It’s Time to Embrace Evaluating Your Content
The following Guest Blog was written by Colleen Jones, Author.
About the author:
As principal of Content Science, Colleen Jones has consulted for Fortune 50 companies,government agencies, and boutique brands.
She has penned 2 books:
- The top-selling Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content
- The upcoming Does Your Content Work? (for release in 2014).
“I’m not a numbers person.”
“Data or feedback about content is in approximately 5,000 different tools.”
“I’m supposed to evaluate our content in all of my spare time?”
These are only a few of the challenges I’ve heard about evaluating or assessing content. While no one disagrees that evaluating content is worthwhile, it’s tough to overcome the challenges suggested above—an aversion to numbers, fragmented data sources, and lack of time and resources. Many people become so frustrated they understandably give up.
What happens if you don’t evaluate whether your content is effective? You might avoid the hassle of those challenges, but the consequences aren’t good. If an executive asks you about return on content investment, you’ll be scrambling for an answer. You won’t be able to tell the story of your content’s effectiveness or adjust your strategy if your content isn’t working. If your content creators want insight into what works and what doesn’t as they come up with content ideas, you will have nothing to share. Of course, if your competitors are evaluating and improving their content, you risk losing competitive advantage.
And that’s only scratching the surface.
So, here are three tips to plan evaluating content, despite the obstacles.
1. Make Evaluation Part of Your Content Strategy and Budget
Set expectations with every content strategy, big and small, that evaluation is part of the plan. In a way, evaluation is like insurance on your organization’s investment in content. Your organization wouldn’t buy or lease space in a building without getting insurance. One claim makes the insurance worth it. In the same way, one useful finding from content evaluation makes the effort worthwhile. Plan on 10-20% of your content budget going to evaluation.
2. Partner with a BI Analyst—Or Convert a Team Member into One
Get on the radar of a business intelligence analyst and build a long-term working relationship. A BI analyst might know data tools but doesn’t know content. You must partner with the analyst to turn data into insight. No analysts available? Consider turning a member of your team with the aptitude and desire into such an analyst.
3. Watch for New and Improved Tools
By 2017, CMOs will buy more technology than CIOs or CTOs. With content being so integral to marketing and sales, you can bet the tools to assess performance will improve. Watch for analytics tools to add more content-focused features and for completely new tools, as well.
So, with those tips you will have a solid start on evaluating your content. Don’t let the question “Does your content work?” catch you by surprise.
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