One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is determining the business impact and value of their content efforts. While 78% of marketers use metrics to measure content performance, 49% don’t measure ROI. And only 32% feel proficient or confident using their content marketing metrics. The situation is only further complicated by the multiple measures of success available to marketers across channels.

To address these challenges, marketers must set clear objectives for their activities and choose their measurement methods based on these goals.

So, what’s the best method for your brand experience goals? Let’s start by exploring four top approaches for determining content success.

1. Topic coverage and findability

Topic coverage and findability go hand in hand. Once you’ve identified why your users visit your website, you can use this information to decide which related topics to cover and establish your brand’s position as a specialized authority. For this approach, success is measured in terms of your search rankings for keywords.

2. Brand language and emotional appeal

This approach helps you build a consistent brand voice and shape your brand experience to inspire a positive, lasting connection with your audience. To measure success for this approach, use techniques such as sentiment analysis or Net Promoter Score (NPS).

3. Reach and engagement 

Reach and engagement are linked to audience growth and whether your content is effective. This approach helps you drive a brand experience that reaches and converts your target audiences. Metrics will play an active role in providing you with insight into audience response. Examples of these measures include page views, time on content, scroll depth, shares, likes and followers, as well as micro-conversions.

4. Business impact and efficiency

Focusing on business impact and efficiency ties content investments directly to revenue and cost savings, helping you to promote the idea of content as a business asset. Sample measures of this type include micro-conversions and transactions, attributed revenue, and operational savings, such as call deflection. 

Which method is right for your business?

Your brand should always aim to measure the effectiveness of its content by its business impact. Consider where you currently sit on the content maturity scale and quantify the value of your content efforts according to your current position. We can define four levels on this maturity scale:

Level 1: Tactical publishing

When a brand is operating at this level, they’re creating and managing content with no intention for reuse. Often at this stage, their resources are limited, and their publishing strategy is determined by the volume of content.

If this is your current level of maturity, then reach and engagement measurements will provide the biggest insight into what’s performing well and how to improve your content.

Level 2: Experience delivery

At this level, a brand’s tactical publishing is paired with digital experience, data and optimization, and maintaining a repository of content to serve up to personas. They may have invested in a centralized media library or asset management.

At this point, brand language and emotional appeal will become a key measurement as it will help you gauge whether your brand experience is connecting with your customers. 

Level 3: Multi-channel reuse

At this stage of the maturity scale, more than one channel outcome is important to the business, and the brand is increasing the reuse of assets across channels and campaigns. Multiple teams derive value and utilization from content assets created by marketing.

Use topic coverage and findability metrics to ensure the assets and content you’re developing fully align with your audience interests.

Level 4: Modular enterprise content

This is a highly advanced stage. Businesses at this level will have most of their content managed in a modular way, delivering to multiple personas and channels. They’ll have content cycles running separately from delivery lifecycles. What’s more, content will be available across the enterprise as a service.

By this point, you should be using all four approaches – and that includes business impact and efficiency to report how marketing efforts are correlating with business success.

Wherever you are on your content journey, Sitecore can help you reach the highest level of content maturity and impact management. Our content hub supports the content production process at every stage of your maturity journey, helping your business to develop modular content that’ll better meet your targets.

Contact us today to find out how we can support your marketing goals.

Jose Santa Ana is Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Find him on LinkedIn.