Marketers today have a lot to answer for. You’re still responsible for engaging a target audience. On top of that, you’re now expected to convert prospects, drive revenue, and retain business with content that’s relevant to your buyer personas and aligned to sales stages. And of course you need to track all of these content marketing analytics.
As the demand for this kind of fresh, buyer-centric content increases, it’s imperative to deliver quality material at a fast clip. But often, visibility into the content production process is cloudy at best.
External performance metrics (traffic, leads, revenue) are certainly a hot topic—and rightly so.
But what about internal production metrics? How quickly should your team produce an eBook? A blog post? Are you producing a variety of content? Are you meeting needs at every stage of the funnel? Where are the bottlenecks?
Our content team uses analytics and insights from within the Kapost platform to answer some of these questions. While every organization differs slightly, here are four ways to evaluate—and optimize—your content production process.
1. Your Campaign Timetable
At Kapost, we plan out our content campaigns, and all their supporting assets, at the beginning of each quarter. That means a blog post, which might not be scheduled to publish for several weeks, will technically be “in production” as soon as we as soon as we assign an author to that post. So the average production cycle for one of our blog posts seems quite long—about 23 days.
Does that mean it took us 23 days to write it? No. The longer time period can be attributed to the campaign lifecycle. In a lot of ways, a longer production period can signal a well-thought-out content strategy. If our production timetable was 5 days, that might suggest we aren’t putting a whole lot of thought into what we’re blogging about and why. A production cycle of of 47 days, however, would raise a red flag for us.
Identify your campaign timetable to set a benchmark for the assets associated with that campaign.
2. On-Time Delivery Rate
A great way to identify bottlenecks and/or unrealistic deadlines is to track how often your team is meeting them. If your production analytics reveal that your team is consistently missing deadlines for blog posts, for instance, they might have too many assignments. If one person is consistently missing deadlines for blog posts, they might need a kick in the butt. Either way, understanding, at a large scale, how often your content is getting out the door on time is critical for future content planning.
3. Persona Breakdown
You’ve spent a lot of time and energy creating buyer personas. These represent the people you’re creating content for. As your readers, you need to keep them top of mind at all times. Every piece of content you create should speak to one of them.
You may think you’re doing a great job meeting the needs of all of your buyer personas, but do you know for sure? To find out, track it. Identify the users you’ve written for over the past quarter. You might find that you’re favoring the “Jennifer” persona over the “Gary” persona. Or that you haven’t created one piece of content for “Michelle.”
To ensure you’re meeting your buyer needs at every stage of the funnel, you need to track what content you’re creating for whom.
4. Content Types
In addition to creating content for a variety of personas, you also need to keep an eye on creating a variety of content types. If you look back over the past quarter and all you’ve developed are blog posts, you’ve got a problem. Your content strategy should include a mix of content types from videos, webinars, and presentations to blog posts, eBooks, and whitepapers. What content type you use depends on what content theme you’re covering, of course, but if you’re delivering the same type over and over again, your readers will get bored or frustrated and move on.
Production metrics are essential to understanding your team’s productivity challenges and opportunities. Make tracking them a priority and your deadlines will be more realistic, bottlenecks will be addressed, and you’ll deliver a variety of useful, relevant content to each of you buyer personas on their path to conversion.