Generating great content and providing people with a GPS tracker to find it is only part of a successful content marketing strategy. The final piece is measuring whether the content has value to viewers.
Conversion rates measure when a viewer becomes a buyer and can inform you about the cost of customer acquisition. Testing for a budding consumer relationship requires other tools.
Content marketing without measurement isn't a strategy. But not measuring a range of values for content marketing may result in missed opportunities.
For example, content that is shared is a measure of that content's value in the eyes of a viewer. Sharing content isn't the same as buying a product, but it is a major clue about value and usefulness of information. On social media platforms, shares afford opportunities to ask why shared information is of value – or, better yet, to see the reaction of people who receive the content and comment.
This kind of measurement may get a snarky comment from Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, but it is a rich stream of frontline consumer feedback. They are voting with their clicks on whether content is worth viewing and sharing.
Younger viewers, who constantly look for free, may be willing to give their email in return for content they find of interest. The exchange is its own message, but the greater opportunity is to use collected addresses as a sounding board to test and refine your content marketing menu.
Comments in response to your content provide a top-of-head reaction, which can reveal a lot about first impressions from how your content is packaged and illustrated to whether it is useful and relevant. In this regards, comments are like an open-ended focus group where tone and inflection matter as much as the vocabulary of what is said.
Great artists may afford themselves the luxury of producing masterpieces and then launching them into the universe. Content marketers don't have that luxury. They need to know as much as possible about their target audience to inform content generation, make sure that content is viewed and measure whether it hits the mark.
Failing to measure your content's value and relevance is as pointless as writing copy for a newspaper you never publish. Measurement is what turns content generation into marketing.