I can understand the fear some editors, marketers, and content creators have of the evil side of analytics and goal metrics. You might worry that a Digital Engagement Director is going to come in and ruin the beautiful content (art, really) you are creating to engage your audiences.
As Robert Rose, our resident content strategy sage, is wont to say, content is a long-term strategy and not just about today’s social heat or page views. He’s also the one to remind us that content production that embraces the tenets of Big Content means actually taking the data and metadata about existing content and using it to guide the creation of new content of a higher quality.
As evidence that content analytics can definitely be your friend, I’ve gathered a trio of useful articles that help remove the fear that this kind of data will ruin an editor’s day.
First, Conrad Lumm gives both a Content Analytics 101 for publishers as well as specific uses for each of the primary metrics. But more than that, he stresses the need to plan, commit proper resources, and get into the analytics with real purpose. You could spend all day with the crazy Google Analytics marketplace dazzled by the mountain of demographics so make sure you know what you’re seeking before you venture in.
Next, John Hall from original content house Influence & Co. starts his story off with the much-discussed “House of Cards” example. Did Netflix succeed with this exceptional TV show because they crunched the numbers effectively or because it’s an extremely well-acted, written, and directed show? As PublishThis CEO Matt Kumin once pointed out on Mashable, there’s something to be said about the Hypercategorization that Netflix uses in their business. But ultimates, as Hall notes, it was far more about analytics guiding them about the way to be successful with content, not about limiting creative work. For those of us who love both the art and science of creating content, this kind of smart use of data to drive successful art is a boon, since it helps ensure the possibility of success.
Finally, John Mancini notes that, according to his company’s research, 75% of enterprises know there is business insight in content analytics, including what they’re currently producing and the legacy content gathering virtual dust in some old CMS or WCM. Yet, most enterprises struggle with a sensible way to actually tag and organize their content so they can gain insight into what they should do next and, as the tenets of Big Content would suggest, reuse and repurpose that content. He, too, cautions that a strategy, technology, and resources are needed to capture this value.
What content analytics are most important to you? Are you using them to help ideate, create, and optimize your newly created content? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
The Basics of Content Analytics for Publishers
Conrad Lumm does an exceptional job of separating the meaningful analytics from the fluff for publishers. While one size does not fit all, his useful list will help you zero in on the metrics that can help you drive business and prove company value from your content efforts.
Given magazine publishers’ surfeit of competition from free, high-traffic websites and services that disaggregate content (think Facebook, Google News, and Flipboard), it’s time to refine methods for determining what your content is doing for you, and for making sure you’re squeezing as much revenue out of it as possible.
Are Crazy ROI Metrics Destroying Branding And Storytelling?
While Hall’s cautionary message is clear, we know that proper use of analytics can help businesses build content that tells a strong story and builds brand trust by using trusted, tested content subjects, formats, and types. Don’t be afraid of letting some science into the art of content creation.
Discounting the power of storytelling for branding and obsessing over the numbers can get content marketers into trouble. Harness your brand story, continue to nurture these efforts over time, and don’t rely on the numbers for the whole story.
Content Analytics Needs Strategic Direction To Fully Realize Potential
One final note of caution on the danger of analytic-obsession: without a defined content strategy in place (so important for really all measures of success in content), it is easy to let the analytics push run away with your whole operation.
Content analytics is fast becoming a pivotal business tool as companies work to get the most value from their data as possible. But they will only get the maximum return from their investment if they plan, plan, and plan again.We should all be aware of the impact content analytics tools are having on the enterprise.
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