Skip This Step and You’ll Never Truly Know If Your Marketing Efforts are Successful

No matter your industry, your audience, and your marketing initiatives, your ongoing success depends on one thing—properly analyzing your content’s performance. After all, if your words, videos, images, and graphics aren’t resonating with your audience, your marketing strategy will never generate the results you want.

But lots of organizations aren’t analyzing the right way, and that’s where this strategy comes in.

Measuring your content’s performance gives you the power to make adjustments that maximize the number of leads that can be sent to sales and, ultimately, conversions and ROI.

Specifically, you’ll be able to answer questions like:

  • Which topics, solutions, and insights resonate best with my audience?
  • Which formats (blog posts, webinars, videos, etc.) generate the most engagement?
  • Which demand generation assets bring in the most leads?
  • Are there any content bottlenecks in my marketing funnel?
  • Am I meeting my pre-determined benchmarks for success?

Once you have these answers, you can stop wasting resources on developing content that isn’t working and focus on rinsing-and-repeating the tactics that are working.

But there’s one giant thing you need to remember—your audience isn’t one-size-fits-all. 

Depending on how many personas you’re targeting, each one has different challenges, needs, and wants. As a result, content that works wonders for one persona may be a complete bust for another.

That’s why segmenting is such a vital step in your analysis.

Metrics like open rate, click-to-open rate, form fills, time spent on your website, video views, webinar registrations, and social media likes and shares are all vital to measuring success. But in order to understand the full picture, you have to understand how each of these metrics breaks down by persona. 

For example, one of our Fortune 25 clients has an 18.97% open rate for its weekly newsletter and a 7.65% click-to-open rate. That’s in line with their targets. However, a deeper dive that we recently performed tells a much more detailed story.

For this particular newsletter, the most valuable subscribers are marketers who have the potential to buy advertising space on the client’s website. As a result, they’re particularly interested in subscribers with job titles that have some influence over advertising decisions. Since one of the fields in the newsletter’s signup form is “Job Title”, our analysts can see how these highest-potential subscribers are engaging:

Seeing that Marketers have the highest open rate out of the job titles listed means our strategy is on the right track. Marketers’ click-to-open rate is above the overall average, which is good, but we can see here that there’s room for improvement. That means we can actively come up with new ways to find content that marketers are more likely to click on.

We can also see that Sales’ open rate and click-through-rate is slightly below average. As a result, we know that tweaks will need to be made if we want more engagement from sales professionals.

As important as this data is, we took it one step further. Remember, our client’s goal is to find new advertisers. That means this content really needs to resonate with decision-makers who have the authority to spend money and place ads. That’s why we also included “Job Level” as one of the fields in the newsletter’s signup form. When our analysts dug into the data, here’s what they found:

All of our decision-maker personas—C-Level Management, Executives, and Managers—have open rates and click-to-open rates that are above average, which means our strategy is working.

We were pleasantly surprised to see such high engagement among C-level subscribers. While managers and executives have the power to pull the advertising purse strings, C-level engagement is even better. After all, these are incredibly busy people with overflowing inboxes. Seeing that they’re taking the time to open and click on our client’s newsletter is strong validation that our content strategy is working. We’ve created something that the “top dogs” find compelling!

What are we doing with these insights?

We’ve talked about creating different variations of each newsletter with content created specifically for our highest-value personas. Trying to do this from the beginning would have been a shot in the dark, but now that we’re armed with data, we know how to craft newsletters that will appeal to each segment.

And that’s something we never would have known if we’d simply stopped at reporting overall open and click-to-open rates!

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Posted by Nicole Pytel

I'm a content strategist/writer/superhero who has helped brands be more creative since 2010, a former TV newsie, and a native Floridian who loves to soak up the sun with family and friends.