Defining, Measuring And Standardising Content Success

As 2018 comes to an end, we have seen an extensive adoption of content marketing tools and strategies from marketers globally. In 2009, content marketing strategies generated revenues of over $87.22 billion, and in 2019 it is expected to generate more than $300 billion in revenue. It is no wonder why media and clients are channeling most of their marketing budget towards creating, publishing and promoting content.

Enter the key phrase “Content Marketing” in Google Trends and there is no denying this industry has been rapidly growing since 2016.

With this fast becoming the new standard, comes a rise of agencies providing content marketing services and an increase popularity in influencer marketing. While pretty much every business and marketers understands the value of content marketing they are still unclear and constantly wondering “What is the best way to measure the marketing effects of a content?”

Often known as “Engagement” metrics – shares, likes, comments, sentiments, page views and downloads is most-used to tell whether you’re driving traffic to your content. However, while these numbers might look pretty appealing on paper and display a sign of traction – sorry to disappoint but they are not a true indication of success and don’t actually translate into results.

This metrics are not qualitative and they don’t say anything about your campaigns conversion, it does not explain how users consumed your content or if they were even into it. While likes and views are great for increasing brand awareness, but if no one is actually reading the content, then what is the point?

To understand if people are engaging with your content and taking the right actions you will need analytics that will measure three important areas :

• Did users consume the content?
• Through which channel did they consume?
• What are their behaviours and preferences in relation to thecontent?

The answer to the above is simple track the metrics that matter.

To begin follow this 3-easy-steps :

STEP 1 : Characterise and identify the different classes of user behaviour

STEP 2 : Analyse their behaviour during content consumption and their reaction towards the content on social networks.

STEP 3 : Split them into two measuring categories which is “Engagement” and “Social Power”
What do we mean by Engagement?

1) time spent on content,
2) scroll depth
3) scroll speed
4) number of content read / viewed by one user

What do we mean by Social Power?

1) Types of social actions
2) number of social referrals
3) content virality – number of visits generated thanks to one share action
4) number of traffic generated from social media

Based on our research with user behaviour, our analysis shows highly engaging content has weaker social power, however, content with high social power generates moderate engagement.

In order to succeed in your content marketing efforts, it is important to have a clearly defined KPI – this is a major component in every analytics measurement plan. It all starts with understanding your goals and mapping them to a data-driven strategy.

A well defined analytics objective can provide crucial information to better understand not only how many people are looking at your content but also where they are coming from and how long they are they sticking around. 

That will give you a fair idea which distribution methods works best. Without this information, it is impossible to gauge its effectiveness.

If you want to maximise your campaign reach VIRALITY is an important indicator to look into. It simply means, identifying content that generates more than one visit per SHARE action.

Based on our research, some industries excel more in virality than others. So when you are planning to maximize your campaign REMEMBER reach is crucial.

Source: iSLAY, Content Virality by Category 1HY 2018,

The above study is an example of a bank that published a series of articles on financial portals and automotive portals on car leasing. The research shows that the average virality in automotive content is 140 times higher in comparison to financial content. There are, exceptions to this, such as information of the bank meltdown which generated a higher virality of 1526 ( one Share action drove 1526 new readers to the content ).

To have a complete picture, one should always look at Engagement KPI’s to understand further eg. Time spent on the content, scroll depth and scroll speed.

From our analysis, online users have a longer retention while reading content on financial portals. This is because such informational content requires focus and concentration on details. Such articles on car leasing published on this portal can help generate higher rates of engagement in return.

Real-time data provides the Bank with insights that helps to allocate marketing budget smartly and distribute content efficiently without having to waste on unnecessary resources.

Through this, you can define marketing goals for other industries and various types of campaigns, from those that build coverage to educational ones.


Be patient. Identify the KPIs that are most important to this effort, but develop a game plan that is flexible to the growth of your business. Over time, as you start to notice how well your updates perform, you’ll be able to establish rules for when it’s time to republish an article, what the article’s initial traffic should be, and what updates it requires to keep up with your audience’s demands. Remember, days of content marketing services without analytics and optimisation are over.