Commentary

The Dilemma: Content That Delivers Without ROI Measurement

According to a new RAPTmedia study, The Future of Content, Measuring Content Performance, creating one-size-fits-all content and distributing it across paid, owned and earned channels is no longer a viable strategy for driving meaningful customer connections. 

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Personalization of content at the point of creation is playing an increasingly vital role in engaging audiences, but doing it cost effectively and being able to measure performance beyond initial consumption all the way to ROI is a challenge most marketers face, says the report.

The study found that marketers’ biggest challenge with content is gaining deeper insights beyond clicks and views or initial consumption. Marketers report that they are tasked with marrying the content they produce to business goals, such as being able to clearly demonstrate ROI and proving engagement. On top of that, marketers are increasingly being tasked to take measurement far beyond the initial engagement and map conversions directly back to the content experiences that they’ve invested in. However, they continue to find themselves with only surface-level metrics to connect the dots. 

Key Marketer Statistics

  • 98% say they’d be more willing to invest in content technology if it addressed their measurement concerns
  • 75% say content today can’t be personalized enough for different audiences
  • 60% are unable to measure ROI on the content they produce
  • 59% say gaining deeper insights is their biggest concern when investing in content
  • 49% are unable to measure content performance across all channels in aggregate
  • 47% say content isn’t versatile enough and can’t be leveraged across multiple mediums and devices

The biggest challenge for marketers today, says the report, is a lack of any meaningful insights from the content they produce. Beyond clicks and views, there’s very little insight they’re able to glean about how content is performing, whether audiences are engaging with it, and whether those clicks and views made an impact beyond the initial engagement or can be mapped back to conversion behavior.  “The CMO Survey” found that only one-third of CMOs said they could quantitatively prove the impact of their marketing outlays.

These concerns signal a major problem, as 60% of business marketers say they’re unable to measure ROI on the content they produce. Because they’re expected to find new ways to engage consumers across a continually expanding number of touchpoints, the inability to measure engagement from content, let alone across channels, means that they’re attempting to execute against their content strategy while blindfolded, says the report. They have to know how content is driving behavior, and it’s imperative that they have deep and accurate insights from content engagement, to better understand their audiences behaviors and interests, and use that to optimize and produce content that speaks to those interests. 

According to the report, the marketers’ biggest concerns when investing in content are these:

  • 59%say it’s gaining deeper insights beyond clicks and views
  • 58% say that it’s being able to accurately measure ROI
  • 31%say that it’s being able to measure and prove conversion behavior driven by content
  • 31%say that it’s being able to measure and prove deeper content engagement

A Contently Inc., a content marketing platform, report found that 63% devoted less than one-tenth of their marketing budgets to content marketing technology, an indication that marketers are either struggling to prove the return on their content investments, or they’re simply unsatisfied with the investments they’ve made and are hesitant to further invest in inadequate content technologies. However, 98% of marketers on the business side said they’d be more willing to invest in content technology if it addressed the above concerns 

The report acknowledges that there’s a common thread here.

  • Marketers need deeper measurement capabilities, but their current content technologies aren’t meeting that need
  • They would invest more in content technology, but are concerned that it won’t address their challenges
  • They know content needs better personalization, but they don’t think their content tech investments are getting them there

But, says the report, marketers and creatives are putting most of their marketing technology spend into distribution focused technologies. Content, that itself is more personalized in nature vs. customized at the point of distribution, will offer marketers the deep layer of metrics that they so direly need.  

However, 47% say content isn’t versatile enough, and can’t be leveraged across multiple mediums and devices, and 75% say content today can’t be personalized enough for different audiences.  

Finally, a Forbes and PwC survey posed an interesting question: “… why are so many companies struggling to get a handle on content marketing and personalization?... ” pointing out that:

  • Companies that create personalized experiences often see substantially higher conversion rates, and
  • When marketers shift their focus to creating more personalized content through innovative content creation technologies, they see a ripple effect that starts with more engaged audiences, leads to more optimized content, and ends with the ability to clearly demonstrate ROI. 

For additional information from RAPTmedia, please visit here.

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