Metrics, Analytics and Insights: A Content Creator’s Guide to Finding Meaning in Measurements
By Miriam Bookey, CSO .
Today, measuring the success of our content isn’t an extension of our job.
It is our job.
As a marketing strategist, I work closely with our content creators to develop a more metrics-driven mindset — to embrace that the artistic value of our content is accountable to concrete, data-driven goals.
For an agency, the logic is two-fold: Not only does this help us help clients define and achieve their goals, it also drives new business development — we can showcase success stories with measurable results.
So, how can you make metrics a pointed part of your practice and a shared effort among your entire team? Start with my “Six Be’s.”
The Six Be’s of Measurement
- Be intentional. Establish a practice around measurement. Every content strategy should not only identify clear KPIs (key performance indicators) such as engagement rate, growth, etc., but also how you’ll be measuring your KPIs. For example, for your social content, will you be using a social tool, reviewing insights directly on the platform, or will you be manually measuring your indicators? How often will you be measuring them, and what will each person’s role in that process be? Consistency is key, so consider holding recurring meetings that focus solely on analyzing metrics and noting key insights.
- Be inclusive. Even if your team includes a strategist who focuses entirely on metrics, make an effort to include your entire team in the conversation. This allows content creators, community managers, editorial managers and other team members to help paint the bigger picture, pinpointing challenges and solutions you might otherwise miss. This will also help instill a metrics-driven mentality across the board, ensuring that each member of the team is working towards a shared goal.
- Be consistent. Don’t wait until after a campaign or a quarter to review your numbers. Look at them weekly or even daily, jotting down any thoughts on content performance. Know that any consistencies among outliers are key to understanding, revising, and ultimately improving the framework of your initial strategy. If you can explain why these outliers exist, you’re in a better position to replicate positive deviations — and avoid the negative ones.
- Be insightful. It’s not just about the numbers — it’s about how you use those numbers to refine your strategy. Apply each set to some high level — and sometimes painfully honest — thinking. What would you differently if you could do it all over again? Don’t avoid the hard questions. Remember: Not every metric will point to a pattern, and not every pattern will require a change in strategy — but all the numbers matter. The trick is to isolate the most important takeaways and integrate them into your practice.
- Be flexible. No strategy is perfect, and that’s okay. Don’t hesitate to use what you’ve learned — however unexpected — to amend your strategy accordingly. Any drastic deviations from the “game plan” may feel uncomfortable, but your purpose takes precedence over comfort, and that purpose is to create content that your client and your digital community really, truly appreciates.
- Be realistic. Sometimes, no matter what we measure or how often we measure it, it simply isn’t going to be clear why the content is or isn’t working. This is a reflection of the greater world; not every failure will be easily understood — every success replicable.
Follow the six Be’s, and the transparency of your methodology will help you grow deeper trust with your clients.
Here’s why. If your content doesn’t perform as expected, the stakeholders aren’t in the dark. Clients know that you’re on top of it, and they know you’ll be forthright — and proactive — on the steps you’ll take to make changes for the better.