Catching Fireflies: Measuring The Value of Content by Steve Floyd – CEO of AXZM – www.axzm.com/about/steve-floyd
When I was a kid, I vividly remember chasing fireflies at Whiterock Lake in Dallas where I’m from. I wish my childhood was as grand this stock image.
This is probably more accurate as I remember my childhood during the 1980s in East Dallas.
I remember countless summers in that zero hour right after dusk trying to capture as many as I could.
The first few years (around 80-81) I chased every blink I saw in the horizon and didn’t end up getting many at all. A few years later I had a make shift net tied to a stick, a jar and a whole strategy.
A little later than that, I guess around 8-9 years old I was just happy if one landed on me. The thrill of catching them was gone, I enjoyed and appreciated just being in the moment.
This memory reminds me a lot of the problems I see in our space. Many still can’t see the forest through the trees. We (Content Marketers) often rush out to capture customers based on signal and demand without fully understanding the journey. In the new content ecosystem tactics and keywords will get you traffic, but it’s not going to win over and convert customers - and it certainly won’t create loyal brand advocates. People’s attention is short and fleeting, like the light from a firefly.
This is the part of the presentation where I stop and rant. There are some ideas out there that I have some opinions on that may not be popular, but it’s the way I see it.
Stop trying to force your visitors into a funnel. This is part of a mindset of marketers who often push content that serves a sales goal over the goals of the users. Help your customers / visitors to a conversion, stop trying to push them there.
Start giving your website visitors the type of content they need exactly when and where they need it. Never lose site of the why. When you look closely at the kind of signals that are winning in the search engines right now, user experience is at the forefront. We are seeing the principles of user experience, content strategy and information architecture become more important to content marketers because it’s quickly becoming a necessity to get results. Put the user first, and more often than not, you will come out ahead.
Ben Chestnut Co-Founder of MailChimp had a great post last year called Why I Hate Funnels that I really agree with. Basically he explains the traditional sales funnel is broken. This just does not work anymore
The reality is, you prove your value over and over by actually giving a shit about your customers and if you are lucky, they repeat their business and refer a few friends. Some do, some don’t even when you do everything right. I‘ve heard a lot of Content Marketers talk a lot about mapping content to each stage of the sales funnel. And while this can be effective in league with behavorial targeting and marketing automation, the actual experience of the end user / customer is often muddled with sales speak and crap they don‘t want / need.
From awareness, interest, consideration, conversion and advocacy, map each channel along your customers / users journey and create content that is consistent across all of them. There is a lot of disjointed messaging brands push out, creating mixed signals and frankencontent in the process. Adopting a unified content strategy across all channels would serve them and their customers / users well.
JOE PULIZZI - Content Marketing Institute To this day, social and articles are the most used tactics. There is a lot of opportunity out there through other channels besides social and blog content. When you do an audience analysis, document the channels, communities and platforms the target audience frequents. Take that into consideration when you are developing your editorial strategy.
I see a lot of absolutes in B2B content marketing. Maybe it’s just because I’m from Texas and businesses there are just super old school, but there is a ton of opportunity in understanding what makes a B2B prospect tick beyond just firmographic and role based data. Demographic and pyschographic data are a prime opportunity to genuinely connect with them on a personal level. This is instrumental in building advocacy as well.
According to CMI (JOE PULIZZI - Content Marketing Institute ), 49% of B2C Marketers don’t even have a documented content strategy. I know everyone is all about Content Strategy these days, but just a few years back most Content Marketers didn’t even know it was a discipline and half of them to this day still don’t have one. It’s no wonder a lot of Content Marketing fails.
They also published a criteria for measuring content marketing success (JOE PULIZZI - Content Marketing Institute), with 56% of respondents citing web traffic as the biggest KPI and Direct Sales and Lead Quality close behind. I don’t think web traffic is a coincidence. Conversions / sales and quality leads are the result of good content. Truly good content gets web traffic plain and simple.
Great, how do I do all that though?
Start with documenting your content strategy. You can download the Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet I created to help you get started.
About Me For the last decade I have been creating digital marketing solutions for businesses large and small. In that time I’ve learned a few things about the governance and creation of web content and how that content ties into other marketing channels. Content is often swept aside as the last part of a project, when I believe it should be one of the very first things addressed.
Catching Fireflies: Measuring The Value of Content
1. Content ROI Calculator by Ann Rockley – Link
2. Why Content Marketing Fails by Rand Fishkin – Link
3. The 4 Types of Content Metrics That Matter by Jay Baer– Link
4. Data Sets You Free: Analytics for Content Strategy by Jonathon Colman – Link
5. Content ROI Is a Myth by Kieran Flanagan– Link
6. How to Prove ROI Potential of Content Campaigns by Mike King – Link
7. Prove Content Marketing ROI with a Performance Scorecard by Taylor Radey– Link
8. 4 Keys to Calculating ROI for Content Marketers by Sam Petulla – Link
9. Six case studies that prove content marketing ROI isn't fictional by David Moth – Link
10. Measure the ROI of a Content Marketing Strategy by Shane Snow – Link
11. Measuring and Increasing the ROI of Your Content Resources by Mike Pantoliano – Link
12. Prove Content Marketing ROI to Your CEO: 4 Values to Communicate by DJ Miller – Link
13. 11 Must-Measure KPIs for Content Marketing Success by Dave Snyder – Link
14. How to Get SEO ROI From Content Marketing by Ross Hudgens– Link
15. Content to Commerce: Engaging Consumers Across Paid, Owned & Earned by Avi Savar– Link
Founder & CEO of AXZM
phone: (214) 272-9109
For the last decade I have been creating
digital marketing solutions for businesses
large and small. In that time I’ve learned a
few things about the governance and
creation of web content and how that
content ties into other marketing channels.
Content is often swept aside as the last
part of a project, when I believe it should
be one of the very first things addressed.