Compelling brand stories are the heart and soul of successful marketing strategies. But unfortunately, the brand stories in today’s marketplace often contain more fiction than fact. Instead of accurately connecting targeted messages to granular audience segments, the content communicates vague or even wishful dimensions of the brand to an undifferentiated audience base.
As marketing pros, we can do a better job telling brand stories. In fact, we have to do a better job if we’re going to have any chance of creating and distributing the kind of content that produces actual business outcomes for our clients and companies. And for most digital and content marketers, that means finding ways to incorporate underutilized metrics and analytics into our storytelling routines.
Expanding the Use of Metrics and Analytics in Brand Storytelling
Most marketers pay attention to basic measurements like site visits and pageviews. But let’s face it—simple measurements only go so far. Ideally, you need visibility to insights that inform the entire storytelling process, from the selection of topics to content strategies that increase leads and conversions.
By expanding the range of metrics and analytics that inform content creation, you can improve your ability to reach specific audience segments with specific dimensions of your brand story and increase your content’s ability to generate real world business outcomes.
· Time on Page – If you’re not looking at Time on Page, you’re missing a major piece of the brand storytelling puzzle. Visitors linger longer on pages that are useful and relevant, and quickly exit pages that offer no value. Similarly, Time on Site (combined with the number of pageviews) can show whether or not visitors were inspired to learn more about the brand and its products or services.
· Content Downloads – In the B2B sector, downloads are important because they represent a critical step on the conversion journey. When visitors download case studies, white papers, infographics or other materials, it’s a sign that they are interested enough to provide contact information to the sales team. By connecting downloads to originating pageviews, you can take it a step further and create profiles of the types of people who are engaging with various aspects of your brand stories.
· Conversions (Leads) – Your ability to attach bottom line outcomes to brand storytelling can be improved by monitoring the number of conversions or leads that result from specific pieces of content. Although not every piece of content is designed to convert site visitors (some are designed to move the visitor to a different point on the conversion path), conversions and leads demonstrate the business impact of brand storytelling and can be critical in building a business case for content marketing investments.
· Social Reach – Great storytelling doesn’t just connect with site visitors—it inspires them to share brand stories with their social networks. From a content marketing angle, social shares indicate “stickiness”, since site visitors only share content they find interesting, useful and compelling.
· Click-Through Rates – Online advertising funnels traffic to content and creates opportunities for remarketing, sending display ads to site users after they have exited the website. By evaluating the click-through and conversion rates of content-promoting ads and remarketing ads, you can gain additional ins
ights about content performance.
Metrics and analytics are often intimidating to content creators. But that’s not a good enough reason to avoid the use of measurements in your brand storytelling. With just a little extra effort, deeper engagement with metrics and analytics can dramatically improve your ability to tell the right stories to the right people—yielding big results for your brand.