Measuring Beyond Data: Anecdotes Speak Louder Than Scorecards

When measuring the ROI of content marketing, it’s tempting to simply number crunch. After all, data offers concrete information that can lead to strong insights into the effectiveness of your spend. Yet spreadsheets will only get you so far. With them alone you can miss valuable parts of what make content marketing so effective in the first place: human reactions and emotions.

Direct customer feedback is an important ingredient for successful content marketing. It enables you to gauge exactly how people are receiving and responding to your content. This is much more complicated than the simple black-and-white numbers of time on site, click-throughs, and more. Yes, statistics can tell you that someone read your native ad, but they don’t tell you why. Similarly, performance metrics can’t tell you why users are steering clear of your content marketing efforts. Maybe there is specific language that’s driving them away, maybe the colors you used are too bright, or maybe you just couldn’t communicate your message effectively. This is where the power of customer feedback can be most beneficial to your bottom line.

To get the most from all of the moving parts that make up today’s effective content marketing strategies, you need that human insight. Understanding the value of your content marketing means understanding your audience’s preferences, and the best way to do that is to ask. It may seem straightforward, but sometimes being direct is the best way to get results. If you can gather even a small number of customers to engage in constructive criticism, you will gain invaluable insights into their perspective, allowing you to expand or adjust where needed.

And for their part, customers are much more willing to provide feedback than one might assume. Many people today, especially among the millennial generation, are willing to share information with trusted brands in order to improve their experience of said brand. Gaining feedback about ads is another way to ensure that customers’ browsing experience is that much smoother. Additionally, it gives them a sense of control over the ads that they are shown, making them feel as though they have an important role in the creative considerations that go into your marketing efforts. Not only that, but it means you’re not simply opening up the fire hose and seeing what sticks, thereby reducing waste and saving precious budget dollars.

By getting real, organic feedback about your content marketing, you can adjust your efforts accordingly – and understand where you’re getting the most bang for your buck and with what kinds of content. Listening to and actioning feedback will cultivate a deeper relationship between your brand and potential prospects. They might even see your efforts as a sign that you really care about their human side, and that is one of the most effective benefits of content marketing. Sometimes anecdotes speak louder than scorecards.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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