Where Marketers Go Wrong Reporting Content Marketing Results

Where Marketers Go Wrong Reporting Content Marketing Results
March 23, 2016 Joe Vernon

Content marketing is effective. It drives users to the hub of your marketing, the website, and generates interest. It has been shown that 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they were before. This is great, more businesses are creating more content to help the world understand their products, services, or company. Right? They aren’t creating content to generate a quick sale.

The goal of content marketing should be to guide your audience through the buying cycle. The keyword in that sentence is guide. The goal of the content your team produces shouldn’t be to generate a quick sale, but help the world, or better yet your audience, understand the need for your product.

Then why are marketers still reporting the results of their content marketing with the results of the website as a whole?

Reporting Content Marketing

Reporting the results of your content marketing efforts should be thought of like keeping an inventory for a retail store. A retail store doesn’t say inventory is up or down, they break inventory down by department, type, etc. For example, men’s shoes inventory may have a surplus whereas women’s shoes may be low. This is because each different department has a different inventory. Once this understanding is established, then the impact on the whole retail store is discussed.

This is the same with marketing. Each marketing campaign will have a different goal. Each campaign should be reported separately.This allows your boss, client, team, or whoever is reading your report to see the effectiveness of that specific campaign and understand its value to the company as a whole. This also allows them to understand that if this campaign was magnified, the impact it could have on the company.

Reporting Content Marketing Results

On top of reporting the results as a whole, too often the conversion attribution is given to the last page or channel the user visited. This doesn’t favor well for most content marketing efforts as content marketing is used to guide users through the sales funnel, not always convert.

This is why reporting on conversions alone isn’t favored, but also reporting on the number of entrances that the piece of content is generating and how users are using this piece of content  (We call this entrance conversions & passthrough conversions in our analytics software).

Making Reporting Easy

Michael Metz (Cisco) said while on a panel discussed about what executives are interested in that he doesn’t believe that CMOs are that interested in analytics, but are always interested in a good story. Not because the analytics isn’t interesting, but it doesn’t always connect to business goals.

This is why your report should show the metrics that matter most to your business, generally web users, conversions, and leads as these commonly align with their scorecard. Leave out the fluff metrics that matter more to analyst or marketers.

Once you’ve created a report that reports metrics that matter or found a digital marketing dashboard that does, then keep the report consistent for your boss to read. This was stressed by Peter Sanborn (Microsoft) in a video published by Online Behavior. Then once the report contains the metrics that matter, is in a consistent format, let them access it when they needed no matter where they are at. This can be completed with an automated email or through a cloud-based analytics dashboard.

In Conclusion

Content marketing reports should be first segmented down by the content’s individual contribution then tied to the bigger picture. These reports should be produced in a consistent manner that is easily accessible by your boss, client, and/or team and should only report the metrics that matter most.

What is the most effective way you’ve shared your results with your client or boss? Start a conversation with us on Facebook or Twitter.