2018 Content Planning: Don’t Stare at the Dashboard, Look into the Horizon

It’s that wonderful time of the year: annual planning, when we’re forced to take a hard look at the past year’s performance and set ambitious – yet achievable – goals for ourselves and our department.  If you’ve had a successful year, anxiety starts to build on how to top it.  If you fell short of your goals, anxiety builds on how to redeem yourself. 

The good news: As you look into the horizon and try to create the best content strategy for your brand, we can help.  First, take a look the metrics your content generated over the past year.  Second, take a deeper dive into the numbers to discover what’s working, and why. 

Step 1: Metrics

First, it’s important to take a careful look at last year’s dashboard results during the goal setting process for the coming year.  Your internal audience (your leadership team) can understand the value your content brings to the business by generating click-throughs and other important performance metrics typically displayed on a results dashboard.  

It's also important to think of content characteristics while reviewing the content produced over the past year.  Examples include the content type (text, video of infographic), format ("how to" or interview format), content length (wordcount or time) and/or tone (upbeat or serious).  Step 2 explores how certain characteristics influence performance.    

Step 2:

When it comes to setting your content strategy, it's necessary to dissect the reasons WHY certain content performed better.  In other words, it's necessary to look beyond the dashboard and into how those characteristics identified during Step 1 are influencing (or sabotaging) success.  While metrics are important for measuring results and goal-setting, real time data is overrated when it comes to setting digital content strategy. 

Step 2 gets to the WHY behind content performance by finding correlations between the characteristics and performance metrics.  In other words, it’s impossible to say definitively that upbeat, educational video content under 60-seconds is guaranteed to be successful – but you can say (with confidence!) that there is solid statistical evidence that there is an X% higher correlation between click throughs and upbeat, educational videos and other content created. 

For brands that have the self-discipline to take a step back and take a strategic, analytical look at what’s working for their brand, they will be rewarded with metrics that will provide actionable insight into what is specifically working for their brand.      

Ready to fuel your content strategy with better insight into the factors driving content performance?  Contact us today for a free consultation.