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6 Invaluable “Content Intelligence” Practices for Brands

If you work in marketing, you’ve probably seen the term “content intelligence” floating around on industry publications recently, such as in this Q&A by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).

Content intelligence is about making marketing decisions based on data and insights rather than intuition. Using the right tools and systems in analysing content performance is a fundamental aspect of this data-driven marketing approach.

Now, content intelligence isn’t just reserved for mega-brands with fancy artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics departments. As Colleen Jones, publisher of digital magazine Content Science Review points out, while AI has and continues to shape the content marketing space, it’s not a prerequisite for content intelligence.

Most brands and businesses capable of enlisting analytics and listening tools can begin implementing some content intelligence practices immediately. Here’s how to get started:

1. Perform regular content audits

According to a 2013 report by Sirius Decisions, an alarming 60 to 70 percent of the content created by B2B marketing departments today remains unused. This suggests most businesses aren’t auditing the creation and performance of their content adequately. Analysing the performance of each existing piece of content will allow you identify weaknesses and double-ups, helping you adjust and improve your content marketing strategy accordingly.

2. Upgrade your performance metrics

While metrics like web traffic, video views, social shares and subscribers can give an idea of how popular your content is, you need to dig deeper than this. Track content performance per marketing channel, measure time spent consuming content and, most importantly, determine the conversion rate per content piece by closely monitoring customers’ paths to purchase.

3. Calculate your content ROI

Like any other form of marketing, your content marketing efforts are effectively useless if not closely tied in with business KPIs and ROI forecasts. While tracking content marketing ROI isn’t an easy feat, there are a number of measures and data-driven tools you can implement to get a tangible idea of the financial returns your activities and campaigns are generating. 

4. Track competitors methodically

Are you actively tracking the content performance of your competitors? While it’s important to monitor the quality of their content, you need to analyse their performance based on numbers. When performing content audits, make sure you include competitor activity. Look beyond the content they’re sharing on social media channels or their website and audit their apps, livestreams, digital magazines and other content assets.

5. Analyse your content recall rate

In CMI’s “What is content intelligence?” post, Jordan Koene talks about the benefits of content recall, which is the idea of applying the principles of brand recall to content marketing. Monitor conversations online to find out who’s talking about your content and the sentiment it has generated, in numbers.

6. Invest in the right tools and software

The right tools and software should be an integral part of your content intelligence strategy. While free resources such as Google Analytics and Social Crawlytics will give you access to some valuable data, they won’t give you the full picture. Investing in the right mixture of specialist content and productivity tools will give you access to the data you need to drive your content marketing efforts in an efficient (and intelligent) way.

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