As marketing professionals, we're expected to prove that our efforts in content creation are worth it. But that's not always so easy to do.
With an abundance of marketing metrics at your disposal to track, how can you work out which ones truly matter and show progress toward your goals?
It's easy to fall into the rabbit hole of vanity metrics like shares, likes, traffic, or "number of PDF downloads." However, these metrics won't necessarily tell you whether or not your content is effective. You have to dig deeper for that.
Instead, we should be looking at tracking prospects' buying intent with real-time, in-content engagement.
What exactly does that look like?
One big gain for those who have stepped away from Legacy formats like PDF is having direct integration with CRMs that allow users to see reader engagement on a contact level.
Reader engagement on a contact level
Tom Schoostra, Marketing Automation & Revenue Operations Specialist at Foleon, says: "This means that users can see who read what, when, and for how long. These insights are useful in so many ways, but especially in helping you decide when to reach out to a prospect."
At Foleon, we use in-content engagement metrics to affect lead scoring in our system and to help sales prioritize and personalize their conversations.
Tom sets up all types of workflows based on in-content engagement. These workflows include notifying salespeople once a user has read a certain number of pages or triggering a nurture sequence when someone comes back a second time, meaning that an opportunity never slips through the cracks.
Working towards perfection
Let's say that you've written a white paper or eBook, and you want to get as much traction on it as possible. Six to eight weeks after publishing, you check the post's performance only to find that very few people have seen it.
Don't worry. It happens to the best of us and means that you need to spend a bit of time finessing it — which is much easier to do with the right content insights in front of you.
Sean Filidis, Senior Copywriter at Foleon, explains how he uses content insights to perfect his content after publishing.
He said: "We try to make every piece of content a piece of art. We don't try to make it perfect right away — since that would be incredibly time-consuming. Instead, we launch the first version and watch how it performs.
"We look at how much people read, on what pages they might drop off, what topics they find interesting, and how well it leads them to take further actions."
Sean continuously monitors these indicators to optimize content until it's as close to perfect as it can get. Using Foleon he's able to easily make changes on the fly and optimize his content better with real-time insights.
Being able to edit and update content in real-time is a huge benefit when it comes to content optimization, which is something that old legacy formats like PDF don’t offer. You can read more about that here.
Using content insights to set benchmarks
Aggregating content analytics from multiple platforms into one can deliver substantial insights faster.
Not only can you make better decisions about your content strategy and planning moving forward, but you'll also get a better understanding of which channels and types of content create the most traffic, engagement, and conversions.
With a Foleon analytics dashboard, you can use your insights to set benchmarks, as Lisette Klaver, Revenue Operations Analyst at Foleon, explains;
"You can quickly see how much traffic you're receiving, what the average time on page is, or what the bounce rate is for your whole Foleon Doc — or on a page-by-page basis. You can then use these insights to set benchmarks. And if you want even more detail, you'd choose to integrate Foleon with Google Analytics or other tools like Hotjar and open up a world of tracking possibilities."
None of this was possible when PDFs were the norm!
Getting to grips with visual content
As the contentverse becomes more crowded, it becomes increasingly difficult for marketers to stand out and get their messages across, much less read. On top of this, audiences are changing how they consume their content. Old formats just don't work anymore.
People are busy, and attention spans are short. Today, even the most well-written content runs the risk of unnoticed or forgotten. People read less and skim more.
So what are content marketers to do?
Sim Samra, Content Marketer at Foleon, explains how she cuts through the noise to give her audience the content they'll enjoy.
"I can add visuals, animations, audio, video, and even data visualizations with Foleon Docs. And because it can be updated after being published, I can make any necessary adjustments to the copy or layout as the numbers roll in."
Visual content seems the way to go with modern internet users. They are more likely than any other type of content to drive engagement, get shared, and result in action!
Make your insights actionable (not just informational)
Having the right content insights in front of you can drive sales and/or leads, engage current customers, prospects, and influencers, and increase brand awareness. Not only could you improve, pivot, and progress your content marketing strategy but also use it to prove bottom-line results to your managers.
Learn more about how you can make your content insights actionable in our Marketing Power Plays Guide.