Seven Easy Ways to Measure Content Marketing in 2015
As sales and businesspersons, our fortunes, and sometimes emotions, rise and drop based on the success of our content marketing plans. We rejoice when a specific promotion brings hundreds of new and returning customers to our website, and vice versa. Content marketing can often feel like a hit-and-miss, trial-by-error affair, until we learn how to measure it.
Related Story: Three Old School Content Marketing Methods to Avoid
According to Armando Roggio, of Practical ECommerce, the effectiveness of content marketing can be measured by having business goals, tracking multiple metrics, learning to choose proper Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measuring to optimize.
Put the cartwheel behind the horse, not the other way around. Establish your business goals before you create your content and before you attempt to measure. If you fail to do this, you will have no standard by which to measure progress and success. Trying to measure content marketing, or any kind of marketing, without goals is exactly like navigating without a map.
Related Story: MARKETING 101: How to write engaging content online
Assure that your goals are SMART, that is: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. Knowing what your goals are will facilitate tailoring your content to them.
Practical ECommerce lists content marketing metrics and KPIs based on recommendations by marketers and marketing companies.
Jay Bear at Convince and Convert recommends the following.
- Consumption metrics. Page views for a blog post would be an example.
- Sharing metrics. Like the number of tweets or Facebook shares an article gets.
- Lead generation metrics. This might be whitepaper downloads or email newsletter subscriptions.
- Sales metrics. Tracks the path from content to conversion.
- Reach. Includes KPIs like impressions, traffic, subscriber count, or similar.
- Engagement. Time on site, bounce rate, pageviews, return visits, referrals, and social sharing.
- Conversions. For NewsCred, this includes improvements in brand perception, behavioral conversions, lead generation, and actual sales.
None of these metrics, alone, will inform you about whether or not your content marketing is working. Using your goals as a map, though, you can keep track of several KPIs to reach your conclusions.
Tracking multiple metrics is one part of learning to measure content marketing. Another part is selecting the right KPIs. The “right” KPIs are one, relevant, and two, meaningful to your business goals. First, choose the type of metrics you are going to use from the lists above, or a list of your own. Then attach two or more KPIs to each type of metric. For example, one category of metrics is “Views and Shares.” Appropriate KPIs for it are unique pageviews, website entrances, bounce rate, social media shares, and comments.
Practical ECommerce provides an illustration of metrics and KPIs associated to a specific, hypothetical, goal.
Finally, successful marketers don’t settle for knowing simply if a tactic is working or not. Instead, they try to improve. Your first attempts with content marketing will likely have low success rates. Remember that it’s a process. Use the measuring tips discussed here to evaluate the effectiveness of your current content marketing plan and improve it.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”