How Do You Evaluate and Measure the Value of your Digital Content


Remem­ber when you could just look at your web­site vis­i­tor counter and know if your mar­ket­ing cam­paigns were suc­cess­ful? Well, those days are long gone and today, eval­u­at­ing the suc­cess of your dig­i­tal con­tent choic­es is a much more com­pli­cat­ed process.

A look at today’s trends is all you need to con­vince your orga­ni­za­tion that you may need a more robust approach to deter­min­ing if you are on the right track:

  • For 2017, the num­ber of mobile phone users is expect­ed to pass 5 bil­lion by 2019! Cur­rent­ly, near­ly 60 per­cent of the glob­al pop­u­la­tion owns a cell phone. Near­ly 50 per­cent of these are smart­phones. In the next 5 years, the num­ber of smart­phone users is expect­ed to grow by 1 bil­lion, reach­ing 26 bil­lion by 2019.
  • Over 90 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion in Swe­den has Inter­net access that they use at least 3 hours a day. And 92 per­cent have a com­put­er.
  • Den­mark has the high­est smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion rate in West­ern Europe, with just over 8 in 10 Inter­net users own­ing a smart­phone.
  • Nor­way has the sec­ond high­est smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion rate in the world after South Korea, with 71.7 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion own­ing a smart­phone.
  • The aver­age US user spends 9.9 hours per day on devices, when you take into account all the screens in a user’s life (desk­top, lap­top, tablet, smart­phone, fit­ness device, smart watch, smart TV).

How users are find­ing you today is also very dif­fer­ent. Search engines account for 48 per­cent of the research done by con­sumers, 33 per­cent of search­es start on brand­ed web­sites, and 26 per­cent start on brand­ed apps.

And do you real­ize how impor­tant under­stand­ing the time of day your poten­tial cus­tomers are search­ing has become? Here’s how it is unfold­ing:

  1. Ear­ly morn­ing (7 a.m. to 10 a.m.)—mobile devices dom­i­nate
  2. Day­time hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)—desk­tops and lap­tops dom­i­nate, but tablet and mobile use is grow­ing.
  3. Ear­ly evening (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and prime evening (8 p.m. to 12 a.m.)—the tablet is the main choice of mil­lions.

And when your prospec­tive cus­tomers are find­ing you, are they con­vert­ing into cus­tomers?

There is much to infer from these trends, but one thing is crys­tal clear: that counter on your web­site means next to noth­ing now.

So how do you mea­sure the val­ue of your dig­i­tal con­tent and your mar­ket­ing cam­paigns? One answer is to take advan­tage of the moun­tains of data that is col­lect­ed about users’ actions and behav­iour while online.

Even when you have com­plied with the per­son­al data pro­tec­tion direc­tives that have been estab­lished by the Euro­pean Con­ven­tion on Human Rights and those of the Nordic coun­tries, there is plen­ty of data to use. I have talked about this before, but as a reminder, you want to be sure to 1) have the subject’s con­sent, 2) use the data only for the sit­u­a­tion for which it was col­lect­ed, 3) inform the sub­ject when data is col­lect­ed and how it will be used, and 4) keep it pro­por­tion­al to the pur­pose for which it was col­lect­ed.

Mea­sur­ing the effec­tive­ness of your dig­i­tal con­tent these days requires a lot of data. Most busi­ness­es will tell you that they suf­fer from hav­ing too much data from too many dif­fer­ent sources, spread out on dif­fer­ent plat­forms from dif­fer­ent providers. The more you use an inte­grat­ed plat­form for data col­lec­tion and analy­sis, the eas­i­er it will be to mon­i­tor and mea­sure your cam­paign. If your plat­form isn’t inte­grat­ed, not only is the analy­sis more dif­fi­cult, but you won’t be able to respond quick­ly to changes you may need to make with your con­tent or your cam­paigns.

Here are some ideas about how to deter­mine which dig­i­tal con­tent needs to be more engag­ing.

  • Choose the met­rics that mat­ter. There is so much that can be mea­sured, includ­ing how long some­one stays on a page, what they searched for, whether they rotate the screen on their mobile device, if they expand or shrink the view, where they stopped watch­ing a video, where they went after they vis­it­ed your site, and much more. The first step is decid­ing which met­rics mat­ter for your busi­ness.
  • Map out your entire “cus­tomer jour­ney.” Deter­mine every touch­point and every chan­nel where a poten­tial or cur­rent cus­tomer could inter­act with your brand. Get every­one togeth­er in your com­pa­ny and exam­ine those inter­ac­tion points care­ful­ly, deter­min­ing what your cus­tomer might expect at every point of con­tact. Assess the qual­i­ty of your organization’s per­for­mance based on what the cus­tomer expects and needs, NOT what would be best for the effi­cien­cy or bot­tom line of the orga­ni­za­tion. What might be an effi­cient prac­tice for your billing depart­ment could cre­ate a ter­ri­ble expe­ri­ence for the cus­tomer that gen­er­ates bad reviews. You want to cre­ate evan­ge­lists, not detrac­tors.
  • For­get the month­ly report. The issue you need to address will be over and done with if you wait weeks to address it. Dai­ly might be too fre­quent. You will need to see what makes sense for your busi­ness so you can respond quick­ly to changes in your key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors. The month­ly report can become use­ful again if you change the cul­ture of report­ing and data reviews to a data-dri­ven cul­ture where the right peo­ple look at the right data so they can react more quick­ly.
  • Know where your leads and cus­tomers are com­ing from. The sites that are refer­ring traf­fic your way may be one of the most crit­i­cal pieces of infor­ma­tion. You should be con­tribut­ing to blog posts and oth­er ways to cre­ate part­ner­ships with oth­ers and mag­ni­fy­ing those efforts on sites where your mes­sage seems to be res­onat­ing. While pro­gram­mat­ic buy­ing of ads is very pow­er­ful, be sure to look at the data and fig­ure out what sources dri­ve not only traf­fic, but also the right, high-val­ue vis­i­tors and cus­tomer engage­ments.
  • Watch the right social met­rics. If you got 500 new Face­book fol­low­ers last week and they haven’t giv­en you a pen­ny, that isn’t much to be hap­py about. Explore ways to con­vert them to leads and prospects. Maybe you need a more focused land­ing page where you are exchang­ing a white paper or eBook for an email address and per­mis­sion to con­tact them. Don’t wor­ry about how many Twit­ter fol­low­ers you have, but rather how you can get the ones you have to enter your sales cycle. If you aren’t being retweet­ed, then your con­tent like­ly needs adjust­ing.

Start­ing with these obser­va­tions will give you an indi­ca­tion if your dig­i­tal con­tent is giv­ing you the desired results. I will explore in a future post some spe­cif­ic tech­niques for improv­ing your con­tent to cre­ate more engag­ing cus­tomer expe­ri­ences.

It is easy to feel over­whelmed by the amount of data avail­able and how to choose what mat­ters. Tak­ing the steps out­lined above can pro­vide you a sol­id first steep to under­stand­ing how your dig­i­tal con­tent is per­form­ing and what steps need to be tak­en to improve it.

Jens Bengtsson

Posted on 04-08-2016

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