4 Content Measurement Challenges

Hey friends, today we’re gonna be talking about why content measurement is a problem. Is the problem in your business is a problem you need to overcome, is a problem even thinking about it? Yes, we’re gonna be covering all of those.

What is a measurable content plan?

I want to start by talking about what a measurable content plan is. Because if you don’t know what it is, the rest of this won’t make a whole lot of sense. So there are four things I consider to be a part of a measurable content plan. 

  • They’re robust and drill in your cornerstone content
  • Trackable – anything you can’t track is just spaghetti on the wall
  • They’re flexible, so when measuring shows you different than expected results, you can adjust
  • They’re connected, so you can easily see which pieces of content relate to another.

Measurable content plans are robust

One is robust. And it drills in your cornerstone content. And you may have heard those Cornerstone content pieces be referred to as pillar content, as an epic FAQ, a really great blog post, whatever your cornerstone content is, your measurable content plan is robust, it’s going to drill in that cornerstone content, and then also expand upon those same topics. So that’s the first thing. 

Measurable content plans are trackable

The second thing is it is trackable. Anything you can’t track is just spaghetti thrown on the wall. 

Measurable content plans are flexible

Three is flexible. So your measurable content plan is flexible enough that when measuring shows you different than expected results, you can adjust. As a reminder, all marketing is a test. And that means we do need the flexibility to change course.

Measurable content plans are connected

And then finally, a measurable content plan is connected. So you can easily see which pieces of content relate to one another. You may have heard that first point that I said that you want to have your Cornerstone content, that’s going to be kind of the same topics as your content buckets. And then you’re going to want to expand on those. And if you’re expanding on a portion of that one topic, it’s related to the larger piece of content, right? And you want to have a way for you as the user, as the creator, as the person executing this content plan to see that they’re all connected. 

Now, now that we know what a measurable content plan is, let’s move on to the problem. The big problem. That’s the title of this episode, right?

The problem is, measuring what? What questions are we answering with this measuring?

Now, you may or may not be familiar with the term KPI. It stands for key performance indicators. And it’s another big scary marketing term. It’s all of that, you know, shoptalk, I don’t really like people putting in content. Now, back in on Episode 183 of The Know, Like & Trust Show on benchmarks, I mentioned, you need to create your own benchmarks. Because real talk, you’re really only competing against yourself. And for you to grow, you need to know where you started out. That is your own personal benchmark.

you're only competing with yourself

How you know whether you’re growing and creating more success depends on knowing what growth indicators to look at. Basically, what questions do you ask yourself that will give you the answer to how you’re performing, against yourself today, against yourself a month ago, against yourself a year ago, everywhere in between as well. That is your key performance indicator.

Those are also the things that you need to have goals set for in your business so you know what to be measuring. The questions that I see content creators, whether they’re influencers, traditional bloggers, or service providers creating content as a marketing mechanism to sell their services, ask, the questions I see them ask are not often the questions I think they should be asking.

Quick side note, if you’re ever in a small group or conference setting, and there’s a long pause during the question and answer time period, the best thing that you can do is ask the leader what question they wished people would ask them.

Most experts think people don’t ask the right questions. If you want a good spill-the-tea moment, ask them which question they want people to ask and then what their answer is to that question.

Here’s the question I hear most often followed by the question I wish I heard the most. The first is which content is generating the most buzz. This will look like: likes, shares, comments. These are vanity metrics, but they can give you a clue into what your audience is already talking about, and therefore, thinking about. So it is a good question. But you know, what a better question is?

What content pieces create leads?

Leads, as in people who are interested and willing to pay you money for the services or products that you offer. This is going to look like clicks to your website. 

Other KPIs to measure in your business:

Now, depending on your goals, you may have other KPIs that you want to track as well. Here are a couple of examples.

how to measure a sales funnel
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  1. Do you want to grow the conversion rates of a particular program? Maybe it’s only converting at 2%, and you’d really like to see it at 4%or 5%, and have a really healthy conversion rate for a program that’s going to go with your business. For that, you’re going to need some funnel stats at every level of the decision tree. Basically, at every point a viewer or an audience member could think about buying a program you need numbers for.

    This means if you’re running ads, you’ll need the numbers for how many see the ad, how many click to see more of the ad, and how many actually click that call to action link, then how many people view the sales page (and also preferably how long they stay on the sales page), how many click through to the checkout page and how many complete the checkout page by buying the program. If you’re running like a SLO funnel, like a self-liquidating offer style funnel, you’re also going to want numbers for how many people buy your bump, how many people buy your one-time offer, compare those against your benchmarks as well. 

    So all of those numbers are things that you would be wanting to measure if one of your goals is to grow the conversion rate of a program.

    From a content point of view, the quality of the ad, and the quality of the sales copy are going to be huge levers that you want to look at, and how you can actually improve that performance. But every step along the way, can both gain and lose the buyers, and therefore it needs to be measured. 
  2. Another example of a KPI you might want to measure is if you’re trying to build more brand awareness as a whole. For this, you’d want to look more in-depth at some of those vanity metrics. Not just how many followers you have on Instagram, but what is the trend and growth of those numbers. Not how many email subscribers you have, but what is the overall trend as you grow your email list, right? So from a growth point of view, you’re going to want to see upward trends on any platform where you are building and maintaining a presence

How do you find the data to measure in the first place?

Alright, so those are the what do you measure, like that is the big ‘why content measurement is a problem’ because people are not looking at the right numbers to measure. But there’s another problem. And that is how can we get this information easily, without having to log into your LinkedIn stats and analytics, without having to log into also Instagram insights and TailWind and your Facebook Ads Manager and your funnel platform and your email service provider. Now there are a lot of places for you to be checking on a regular basis. And if there’s one thing I know, if it’s something that’s kind of annoying, and something that has to be done super regularly, while also being kind of annoying, most of us are simply not going to do it. And yes, I am 100% included in this.

Last month I created a very well-received Reel for Instagram and I can tell you the short version, it got a crazy amount of likes compared to my regular content, at least three times as many as I regularly get. I can see how many likes and comments and shares the Reel had by logging onto Instagram and looking at the Insights in my business account. You can’t see all this if you don’t have a business account. But even with that information, I can’t see how that reel stacks up against other content here. Instagram doesn’t want me to see that. And to make it even more complicated, I can’t see how it stacks up against, say, a blog post or a podcast episode, or a post on LinkedIn or a pin on Pinterest. All of those things are not available within the Instagram insights app. But even the things they want to be available in the Instagram Insights app are not always available, or at least not easily. 

And this leads us to the next, third, problem.

Social media platforms don’t want us to see certain data

Some information, some data–it’s not in a social media platforms best interest to make it easily accessible. For example, Instagram, I’m definitely picking on them here, I’m a little bit annoyed at them if you can’t tell. I want to see how many people click on the link buttons on my Instagram stories and how many people click to profile on any Instagram post I make because those are lead-generating activities. Those are telling me whether the content I am creating actually leads people to find out more rather than just hit that double-tap heart. Right? That information is available in Instagrams Insights, but it is not available in their API, meaning – all of the tools out there that will aggregate data and then make it easy for you to transfer it to other apps like Google Data Studio or Google Sheets, or really anywhere you want to be tracking this kind of information for measurement, it doesn’t pass those two things through the API. And I started thinking, I started wondering, why would Instagram not do that? Well, hmm.

They don’t want me to see how few people are actually clicking on posts versus doing other things. As it turns out, it’s probably lower than you desire on your account, too.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say, Instagram wants to keep people on their app, and therefore they don’t want to allow you to track how many people are leaving their app. So if you’re gonna pour over an hour into creating social media content, like I did with that Reel, you better make sure it is time well spent! Because that hour is about how long that single Reel took. And I can tell you, I didn’t generate a single lead that I can tie to it. (Now I want to point out that content did serve a purpose, it helped me feel a very creative, fun spark and an otherwise dark month in my life. It kept my name relevant in the spaces where I hang out. And it may have gained me a few followers that will have time to grow and know and like, and trust me in the future.) But as of a month after I made it, it, it did not generate any leads.

Again, a social media platform’s goal is to keep you on their platform. And I get it because, heck, my goal is to keep you on my blog. And that is why I show related articles and podcast episodes to the blog article that you are in right now. This helps me rank better in SEO; it also really shows me that people are interested in certain kinds of content when I can track their user journey. So if these social media platforms want their users to stay, it does not serve their interests to show which content takes people away from their platform.

Now, all that said, that’s one example. That’s Instagram, right? I promise you, all the other platforms are making certain tactics and certain analytics very difficult to assess as well.

All of these problems, of course, are aided by a content measurement dashboard, I have done the hard leg work of setting it all up. So I can plug all of your business data into your own custom dashboard and see which content really is doing well for you. We can then compare an Instagram Reel you created against a LinkedIn article. And we can look at your overall growth on your podcast if you have one or your video channel if you have one. So if that’s something that you’re interested in, please do reach out, you know where to find me. 

Organizing your content in a database saves you time

And I want to close by giving one final problem. And it’s actually not so much a measurement problem, it’s organizational. I may have hinted at the beginning of the episode why this is important. I referenced it in that checklist of what a measurable content plan is. The question is, do you have an easy way to say, “If you liked this, you’ll also like that?” If you don’t set it up now, before you have like, oh, I don’t know, 185 podcast episodes to tag like I do. It is slow going when you already have a lot of content.

So I highly suggest setting up a content database of all the content you create. Let it be the home for your content, let it have all those tentacles connecting each other to all of those things, showing what is related so that when you do get people on your website, that overall goal when you do get them on your email list, you can show them relevant content to the things that they have already acknowledged liking. It helps them with the know like and trust factor. And I promise you it will make your life so much easier.

Next time you’re in a Facebook group and someone asks a question, you can say, “Oh, you know, I’ve a blog article for that.” Or, oh, I have a podcast episode for that. And even if that Facebook group does not allow links, you can just say, “Hey, search The Know, Like & Trust podcast, it’s episode number 134.” Why did I say 134? Because it is the one on content buckets and content pillars. And it is, by far, the episode I link out to be on most often. It is a spectacular piece of pillar, cornerstone content for my business. Because of that, I want to make sure in my content database, I have a really easy way to say, Oh, if you like this, you’re also going to like this.

It creates a sense of nurturing and a sense of connection for a very cold internet world. Right?

So with all of that said, content measurement can be a problem, but this is a surmountable problem. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by content creation or content measurement, I do have solutions for you. I’m not going to go into all of them right now because I want to keep this episode short and digestible. But if you’re running into any problems, content in your business, I am here. Please do reach out.

Are you ready to create a measurable content plan?

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