A new process to quantify content marketing success

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quantify content marketing

“MEASUREMENT” is the number one challenge for almost any marketer today. Do we try to attach the results of our efforts to awareness? Traffic? Sales? … or something else? How do we demonstrate value?

This post explains an exciting new opportunity for content marketing measurement.

Just a few years ago, Internet content was a novelty, and consumers spent endless hours discovering new sites.

Today, consumers face a world of overwhelming information density. Getting your message through to them presents an enormous challenge … and a problem that is getting much, much more difficult. In the next five years, the amount of information on the web is projected to increase by at least 500%. This represents the most profound competitive issue for any organization today: How do you stand out from this noise and maintain valuable mindshare with your customers?

I am proud to announce a new organization and a revolutionary new process to help you cut through this wall of noise … and win.

In my six years of blogging, this is the first time I have specifically ever mentioned one of my business services in the confines of {grow}. I believe this offering is extraordinary, the right service for the right time, and should be of vital interest to the {grow} community and beyond.

A content marketing measurement process

The result of two years of research and nine months of testing and development by my team, our process actually quantifies your content marketing effort and compares your success to your closest competitors.

We’ve named this new consulting practice The Content Code since it is based on many of the principles defined by my popular book of the same name.

Our premise is simple. Publishing content is no longer the finish line – it is the starting line. Content that isn’t seen and shared creates no economic value. This suggests the need to develop an entirely new marketing competency based on an ability to get your content to move – to get it to ignite, create organic advocacy, and deliver powerful new economic value.

We are the first company dedicated to doing exactly that. 

The Deliverables

content codeThe Content Code team has created a unique, proprietary process to help your organization achieve the very best position to drive new economic benefits from your content investment. We provide the framework to build your own content ignition competency by laying out a detailed, easy-to-follow strategy based on a proven research regimen.

There is a lot of work involved in this process and after about 3-4 weeks, we’ll provide a Content Ignition Score that will actually quantify content marketing success – and how you stack up in your industry.

By working toward a higher Content Ignition Score, you’ll be clearly focused on the optimum strategy that drives social sharing – and valuable customer advocacy — over time.

The assessment we provide will summarize the results of more than 50 specific tests and software platforms that have been assembled over the last two years. The final report provides a detailed, prioritized guide (between 70 and 80 pages long) to help you determine what projects will deliver the best return on your content investment including:

  • Industry-specific considerations and your points of strategic leverage
  • New channels for content distribution, promotion, and syndication
  • Insights into the industry influencers most active in sharing industry content
  • Specific recommendations on content form and functionality to immediately improve social sharing
  • Insights into active audience development
  • Data-driven content generation ideas most likely to connect with your customers
  • Detailed structural considerations to improve content shareability including an analysis of content type, length, tone, positioning and other factors that contribute to social sharing success

The Content Code team has more than 50 years of marketing experience and features some marketing talent that might be familiar to you: Brooke Ballard, Mandy Edwards and Rena Saltsman.

The Process

The process begins with an initial discovery meeting with a small amount of pre-work and then a live (or online) client meeting that takes between three and four hours.

We will use this information, and data from internal and external sources, to complete a comprehensive assessment that includes more than $ 100,000 worth of software tools, proprietary analytics, and an extensive 50-point audit.

The report includes critical topics such as:

  • Industry structure and competitive assessment
  • Evaluation of content density in your vertical
  • Conversation hierarchy rating
  • Content Shareability ratings
  • Site structure and mechanical considerations of content sharing
  • Headline effectiveness
  • Measurements of content consistency and readability
  • Recommendations on optimal post length, the possible use of quizzes, infographics, lists, hashtags
  • An assessment of visual content and video content optimization
  • Predictive analytics
  • Assessment of current audience affinity tribes
  • Reports on audience geography and relevance
  • Assessing your Alpha Audience
  • Assessment of industry influencers and your content
  • Recommendations on data-driven content
  • Elements of social proof
  • Content distribution imperatives
  • Multi-channel content
  • Employee networks
  • Crowd-sourced distribution
  • Syndication
  • Paid media
  • SEO and site authority
  • … and much more

Our research will include insights and clues from more than 6 million online content sources, thousands of databases, and our own proprietary algorithms. We also prioritize these findings so you can easily focus your efforts on the imperatives that will drive the most improvement in your content marketing effort.

Feedback

The feedback from our initial customers (including a Fortune 500 company) has been amazing.

“This assessment completely blew away our expectations. The scope and detail of the report is amazing and for the first time we have a real strategy to get value from our content.” 

“This report helped expose flaws in our process I never knew existed. I expect this will pay for itself in about a month!” 

“This is exactly what we have been looking for – a method to measure and quantify our content marketing efforts. This is an OH WOW.”

“Having a data-based strategy from your team will help us create a competitive advantage with our marketing. I have no doubt about this.” 

We are now taking on new engagements with the first available slots in early 2016. The ideal customer for The Content Code assessment:

  • Have been producing quality content consistently for at least two years.
  • Has in-house resources prepared to activate the new recommendations.
  • Producing content in the English language.
  • Probably a large company or brand with a national or international audience

Thanks for obliging me this opportunity to tell you about this exciting new process. If you’re ready to drive significant new economic benefits from your content marketing effort, I hope you’ll contact me to learn more about how the Content Code team can serve you. Please drop me a line at mschaefer700@gmail.com and let me know of your content marketing challenges. We are also open to white labeling this service through agencies.

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Ask to Quantify “Exposure” When Working for Free

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Ask to Quantify "Exposure" When Working for Free

Not everyone agrees about working for free. But if you’re new to an industry, it might help get your foot in the door. Employers know this, so sometimes they’ll offer exposure in exchange for an unpaid job. If you go this route, at least ask them to quantify what that means.

Companies might try to spin this arrangement in a variety of ways. They might outrightly use the word “exposure,” or they might call it a “lucrative, non-paying” position. Refinery 29 explains that in these “work for exposure” arrangements, it’s important to be clear about what you can expect to get out of it. Exposure is, essentially, advertising, and advertising is quantifiable. Your exposure could be measured in clicks, page views, or retweets, for example.

Refinery gives an example of how you can address it:

Thanks for the offer. I might be interested in an in-kind trade of services for exposure. Here is one way that could work:

I see that you have about 6,500 Twitter followers. I estimate that a project like the one you’re proposing would take about four weeks. During that time, I’d like two tweets per week linking to @mybusiness and mybusiness.com to be tweeted during peak hours of 8-10 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. Done right, this would also help build excitement for the project from your followers.

If you don’t have a business, you might just ask to tweet your online portfolio. Or you might not ask for a tweet at all. You might ask for a link back to your website. Either way, the point remains: if you’re going to work for free for exposure, you should probably know exactly what that involves.

Refinery 29 has more tips on this topic, too. Be sure to check out their post at the link below.

Is It Ever a Good Idea To Work For Free? | Refinery 29

Photo by sean dreilinger.

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