There has been a lot of discussion related to measurement and how companies are investing in content marketing but are just not doing enough to measure the dreaded ROI. This is a very justifiable argument and everything that is done towards building a company needs to be measured for its success or the lack of it.
Measuring ROI helps you to attach a number to your investment and its returns. It lets you do things, which you probably were missing out on and it also helps you to stop spending money on tasks that are not bringing you any benefits. With that in mind, we need to stress that measurement can actually kill your marketing strategy.
Eric Wittlake wrote about how measurement of marketing has reduced actual marketing strategies to a dog that is controlled by its tail. Measurement needs to be controlled by marketing strategies and not vice-versa. Unfortunately, this fallacy has been repeating much too often. A good example is the way we are letting our content marketing strategies be controlled by measurement.
While measurement can certainly help us to become more focused on our content marketing approach, it need not result in mechanical “strategies” that ultimately alienate your customers or readership and thereby, defeat the originally intended purpose.
Your consumers are not robots
It is often wrongly assumed that content can easily be created, if one understood one’s consumers. Consumers are not as homogenous as we would like to believe. Any content strategy needs to take this into account. While measurement can help you to define and understand who is actually viewing your content & making those important decisions to choose your services or products, what remains important is to create content that appeals to humans.
Humans are not robotic. One cannot measure or even predict human behavior accurately. While measurement has all the right intentions in place, it risks mechanizing your content strategy and thereby, considers your consumers as robots. That would be a bad decision to make.
Content need to add value to your business
It is easy to find statistics related to your content strategy. After all, measurement is all about attaching numbers that will help you. These numbers and data about what works & what doesn’t can help you measure your ROI and also design future content strategies. However, content is not only about ROI and marketing. It needs to add value to your business. IT needs to set it apart.
Apart from being a marketing strategy, content is also a branding strategy. It helps you to set your company apart from your competitors and thus, add value to your business in the long term. This is a very important factor to note and many businesses often take measurement way too seriously & create content that appears manufactured.
Measurement need not result in distractions
Often, measuring content strategies leads us to invest in more advertisements, forms and thank you notes. All these can end up becoming distractions from your original content. If your clients or consumers are forced to fill up forms at each level, they will end up becoming annoyed and might find something else to do.
Obviously, this cannot be a very effective strategy of any sort, to distract your own readers from what they need to be looking at. Pay attention to aesthetics and how your website appears & do not only go by the measurement aspect of it. While measuring one’s ROI is a great thing to do, one needs to also make sure that resulting strategies do not distract people from the actual content.
Can measurement really ruin your content strategy?
Well, the bottom line is that it might or might not and it depends on you. You need to understand that content marketing is not a mechanical task and it cannot be reduced to numbers in a simple way. While numbers and data will help us to understand if a content marketing campaign is successful, one needs to also understand that content marketing itself is not a very robotic task. It deals with actual human beings who all have their individual differences. As long as you put in that extra effort to not alienate your consumers, measurement can only help you.