The job of marketing professionals is an exciting one. The goal is pretty straightforward: you need to find a way to effectively communicate the value of what you are trying to sell so that your target group truly understands it. In addition, you need to be there for your audience and focus on being helpful and solving problems, instead of just making a profit.
Freelance marketers that juggle many different clients have almost certainly found themselves in a situation where whatever they’re marketing isn’t quite A-quality at one time or another. In situations like these, extra creativity is required, as well as a particular focus on the product benefits.
But when you’re working for a product company and you truly believe in its mission and its product’s value, it’s a lot easier to stand behind it and advocate for it (and to sleep at night, too, frankly).
Today, our Head of Content, Goran Mirkovic, and our Senior Content Marketing Specialist, Mia Comic, share how that feels.
Using and advocating for Content Insights on a daily level
Content Insights is the next-generation content analytics solution that relies on complex metrics to describe reader behavior and help publishers and content professionals to understand the way their content is performing and resonating with the audience.
While it’s what we sell, we also practice what we preach, so it’s also the solution our marketing team uses in order to measure content performance on our company blog.
“What I like the most about this software is the depth and precision of available insights, and the ease with which you can access them and understand them. I don’t have to dig through masses of raw data and waste my time trying to make some sense of it all: actionable insights are right there, in the app.
Also, like many people, I too am a sucker for pretty things – so I really love the design of the interface which is not only logical and intuitive, but also visually pleasing. However, Content Insights’ functionality and the value it brings to me is its greatest forte”, says Mia Comic, our Senior Content Marketing Specialist.
Goran Mirkovic, our Head of Content agrees:
“As a content marketing professional, it’s important for me to truly comprehend how the content I produce is performing and whether or not it serves its purpose; especially during content campaigns.
Thanks to the algorithm Content Performance Indicator (CPI), I can easily see the CPI score of articles, authors, topics, and sections, and all that through three different behavioral models: engagement, exposure, and loyalty.
CPI score is always presented in a single number and can fall anywhere between 0 and 1000, where 500 is considered to be the baseline for the website that uses the analytics, and anything above 900 is considered as exceptional performance.”
First encounter with behavioral metrics
Both Mia and Goran have experience with various different clients and they’ve used Google Analytics for reporting content performance.
“Before discovering Content Insights, I was using Google Analytics and swore by it. Google Analytics is a go-to tool for many content marketers who serve different clients or work within companies, for a single brand. Having access to the GA account was the key to tracking conversions and monitoring content performance”, says Goran.
“Yes, many brands tend to use Google Analytics by default since it is free and a ‘good-enough’ solution for them,” says Mia.
“Understanding how Content Insights works was a revelation to me as I didn’t think it was possible to actually quantify human behavior like this. In addition, you can also explore other behavior metrics such as Article Reads, Read Depth, Page Depth, and Attention Time, and measure your audience behavior with great precision.”
Google Analytics and the gaps it doesn’t cover
When Mia started learning more about data and various analytics tools, she was a bit shocked to see the many gaps Google Analytics doesn’t cover:
“Google Analytics and many other web and content analytics solutions use only simple metrics to evaluate performance. Take Pageviews for instance. In the past, my colleagues and I treated this metric as an engagement metric, along with Time on Page. So, when assessing the performance of a certain article, I would look at Pageviews, Time on Page, and Bounce rate (the lower, the better).
I thought a lot of pageviews means a lot of people read my content, while great time spent on page meant they were engaged. But boy, I was wrong.”
“I agree with Mia. Many content marketers are so focused on the results that they unknowingly oversimplify human behavior or they believe engagement is such an easy thing to hack. Alas, it is not the case”, Goran explains.
“You see, Pageviews is a metric that might as well be called Page-Loads since it doesn’t show the number of people who viewed the page, but the number of times the page was loaded in the browser. This includes pages that were opened and instantly closed or left open in the tab. Pageviews get triggered regardless of whether or not there is an actual person behind the screen. So, have people read your content? Maybe, maybe not. You can’t really tell.
Same goes for Time on Page. The metric measures the amount of time the page was left open in the browser. So, if a person opens up an article and leaves it there without ever reading the content, Google Analytics will record this as time spent on page.”
The above-mentioned metrics are just an example of simple metrics that are insufficient for measuring complex things such as reader behavior. But, as Mia explains, people rarely dig this deep when examining their content performance:
“They don’t question things when they see something like “Audience Report” or “Behavior Report” in Google Analytics; they simply believe what they see and they try to make the best of the available data. When you educate yourself more in the field of data science and analytics, you can see how damaging data discrepancies and the above-mentioned gaps and guesses can be for your business.”
Segmentation and other useful features make our work easier
“The first time I used Content Insights, I felt segmentation was the feature that’s missing. When you think about it, almost every analytics tool has segmentation. But, I am not a mathematician nor a data engineer, just an end-user. It wasn’t until later that I understood that segmentation took some time to be built and tested properly, especially because the way algorithm calculates and weighs metrics had to be updated,” Mia explains.
“Well, I would say it was worth the wait, since now this unique segmentation available in the app enables users to actually see the value different channels bring, not just the amount of traffic they generate,” says Goran.
“For instance, if you want to see the value Facebook brings to your publication as a traffic source, you could simply select your time period and apply segmentation filters: Content Insights will recalculate CPI values on the fly and you will see how valuable Facebook is to your publication in terms of engagement, exposure, and loyalty. You can also dig deeper for more detailed insights on the performance of the observed segment.“
“This is something that cannot be found in other content analytics solutions. It’s possible to dig deeper, manipulate views more easily, and take advantage of the ability to examine data on a granular level”, says Mia.
Work is much more beautiful when you have a cause you’re fighting for
When Goran and Mia first arrived at Content Insights, the onboarding process was intense. They both transitioned from the SEO and digital marketing industry and stepped foot into the world of publishing:
“This was a new field for the both of us and a great challenge, too. Understanding the real problems of publishers and how Content Insights addresses these problems was of paramount importance to us”, says Mia.
“I knew Dejan, our CEO, from before, when we worked together on developing his satirical news portal,” says Goran. “Because we have that history I was certain that Content Insights would become something of great quality and significance for the media sector. And I wasn’t wrong.”
“Earning money from content in the internet era is quite a challenge. When publishers moved their operations to the digital arena, it was hard to find a sustainable business model. It still is. This is why we have seen such a rise in clickbait articles because this type of content was specifically designed to attract pageviews and increase ad revenue. However, this meant publishers were in danger of burning the village in order to save it. If there was no quality, then the purpose of their profession was in question”, says Mia.
Goran had a few things to add here: “Exactly. But with a data-driven approach and actual insights from content intelligence tools, publishers can better understand the results they are creating and embrace strategic thinking. The fact that we saw this work in practice is why we advocate Content Insights wherever we go.”
“And it’s also why Monday mornings don’t suck anymore”, laughs Mia.