Measurable success is the only success worth having. I received a laser distance measurer for Christmas. Between you and me I’d have preferred a sonic screwdriver, but my new gadget is a remarkably useful tool.
There was one small hurdle to overcome before I could play with my high-tech tape measure. It needs batteries to operate and where do you find two AAs at 6pm on Christmas Day? In the Sky remote control.
Leaving the TV on Sky Movies (you didn’t think I’d leave Mrs R watching Sky Sports News on Christmas night, did you?) I set about taking the interior dimensions of our home. With the touch of a button I discovered the living room ceiling height is 2.59m, the width of our kitchen is 3.81m and the maximum size bath we can install is 1.52m. But Mrs R was completely nonplussed when I presented her with a complete set of data.
“What are you going to do with these measurements?” she enquired. “I’ve been asking you to put the mirror resting on my dressing table on the bedroom wall for over a year. And give me the batteries back so I can rewind this film to the point where you interrupted me.”
“The mirror would be on the bedroom wall by now had you bought me a sonic screwdriver,” I muttered as I returned the batteries.
But I admit that Mrs R had a point (not about the mirror). We are obsessed with measuring data, but not too good at actually using those metrics. In the world of creative content marketing this is all too true. We have a wealth of pretty figures available at the mere touch of a key, but little actionable material.
Most creative content marketing strategies include a blog containing ever-so-useful information about that business’s subject area. And marketing managers gain a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the number of Twitter followers, Facebook likes and blog viewing figures rise. The medieval manuscript team at the British Library recently blogged about their blog receiving 1 million hits. That’s an achievement any business blogger should be proud of, but that impressive figure cannot measure the success of the British Library’s content marketing strategy.
A more meaningful metric is a blog’s conversion rate – an action a customer takes on your site that has value to your business, such as clicking on the call to action at the bottom of your blog. Tools that allow you to do this essentially put a trackable marker at the point where someone converts from merely observing, to interacting.
Other metrics, such as bounce rates and exit rates, can certainly give you insight into how well the content on your site is performing. But conversion rates are a marketer’s proof that their content marketing strategy is not just a nice to have luxury but a crucial tool to increase their company’s bottom line – and one that is certainly more valuable than my digital tape measure or even a sonic screwdriver.