Most companies collect and analyse their own content metrics, but the applicability of this data is usually questionable at best. The reasons are two-fold: 1) the data are acquired from  unreliable sources and are often analysed incorrectly (to suit one’s needs) and 2) internal data in isolation are meaningless unless contextualised against external market data.  The rise of using qualitative and quantitative external data is well documented in a report released earlier this month by McKinsey Technology (Harnessing the power of external data). However, there are a few obstacles to incorporating such data sources into your content marketing strategy:

  1. Data source reliability/accuracy
  2. System analysis and reporting
  3. Deliverables and actions
  4. Measurability

Harnessing the right data:

With an abundance of external data sources at one’s disposal, it is wise to conduct a full-scale in-depth independent review before choosing which you will use for your analyses. You must ensure each source is reliable and the data gathered provides the value proposition you aim for. At IMMediate, we have developed our own unique content data measuring tool, the Engagement Index (Ei).  The data are collected from a variety of sources, as relying on a single external source introduces risks. What, for instance, would have happened to your accuracy had your system relied on news data from Facebook in Australia? Our index allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your own content, that of your competitors and the greater landscape (industry/marketplace) you operate in. Constant, automated monitoring – alongside regular human supervision – enable the platform to run at an 85% + accuracy level.

Data capturing and reporting:

Once the right sources have been identified and data are being collected, the information needs to be processed on a well-structured operational platform (automatically and/or manually). After all, a data set is only worth as much as you invest into analysing it. Through the IMMediate platform, you can set up a number of customised reporting functions that provide daily, weekly or monthly insights from a bi-polar perspective. This will drive your action plan, ensuring it is based on the best internal and external data. The result: a much higher rate of engagement.

Organisational buy-in and support:

Too often, we find ourselves faced with organizational inactivity despite a clear road map to success. Organisations that embrace the concept of internal and external data harvesting, and know how to analyse it and identify opportunities, often lack the resources or conviction to act upon these insights. Or they require such lengthy approval times that opportunities may fade away before being capitalised on. If your organisation is one of the few that does a good job of gathering data and identifying ways to exploit it, ensure there is an agreed-upon plan for quick action.

Measurement and transparency:

Marketers are masters at manipulating data to drive their pre-existing content agendas. But the more the data gets massaged to suit short-term requirements, the more the long-term goals get misaligned and the overall strategy gets disorganised. It’s vital to remain transparent and true to the numbers. If a particular content pillar or type of asset is not performing, leave it and move on. But never delete, as it may become relevant at a later date. As the data collection process becomes more sophisticated, the need for accuracy and transparency becomes more important. Measure and report as accurately and honestly as possible!

Data collection and analysis helps marketers learn about their customers with targeted precision, from the articles they consume to their favourite ice cream flavours. Data are ubiquitous, essential and beneficial – except when they are not. With growing concerns about security risks, privacy and regulation, the benefits offered by machine learning and artificial intelligence can be erased if these key factors are not addressed at the outset.

Innovative platforms such as IMMediate only prove useful and effective with the right amount of support and organisational buy-in.

For further information, please contact use here.