For content marketing to succeed, you need to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. However, standard content marketing performance indicators do not always provide sufficient information. In this case, the effectiveness of content marketing should be assessed using research that provides feedback from the audience. Why are standard indicators and behavioral metrics not always informative and how to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns through research? Read about it below.
Why standard indicators and behavioral metrics are not always informative
Standard content marketing performance metrics make it clear what visitors are doing on your site. For example, they provide an opportunity to find out how many times visitors have viewed a particular page, how long they have been on the site, how many times they shared a particular article on social networks. These indicators can be obtained using web analytics systems, for example, Yandex.Metrica or Google Analytics.
With these metrics, you cannot always estimate some important parameters of marketing campaigns, including the following:
- Who exactly visits your site. This is not about abstract data on age, place of residence or gender of the visitor. To successfully promote a business, you need more specific data.
- How customers perceive your content and relate to your brand.
- What people expect from your content and whether their expectations are met.
- Why do users visit the site and consume your content.
- What decisions do visitors make after reading your articles?
- How your content affects the behavior of the audience in offline.
For example, imagine a company that faces different efficiencies of the same type of content. Marketers and managers of this company want to understand why 90% of traffic to the site generates only 5% of articles. At the same time, all content has high information content, expertise and quality. Google Analytics will hardly help you find the answer to this question.
In situations of this type will help you research. With their help, you can understand exactly how the content affects the audience and how its behavior is explained.
Why do research
Web analytics services allow marketers to monitor the quantitative metrics of content marketing effectiveness. For example, you can determine how many people visited your site last week. Quantitative indicators allow you to indirectly determine the qualitative characteristics of marketing campaigns. For example, a conversion rate or bounce rate, essentially related to quantitative indicators, can be used to assess the quality of marketing activities.
However, to improve the effectiveness of content marketing, you will need advanced quality data. That they can be obtained by conducting these or other studies. For example, marketing research gives companies such important data:
- Deep audience analysis with the ability to create a shopping and search person.
- The attitude of specific consumers to your content.
- The impact of publications on consumer behavior online and offline.
- Current needs of the audience.
Thus, special studies should be carried out when you need to obtain advanced quality data on marketing campaigns.
What research methods to use to assess the quality characteristics
There are many methods to investigate the quality characteristics of a content marketing campaign. Unlike quantitative research, many of them require the personal involvement of a marketer. Also, all methods of studying the qualitative characteristics require manual processing and the availability of knowledge to correctly interpret the data.
To study the characteristics of marketing campaigns, use the following methods:
- Audience survey. When composing a questionnaire, use open-ended questions to get detailed answers. For example, ask a customer to tell about the advantages and disadvantages of your product or content. Do not ask a lot of closed questions, since the answers "yes" or "no" will not help you assess the qualitative parameters of the campaign.
- Interview. Direct communication with clients takes resources, but it is during the interview that you can get the most valuable information.
- Focus group. This method also allows you to get information in the course of live communication with the client. However, group communication saves your time and other resources. By the way, the Google Hangouts service will help you hold focus groups without collecting customers in the office.
- Analysis of user content. Studying customer comments and feedback allows you to evaluate their attitude to the content, product or brand, take into account the wishes and respond to comments. Evaluate custom content on your resource, as well as on specialized third-party services and industry forums, for example, Irecommend or "Reviewed by."
- Experiment. This research method allows you to simulate the situation and study the reaction of the audience. The simplest example of using experiments in content marketing is conducting A / B testing.
How to conduct research: 3 tips
The study of qualitative characteristics has a number of features, knowing that you avoid inaccurate answers and interpretations. Use the following tips to properly study the quality characteristics of marketing campaigns:
Do not ask customers what they would choose or what they would choose. The person usually distorts the answers to the questions posed in the form of "what you do" or "what would you do." Instead, find out from users what they have already done. “What did you choose,” “what did you decide,” “what did you plan?” - these are the correct forms of questions that need to be used in questionnaires, during interviews or focus groups.
For example, for some reason, marketers often ask customers to recommend the product to their friends. The average user in words speaks about the willingness to recommend a product to friends, but does not. If you want a valid answer, ask if the client has ever recommended your product to their relatives.
Keep a balance of open and closed questions in the questionnaires.. The above mentioned need to use open questions when you want a detailed answer. However, most users do not want to spend time on some forms. Even if you promise a gift for participating in a study, many users will answer formal questions formally.
The alternation of open, closed and alternative issues allows you to get rid of this problem. For example, ask the client which publication he liked most of all and offer answers. This is an alternative question. Find out if a customer buys something by reading a review on your site. This is a closed question.
- Don't pounce on customers with a proposal to fill out a questionnaire or take part in a focus group as soon as they get to the site. At best, most visitors will refuse questioning. Worse, if they answer questions formally, not wanting to deny you.
Offer research participation to subscribers. Receiving the questionnaire by e-mail, they have the opportunity to choose a convenient time and answer questions correctly. If you are interested in the opinion of unregistered users, invite them to participate in the survey after several transitions on the site.
The study of the qualitative characteristics of marketing campaigns increases the efficiency of business promotion. To study quality metrics, conduct surveys, interview consumers, organize focus groups. Analyzing custom content will help you determine the true attitude of your customers to your publications, product or brand. And experiments will help assess the audience's response to certain innovations.
And how do you study the opinions and preferences of users?