Impossible, you say? Not at all! This is the view of Lise Tangen Hansen, customer director at Penetrace. She has good advice on how your content should be assessed in digital channels.
Brand impact in digital channels is a hot topic right now, but unfortunately many people give up assessing impact due to imperfect methodology. Until now.
“Performance marketing has dominated the agenda within marketing in recent years, as digitisation has become both new and necessary. It's easy to measure pure clicks and conversions, and you receive instant feedback on whether what you are doing works. This is not necessarily the case with content marketing,” says Tangen Hansen of Penetrace.
Traditionally, measuring the effect of content marketing has been difficult. The uncertainty about what value an article, a blog post, or video actually provides has caused many people to scratch their heads – and some to stop integrating content marketing with the marketing mix.
“Many have tried to measure the effect unsuccessfully. It’s then easy to give up,” says Tangen Hansen.
Nonetheless, she believes that Penetrace has solved the equation. In recent years, the company has developed a method of measuring content – thereby finding the answer as to what effect content marketing distributed on the internet has.
Tailoring content marketing impact goals
The first thing you need to do is set goals in terms of effect. These should be divided into overall goals and content-specific goals.
“Overall effect goals may be knowledge, impression and liking, and these aspects must be included,” says Tangen Hansen. She adds:
“Then we get to perhaps the most important thing: The objectives of the content must be adapted to exactly what you want to measure. You shouldn’t ‘re-use’ the objectives of other people or use general KPIs from the brand tracking,” she advises.
You need to use words and phrases related to your content, making it easy to measure – and even fun!
“Also remember that it’s advisable to have a good number of effect objectives – not just relating to the expected impact,” continues Tangen Hansen.
Ask the right audience – at the right time
In order to measure the effect of content marketing on your brand, you need to use market research data. Here, it’s important to bear in mind who to invite to take the survey.
“The target audience for content marketing is often narrow, and therefore the target audience for the effect measurement has to reflect this,” says Tangen Hansen.
“In order to interview the right people, you need to ensure that they have had the opportunity to be exposed to the content you want to measure the impact of. The solution is to tag your digital material with a pixel before going live. It’s then easy to identify respondents in online panels and interview them.
In addition to tagging content, it is important to interview respondents shortly after they have been exposed to the content. In this way, you can be sure that the impact is captured at the right time.
“As a rule, this should take place a maximum of two to three days after respondents have been exposed to the material. The reason for this is that we quickly forget about the content we are exposed to,” explains Tangen Hansen.
According to Tangen Hansen, too many people wait until the campaign is over. “Then, the impact has already been reduced, and you don’t capture the actual impact,” she warns.
Learn from the results
“It’s one thing to collect answers from the respondents. It’s another thing to use the results for something useful. It’s easy to go wrong here,” says Tangen Hansen.
She explains that first and foremost you need to have realistic expectations about the effects that can be identified, and not at least how many. Even if you have a large number of objectives, don't expect all of them to be met.
“You should be satisfied if you can document effect in a couple of areas,” she advises.
“Also think about what you can learn and use for the next campaign. This is how you gradually increase the impact of your communication over time.”