How to Measure the Success of a New Content Initiative
So, you’ve been burning the candle at both ends to publish great content. Now, it’s important to regularly remind your team (perhaps at the start of each planning meeting) of the mission or purpose of this initiative to ensure harmony among them and create the roadmap to success so your team can deliver on KPIs. Developing a regular touchpoint to align tasks to the overarching content mission focuses the team and subconsciously embeds the goal into the minds of the content creators.
A Holistic View of Success
Outside of the tasks and chaos of your production process, carve out some time to take a holistic view of the specific initiative goal and content created against it. Does each piece of content shadow the recited goal? Ask yourself, “what does success look like for the initiative?” Just as you’ve defined the strategy for the content initiative, clearly define its success.
There is a formula that is commonly used to define and measure goals:
(From X) (To Y) (By Z)
As an example, increase our 1000 monthly leads to 2500 monthly leads by focusing our impressions to demographic A. To turn this around into percentages, increase our leads 150 percent by narrowing our impressions to demographic A.
Success is Measured
Goals and metrics are interrelated. A goal is only as good as its ability to be measured. At the 2015 Content Marketing World Conference, Doug Kessler and Michael Brenner outlined examples of quality goals commonly found in content strategy initiatives:
- To generate 2,000 sales-ready leads in 12 months
- To create $10m in pipeline in 2016
- To double our engaged web traffic
These are high-quality examples, as one can easily create metrics to measure against them. Let’s take the first example of generating 2,000 sales-ready leads in 12 months. It is quite easy to simply say that as a group “we need to create more leads.” Go the extra mile and qualify how many and what type of leads you need to create. Because you’ve already qualified the goal, you’re that much closer to creating measurement or metrics against it, decreasing the element of chance or shotgun success.
Your Content’s Flight Plan
Think of content marketing metrics as a Boeing 737 heading towards Cancun. The cockpit is filled with gauges giving both the on-board computer and pilot an accurate reading of where the plane is in relation to its programmed flight plan. Planes are constantly off-course due to a multitude of reasons. The pilot or computer must constantly make adjustments to the plane’s heading, pitch and speed based on gauges or metrics to stay on the programmed flight plan down to Cancun so you can head to the beach and get away from the winter blues! The metrics you define for your new content initiative are no different than those cockpit gauges:
- Set Your Flight Plan = Initiative Goal
- Set Your Cockpit Gauges = Create Metrics Against Goals
- Reading Your Cockpit Gauges = How Are You Performing Against Your Goal?
- Make Flight Reading Adjustments = Adjust Tasks to Stay on the Path to Meeting Your Goal.
Dive into our free ebook, The Definitive Guide to Planning a New Content Initiative, to further explore this idea of the importance of metrics in your content initiative. We’ll continue with the Cancun flight metaphor, question which tools we should be using to internally track these metrics, and more. Hop on board.
For more detailed examples for setting KPIs related to your content initiative, be sure to check back next week for my next post that will include downloadable ROI calculators !