The age-old adage of learning from your mistakes is something which can be applied to many situations, industries, products or services. Content marketing is no different. In an incredibly competitive industry where millions of pieces of content are consumed every day, it’s important to stand out from the crowd – or to be more precise, to know how to stand out from the crowd.
To know how to do so requires you to analyse your content thoroughly. Crudely put, you need to find out what is working and what isn’t. This is why post-campaign analysis is so important.
Why Post-Campaign Analysis Is Vital
Post-campaign analysis is incredibly important when it comes to content marketing for a multitude of reasons. You can:
1. Find out whether or not your content piece could have been better presented in another format (e.g. interactive tool, short video etc.)
2. Learn how the end user, the readers, perceived your content.
- Did they find it useful/interesting?
- What specifically did they find useful or interesting and what didn’t they enjoy?
- What would have made it a better experience for them?
3. The level of which the client was well represented.
- Did the content piece convey the brand’s core beliefs?
4. Find out how effective the outreach was.
- Were your press materials adequate? Did journalists understand the story?
- You can discover what journalists thought about your content. You would want to collect any feedback that you receive about the content, good or bad. Was there something that could be added that would make it more appealing to journalists? Equally, is there a reason why they’re not taking it?
5. Review your goals or KPIs.
- Did you find certain parameters, which kept you from hitting KPI? This could be anything from a difficult niche or difficulty getting client sign-off on campaign materials. If this is the case, then perhaps reassessing what’s achievable would be an option.
- Alternatively, you may have exceeded expectations on a campaign and KPIs may have to be raised.
Setting up a process for post-campaign analysis doesn’t have to be complicated or convoluted. Simple parameters need to be drawn up and agreed upon.
Decide Upon The Metrics
Firstly, you need to figure out what metrics you need to track. The metrics need to be conclusive enough to provide you with a clear answer and a holistic view of your content marketing process. Here are just some of the metrics we at Kaizen track:
Email tracking (outreach effectiveness)
- Open rates
- A high open rate will tell us the subject line is compelling enough for the journalist or blogger to open the email.
- Click rates
- Low number of clicks tells us that there is an issue with the pitch which is worth investigating.
- Response rates
- Response rates that are generally low as we find journalists will get in contact if they have questions or require further information. However, a very low response could suggest an issue with the piece of content itself.
- Here we will track the level of social media interaction and number of links. Low social media interaction could be a signal of the content not being very engaging or that the story isn’t divisive enough to spark a debate.
- We check domain authority as well as trust flow to measure the authority of the placements we receive for our pieces of content.
- These are general comments from the general public on social media, feedback from bloggers or emails back journalist. Vital as these qualitative responses give background to what you’re seeing in terms of the quantitative data (i.e. open/click/response rates).
It’s important to note that some of the metrics above are in fact points on which we agree KPIs with our clients. This will change depending on the campaign.
Decide On How You Will Track The Metrics
You will then need to decide how you’re going to collect this data. We use a variety of tools to help us to report on the progress of our content. Buzzstream, an outreach tool, which we use for manual outreach to journalists, has email-tracking functionality. We also use Yesware, another email tracking tool. This is then all pulled into monthly reports.
In terms of site authority, we use domain authority and trust flow. Here, we manually check these metrics with tools like MOZ and Majestic SEO respectively. However, we’re in the process of looking into how we can automate the process, which will save us time on reporting.
Archive The Results And Analyse The Data
Once the campaign has finished and all the data has been gathered, the results need to be archived into a central location. From here, you can look back over the campaign and compare and contrast the data. Pinpoint anomalies to a certain date or event, spot the best form outreach template by subject line/email body, and so on. Review some of the most notable comments from bloggers, journalists and the general public. All of these points should be taken into consideration for future campaigns.
Over time, building up a bank of historic data will result in more accurate data from which you can draw upon. With this, should it be extensive enough, you can spot trends, peaks and troughs in which campaigns succeeded or failed. It is this extensive dataset on which future campaigns should be built.
It shouldn’t stop there, either. This should be a continuous process, a continuous cycle of learning. This process post-campaign analysis needs to be continuously added to and challenged as the market place is always changing. You need to stay ahead and you can do this by looking at your past experience.