Backend content management and front-facing content experiences are two sides of a single coin. A well designed content experience presents users with a sense of structure, organization, and an intuitive, underlying logic. Content management, when done well, extends these functions beyond audiences, prospects, and customers, to internal teams in an organization. At least on a surface level, that’s the thought.
Investigating Content Management for Audiences with Data Science
But with data science, we’re trying to get rid of guessing games and validate our assumptions with data. So once again, I found myself in collaboration with our in-house data scientist, Sinan. (See here and here for previous collaborations. All errors in this post are solely mine.) Together, we investigated just this question:
When serving an identified audience with content, what does effective content management look like?
And naturally, the follow-up question:
How do you know that you’re serving that audience effectively?
Effective Content Management with Content Tagging
As mentioned, with effective content management, we’re talking about going beyond making content available for audiences. As marketers, we are making it effective for others internal to our organization to find and share relevant content for their conversations. We are adding on a layer of knowledge to serve human interests.
To examine content management done well, we turned our attention to the most common tool suited to do this: metadata through tags. Metadata is [information] that provides information about other data. It’s a quick, shorthand summary of what any given piece of content is about or best used as via keywords that are attached, hence ‘tagged,’ to items of content. So we looked at the data around tagging and its relation to views.
Consider the graph below:
The horizontal (x) axis shows the percentage of content that content marketers have tagged with keywords for internal use across teams. The vertical (y) axis shows the views per item.1,2 The trend line shows that the higher percentage of tagged content, the higher amount of views per item.
What this means is that companies making better use of their content have a habit of tagging their content—making it searchable, discoverable, and shareable by team members—leading to better results. By managing existing content better through keyworded tags,3 we empower teams by making it easier to arm themselves with it.
Integrations: A Landmark to Knowing You’re Owning the Journey
A good identifier that you’ve reached a stage of "marketing maturity" is when you've developed both an engaged audience and, likewise, have developed the technology stack to serve that audience. Let’s look at the association between whether a content marketer’s technology integrations have an effect on their views per page. Consider the graph below:
In this vertical bar graph, the left column (red) represents Uberflip Hubs with an integration into one or more third-party applications. The right column (blue) represents Hubs with no integration. The vertical (y) axis shows the number of visits per page. The taller column shows that having an integration is associated with a higher amount of views per page.
We can take the analysis a step further beyond averages (previous graph), where we break down the integrations vs. non-integrations across percentiles. Here, we break out the companies with lower and higher views per page in 10th, 25h, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles.
The correlation between having an integrated technology stack (integrations) and views holds at every level, where content marketers with an integrated stack receive more views. The content marketers who integrate content with their technology stack tend to have reached a sufficient scale that correlates with having a larger amount of views.
Summing-up Why Content Tagging and Integrations Matter:
From this analysis, we can recap a few key takeaways:
Content that is managed and shared across teams via frequent tagging is correlated with a higher number of views.
Marketers with an integrated technology stack tend to have reached a sufficient scale that also correlates with having a greater amount of views.
You know you’re on your way to owning the marketing journey when you manage content across your organization with tags and keywords and when you have the martech stack to deliver great content experiences for your customers.
For more data-driven tips on owning the journey in content marketing, complete the interactive assessment, Are You a Marketing Tourist, or Explorer? and receive a 55-page field guide on becoming an even better content marketer.
1“Views per item” is a natural way to measure content performance that allows a comparison between companies of different content marketing size. In a way, it answers the question “given the content you already have, how large an audience can you get out of this content?”. It is, therefore, a good measure of efficiency - how well do you use your content
2Distributed across a logarithmic scale. For example, 102 equals 100.
3Uberflip tags allow users to label or “tag” content at the “Item” level with specific descriptions, keywords, or more general designations (like “Enterprise Customer” or “Tier 2 Account”). You can then apply Smart Filters to automatically populate specified Marketing Streams with tagged content, or simply make it easier for other team members to identify content destined for a specific account or prospect.