Success control in content marketing: the one-eyed blind man.

Why do not companies invest in success control in content marketing? I want to start my blog post with a very striking parable:

You design a very nice flyer on which, say, you want to present your favorite recipes for your friends. After you put a lot of creativity and brains into the design, you are ready and give the command for printing. And that’s it. They do not care about your flyers anymore. You do not know if someone else takes it out of the printer and distributes it or if your lovingly designed recipes just end up in the trash! You’ve put valuable resources into this little recipe project, without checking whether your friends are interested and whether they like it. If in doubt, no one has read your prescriptions and you’ve wasted your time. But the really curious thing about our little story: you do this again and again!

Sounds absurd, but that’s exactly what the Digital Entrepreneurship Study 2015 of The Digital is about controlling the success of content marketing strategies in companies. Funds are to flow to integrate content marketing into the marketing strategies of the companies, but no funds should be invested in the success control.

Something is going wrong here!

On what fundamentals exactly do companies want to build their content marketing, if not over the traditional “trial and error” principle? Where would you like to start in order to optimize your strategies or to exclude ineffective ones? How do companies want to know what the target group likes? Or which way generates new leads, Facebook likes or actual sales? Is it the whitepaper or is it just the look behind the scenes? Or the last blog post on the corporate blog? Which platforms are suitable for the content and how often should they be made available and when? Nobody will know without adequate and continuous performance management!

Furthermore, the question arises on which basis these companies plan their content marketing campaigns? If you do not want to control if the target audience is attached to your ideas, then you may not even identify a target audience? Or what about the KPIs? Is there simply none? Why define content marketing metrics if you do not want to evaluate them to see them in a larger context? Success control in content marketing is mandatory!

The one-eyed among the blind

Anyway – it’s definitely not enough just to throw content into the ether! In order to be successful, content marketing also relies on the action-reaction principle. One could talk about a content marketing lifecycle that closes only when it’s clear what content marketing has brought the company. A successful content marketing lifecycle can be built by not simply starting, but by strategic content marketing, the goals set, operationalized and measurable and the Zielerreichungsgrad.

On the one hand, strategic content marketing consists of the content marketing strategy including all operationalized elements. On the other hand from operative content marketing, the practical implementation of the previously defined points in various content formats. This includes the ongoing provision and interpretation of analytical data and the readjustment when creating and promoting their own content. Successful content marketing is basically inconceivable without such performance management. Because it helps to find out what kind of needs the personas have and in what form they can be satisfied.

Basically, the result of the above-mentioned study is that all companies investing in continuous performance management will be a step ahead of the pass-the-buck!