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Why Most Measurements Don’t Matter

About a decade ago, content marketing grabbed a double-edged sword: Get as much cheap and plentiful data as possible. Cloud storage meant seemingly unlimited space and affordable tech software-as-a-service expanded to all our needs. The data wells could go as deep as our imagination. Even a modest startup could have a buffet of measurements.

Now we could track everything!

In retrospect, the issue was that we never decided what was worth tracking. Instead, we took in as many metrics as possible. And we never looked back. As the modern saying goes, a company’s priorities are based on what is measured. If this theory is true, then the average data-focused company has no clear vision.

And, as A.I. blooms, Moore’s Law continues, and other factors exponentially grow, the problem is only going to get worse. The positive side is that we can actually decide what measurements matter – once we realize we actually have a choice.

The two decisions are choosing what is a valuable metric and if it is possible to consistently measure that valuable metric.

A valuable metric is tied directly to the intention of your content marketing or, more broadly, to your company. We are so used to measuring everything that we aren’t used to questioning why we are measuring something. And, by questioning why we measure, we are effectively asking what we should  have already explored: What are we looking to learn from all the data we’re collecting?

The challenge is we may want to measure something, but we may not have the resources, structure, or culture to measure it effectively. Yes, getting metrics is cheaper than ever, but do you have a qualified person or team that can analyze the data and actually draw a conclusion from it? Is your business big enough to have a dedicated person to parse it? Or is your vision even wide enough to really do something with whatever insights you find?

And the biggest mistake we make is believing being a data-led company comes from a one-and-done data-gathering experience. Data evolves. Data tells different stories over time. Most importantly, data requires perspective – something you can only get by constantly measuring. Here at Onside Content, we help clients do consistent checks on what conversations are happening, who is leading the conversations, and where conversations are dying to be built.

Consistency is always required.

Data degrades over time. The bigger gaps between measurement, the less accurate the insight you receive. The more you lean on degraded data, the more likely you’ll be making poorly-informed decisions.

Instead, look at it as a tight cycle: Choose the metric that aligns with your content marketing compass, watch it closely, and course correct based on outcomes over time. And partner with someone who can help you with the process.

Otherwise, it’s too easy to drown in the data wells you’ve built.

Ready to upgrade your content marketing? Onside Content is your bridge between data-led insights and the untapped audience you seek. Using our proprietary technology, we can help you find, create, and lead the smartest conversations in your space with a bespoke content strategy. We’d love to support! Drop us an email at info@onsidecontent.com.

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