Measuring Content

By | January 27, 2016

Measuring content is becoming a widely-discussed theme among content strategists, and also within the wider business world, as organisations become increasingly metrics-driven.  However, content-based KPIs and metrics shouldn’t just be used as targets but as resource indicators for improving specific aspects of content creation, for example:

  • Quantitative metrics – how much content was produced, over what period?  How can that volume be increased?  Can we make our processes and tools more effective?
  • Qualitative metrics – is our content consistent?  Are we producing accurate and relevant content for our customers?  Is our content engaging and are our customers satisfied?
  • Engagement – are we achieving our key metrics?  What does ‘engagement’ mean for our business?  Have we considered our content usability?

A metric is defined as a ‘system or standard of measurement’ and can be used to effectively communicate with the stakeholders of the system being evaluated.  Content metrics can be defined and refined over time so that they deliver clear and actionable results for content teams and also give stakeholders a high-level view of the productivity/value of the content discipline to the business.

A second, and key, area where content KPIs and metrics can be useful is that of testing and identifying problems:

  • This can be to satisfy the need to compare two (or more) products/elements/pages of content, to compare their usability for example or their success, depending on the measure selected
  • Alternatively, metrics can be used to test the quantifiable severity of a usability problem; for example the impact a change in content might achieve

Metrics can enable content teams to learn more about their content and, even when using high-level metrics, there’s an opportunity to impact the following factors:

  • Effectiveness – the accuracy of achieving (or partially achieving) content goals, based on business needs
  • Efficiency – the resources required in order to achieve effectiveness, this might include time-to-market for example
  • Satisfaction – the acceptability of use, benefits to users/customers, purpose and ease of taking action

Every organisation will have their own content metrics and should measure where they are starting from, define their own version of content ‘engagement’ and see what happens.  The results will inevitably be both thought-provoking and actionable.