All the More Reason for a Content Marketing Index

I just read this article at Advertising Age … Marketers Still Struggling To Get Results From Content Marketing

My distillations of the key points that were made are …
  • only 14% of marketers told Forrester that their content marketing efforts were effective
  • 80% of the companies’ content being produced was primarily focused on themselves
  • hiring journalists can help improve content quality
I love articles like this. They amplify the need for process. There is no way a content marketing effort will ever be successful if tactical issues are the focus of attention.

Adhering to the content marketing lifecycle process is vital. Focus on improving the process and inherently it will improve the results. Hence, the Content Marketing Index (CMI) work that Batavia Research is doing. The CMI looks at the various steps of the lifecycle and makes pin-point and actionable assessments.

More specifically, the CMI is a data-driven, evidence-based, social business barometer of a company’s social media and content marketing activities. It is based on the principle that the manifestations of an organization’s content marketing lifecycle activities can be observed, assessed and measured.

So let’s illuminate each key point visa-via the content marketing lifecycle and CMI. As a reference, the basis for the lifecycle is …
7-Step-CM-Lifecycle
The 2nd point made in the article was that 80% of the companies’ content being produced was primarily focused on themselves. The second stage of the lifecycle is strategy and planning. A cornerstone of this is to clearly understand your audience in the context of who, what, where and when.

If a content marketing team were to characterize their audience via this approach, they would definitely not be producing content about themselves. They would be laser focused on the needs and/or concerns of their target audience.

The fourth stage of the lifecycle is “Produce”. I would argue that a good writing/researcher can speak to the needs and/or concerns of their target audience as well as a journalist. Regardless, the fact that Forrester made this point stresses the need to not relegate the writing to “just anyone”.

And finally, returning the 1st point made that pointed out only 14% content marketing efforts were effective. Here is where the Content Marketing Index would serve as an important tool to immediately illuminate the how well an organization is executing on the content marketing lifecycle of activities.

Leverage the content marketing lifecycle. Measure the performance of each phase. Repeat … and I would bet that regardless of budget and resources, the “satisfaction” levels would be much better than 14%.