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Creating The Perfect Content Marketing Dashboard

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.


The dashboard. It’s something we’re used to seeing, whether as a casual blogger or a marketer at a midsized organization. For the latter, to have an advantage over larger competitors it’s essential to have a dashboard interface that is well-organized, intuitive and contains relevant resources.

After all, the dashboard is supposed to help you analyze data and execute different actions like publishing, inventory editing, and marketing strategies. Having said that, how do you identify what to track so that you will capture data that is actionable?

All Seeing Marketing Metrics

Erin Robbins O’BrienCOO of GinzaMetrics, believes in taking an omniscient approach and prefers to track everything her dashboard can offer her. At a granular level, she looks at a lot of different data. She suggests that if your company has the resources, you should have business intelligence (BI) tools that will allow you to approach the workflow in both macro and micro vantage points.

A good dashboard will allow you to create BI spreadsheets that include metrics for everything that you send out. For instance, if you’re doing content marketing, at a meta level, the metrics would detail the title of the piece. — what campaign it was tied to, and what channel was used and was it  via email, Facebook, Twitter, and/or AdWords ad?

Channels Vs. Campaign

You need the ability to slice and dice the data different ways to get the whole picture, noted Erin. That means that the one thing you can do is look at and segment your data and say: Okay, I can segment activity by campaign because everything has campaign tags. I can track activities by channel, or ask how are channels performing against other channels? I could segment these by audience: Was it to existing customers? Was it to early stage prospects? Was it to qualified leads?

What are a few common meaningful metrics that are good for tracking content marketing effectiveness? One of the easiest to track is traffic. It doesn’t take complex analytical processes to gain insight as to how decrease or increase in website traffic correlates with changes in revenue. To put it simply, if you get 1,000 viewers and it amounts to one sale, and then 2,000 views equals two sales, then you’ll know that optimizing your website for more views could lead to increased revenue.

Uncommon Marketing Metrics

Of course, each company and their respective operations is different, and so the particular metrics to focus on should correspond with those specifics. There are also uncommon metrics that marketers should track to gain insight into their content marketing efficiency. For example, analyzing share of voice (how often your brand is mentioned in context to a product issue vs. a competing brand), or keyword phrases used to find your website. Those offer valuable insight. You can spot trends in traffic and views on your website and how that relates to revenues.

In the end, there is no such thing as a perfect dashboard, because it’s not a static thing—it constantly evolves. However, Erin, suggests that your dashboard should have “the ability to view all of your marketing channels in one place.” This will allow you see the big picture and the fine details all in one platform.

Pro Tip: Super-Charge Your Dashboard

Often large companies have too much data and fail to connect it to metrics that the C-level track. Here is when a midsized company can pull a full-on Ninja move. Being more agile you can make your dashboard a smart-bomb by asking a few questions. Ask your CEO and CFO what are import metrics for them. Then integrate those into your dashboard. Now, reports have the data that’s important to them, and you look like a rockstar.

This is from an interview I had with Erin Robbins O’Brien, COO of GinzaMetrics. You can watch the complete interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E37vlsKrqaY

This article was written by Steve Farnsworth.

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