In the midst of digital marketing clutter and indifferent audiences, a report from eMarketer claims that fighting to create attractive content is not the only thing brands are up against; how to accurately quantify success remains up for debate.
A study from Outbrain found that 88.9% of brands rely on social media metrics and referrals to measure content marketing efforts followed by views/downloads at 75.6 percent, leads generated at 53.3 percent, and referrals from search at 51.1 percent. The eMarketer report also found sentiment to be a metric used by brands in measuring audience satisfaction and engagement. Brands believe that both positive and negative mentions can be effective in measuring how well their content marketing approaches are working.
Sentiment goes further than a measurement of success; according to eMarketer, brands are stepping into the shoes of audience members to determine what will be attractive and lead to consumption, shares, and comments. Emily Schildt, director of digital communications at Chobani, a popular yogurt brand, said, “Think like a consumer. You know, would I pin this? Would I ‘like’ this? Would I comment on it?” Many brands reported difficulties in shifting perspective away from conventional self-promotion, but despite the strain that comes with change brands have seen that less promotion attracts more audience engagement.
While online content marketing’s success depends greatly on reactions for the social audience, there are several other factors that vary depending on the brand and the final goal they are working toward. For now, how brands measure the impact of their content marketing campaigns is not dictated by a specific metric but by the measurement preferences and purposes of the individual brand.