re not adapting, you’re stagnating. And nobody wants to be the stale bread of the content world. By comprehending the ‘why’ behind content measurement, you’re ensuring that you’re not just moving but grooving in the right direction.
Think of it as a dance. Sometimes the rhythm changes, sometimes you stumble, but with the right feedback and adjustments (thanks, metrics!), you’ll always find your groove back.
The Litmus Test of Being Human in a Digital World
Let’s get a touch philosophical. With algorithms, AI, and a dozen other techy buzzwords, it’s easy to forget that at the core of every piece of content is a human emotion, a human connection. The ‘why’ of measuring content is to ensure that amidst the bots and bytes, our content remains genuine, resonant, and intrinsically human.
So, dear reader, as we navigate the dense forests of the digital landscape, understanding the ‘why’ of content measurement is our compass. It keeps us grounded, informed, and always a step ahead. And in a world brimming with content at every turn, having that compass might just be the edge you need.
WHAT: The Metrics Magic Show
Now that we’ve delved deep into the philosophical ‘why,’ it’s time to roll up our sleeves and delve into the meaty ‘what.’ The metrics! Oh, don’t look at me like that. I promise, it’s more fun than a magician pulling endless handkerchiefs out of a hat. Welcome to the grand stage of content metrics.
Engagement Metrics: The Audience Applause (Or Lack Thereof)
It’s not just about getting eyes on the prize, it’s about keeping them glued there.
Dwell Time: It’s one thing to lure someone in, and entirely another to make them stay. Dwell time is a nod to the quality and stickiness of your content.
Shares & Comments: Imagine you’ve told a joke at a party. Is it whispered again and again, or does it fall flatter than a pancake? Shares are your digital whispers; comments are the ensuing chuckles (or crickets).
Performance Metrics: The Box Office Numbers
It’s showtime, folks. Here’s where we see if your content’s got that box office magic.
Conversion Rate: Sure, they came, they saw, but did they buy the ticket (or sign up, click, download)? This metric is the director’s cut of your content’s impact.
Bounce Rate: It’s the digital equivalent of someone walking out mid-show. If your content isn’t resonating, they won’t stick around for the encore.
Reach Metrics: How Big Is Your Theatre?
Just how far is your content magic travelling? Is it a local town performance or a global tour?
Traffic Sources: These are your roads, highways, and secret passages leading to your grand theatre. Whether they’re trodden paths like SEO, the glamorous red carpets of paid ads, or the whispered recommendations (referrals), it’s essential to know where your audience is coming from.
Unique Visits: In the grand audience of your performance, how many are first-timers? These unique visits are the fresh faces in the crowd, eager and ready to experience your magic.
Retention Metrics: Encore! Encore!
Ah, the sweet sound of an audience asking for more. That’s what retention metrics are all about.
Return Rate: Your die-hard fans, the ones who keep coming back, show after show. They’re your standing ovation, the validation that your content keeps hitting the right notes.
Newsletter Sign-ups: This one’s special. It’s like your audience saying, “That was spectacular! Where can I get a season pass?” If they’re signing up for more, you’ve got a hit on your hands.
In the glitzy world of digital content, every click, scroll, share, and comment is part of the larger performance. These metrics, dear reader, are your backstage passes. They let you peek behind the curtain, understand your audience, tweak your tricks, and ultimately, ensure that every show you put on is a sold-out sensation.
HOW: Rolling Up Those Sleeves and Measuring Like a Pro
Alright, my digital adventurers, we’ve waxed lyrical about the ‘why’ and danced through the ‘what.’ Now, it’s time to put on the detective cap and uncover the ‘how.’ The methods, tools, and tricks of the trade that turn you from content creator to content connoisseur.
Understanding Your Tools: The Trusty Magnifying Glass
Before we even begin, let’s get this straight: while intuition is excellent (and rather dashing), cold, hard data is your best friend in the measuring game.
Google Analytics: The old faithful. From understanding where your traffic is coming from to analyzing user behaviour, this platform offers a plethora of insights. It’s like the Swiss army knife of content measurement.
Social Media Insights: Platforms like X (aka Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn provide a treasure trove of data about how your content performs in the social realm. Dive into likes, shares, retweets, and the golden metric – engagement rates.
A/B Testing: The Double Agent Tactic
Ever wondered if that headline could be punchier? Or if that image truly captures your audience’s imagination? Wonder no more!
Split Testing Tools: Use platforms like Optimizely or VWO to serve different versions of your content to your audience. Monitor the results to see which one has them clamouring for more.
Learn and Iterate: A/B testing isn’t a one-and-done thing. It’s an ongoing process, a conversation between you and your audience. Listen, adapt, and always aim for improvement.
Audience Feedback: Your Informants on the Ground
Remember, at the heart of it all is your audience. Sometimes, the best insights come from simply listening to their feedback.
Surveys and Feedback Forms: Tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform can help you gather invaluable feedback. Ask pointed questions about your content’s relevance, appeal, and areas of improvement.
Comments and DMs: Don’t overlook the gold that often lies in comments sections or direct messages. Engage, converse, and, most importantly, pay attention to common themes and sentiments.
Consolidate and Analyze: Piecing Together the Puzzle
Gathering data is just step one. Now, it’s time to put on your analytical thinking cap.
Data Dashboards: Platforms like Tableau or Google Data Studio can help you create visual representations of your data. This isn’t just for show; visual data often reveals patterns and insights that raw numbers might hide.
Regular Review Rituals: Make it a habit. Weekly, monthly, quarterly – whatever works for you. Sit down with a cuppa, sift through your metrics, and draw conclusions. Then, use these insights to inform your next content strategy.
Measuring content isn’t just about ticking boxes or flaunting flashy graphs. It’s an art, a science, and sometimes, a little bit of magic. By harnessing the right tools, techniques, and a healthy dose of curiosity, you’re not just understanding your content’s performance – you’re setting the stage for its evolution.
Final Thoughts: Are You Publishing Blind?
Imagine drafting a message, throwing it into the vast digital ocean, but never checking if someone reads it, or if it even reaches the shore. That’s content without metrics.
Creating content without understanding its reach or relevance is like stepping into a bustling room with a blindfold. You’re there, you’re talking, but you have no idea who’s listening or how they’re reacting. The ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how’ of content measurement aren’t just nice-to-haves; they’re essential. They’re the tools that remove the blindfold, helping you see and navigate the room.
Every article, video, or post you create reflects you, your brand. It’s your shoutout to the world. If you aren’t paying attention to the feedback—both loud and subtle—you’re missing crucial cues.
Before pushing out your next content piece, consider this: do you want to remain in the dark, guessing and hoping, or would you rather have a clear view of the room, adjusting and engaging based on real feedback?