You Ask, I Answer: Most Effective Content Modalities?

Donna asks, “How do you know which content modality (video, ebook, blog post) performs best?”

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Christopher Penn 0:31

In today’s episode, Donna asks, How do you know which modality which content modality like videos, ebooks, blog posts that are performed best? Well, the answer to this question depends on the amount of effort and governance and technical skill that you have.

And there’s three different answers.

So let’s go through these answers in order, the easiest way to make this determination for content that lives on your website.

And that’s what you’re measuring, is to look in Google Analytics.

If you have done a good job of setting up properly, and you have goals and goal values set up, then when you look inside Google Analytics, you can look at things like page value as a measure to see okay, how much economic value has any individual URL on your website, given that number is inferred Google Analytics does it with a particular type of machine learning, and will tell you very quickly what a URL is worth.

Now, if you’ve done a good job with your governance, meaning, you have a list of URLs, and you know what kinds of content types, they are like, this pile of URLs or blog posts, this type of pile is podcast cetera, then even in just Microsoft Excel, you could do a VLOOKUP, between the goals and goal values by page from Google Analytics, and the content types from your governance.

And very quickly classify which type of content has driven the most economic value, you can, if you want to get fancy do do the same thing with like Markov chain models and stuff to do a more thorough content attribution model.

But just that basic, as long as that data is there is good enough to get a sense of what content is or is not working.

So that’s, that’s number one.

Number two, is if you’re trying to measure the performance of content that is not on your site, such as YouTube, or a podcast in the Apple Store, or things like that, you have to use a more sophisticated model.

What you would need to do is export from Google Analytics, again, your sessions and goal completions and things by day, along with all the different source and medium combinations.

And then you would need day level data from all your media channels, like number of YouTube visits per day, number of YouTube likes per day, number of Facebook likes per day, number of Twitter likes per day, and so on and so forth.

And those would be by content types of videos, you post it on Instagram videos, you post it on YouTube videos, you post it on Tik Tok, and you’ll create this massive spreadsheet of all this different stuff.

And then you’ll pick an objective from that spreadsheet, could be Google Analytics conversions, could be sessions could be data further down the funnel if you have it.

And then using a statistical technique called multiple regression, you will have machines assist you in figuring out which combination of variables have the strongest mathematical correlation to the outcome that you’ve chosen.

So if you choose website traffic, for example, then it would look at all these different combinations and say this combination of variables indicates that there is a relationship between the activities and the content types by their metrics and the the outcome that you care about.

Christopher Penn 4:26

From then you have to build a testing plan, because you’ve established with that technique correlation, but you have not established causation, you cannot say for sure that these other variables cause an increase in the outcome you care about.

But if it says for example, that YouTube videos, views are highly correlated with the outcome you care about, then you could say, Okay, well, if I get more views by maybe running some ads, or just publishing more videos or trying different things on YouTube, if I get more views do I see a commensurate increase in the outcome I care about so much 50% More views? Do I get 50% more conversions? You would run that test over a period of time and then establish yet either yes, that’s true and that you can prove a causal relationship, or no, it’s just correlative, and there’s no causation or could even be reverse causation.

So that’s step two.

Step three requires no computational stuff.

But it does require a lot of effort.

And step three is very simple.

At every point of intake, ask people, How did you hear about us? Or what made you come in today or things like that.

And depending on the kind of business you have, that could be a fairly extensive effort.

It could mean things like cashiers asking that or front door greeters asking that and recording the answers and submitting them.

Now, obviously, if you’re an online business, it’s a lot easier because you can just put a field in a plain text field in a form says, what made you shop with us today or something like that? And then, in those answers, you’ve got to look inside and say, Okay, well, how often does YouTube show up? How often does a podcast show? How often does an e book show up? In those answers of how do you hear about us? If the answer is never for any of them, then you have a good sense that your various content modalities are not working? Right.

On the other hand, if you see that your YouTube series is half the time, then you know, that’s really working for us.

Let’s Let’s keep doing that.

The reason I put that one at the end is because it is a lot of effort.

And depending on the kind of business you have, it’s a lot of effort from a lot of people, right? Because even if you have an online portion to a brick and mortar store, the people who come in from the brick and mortar store may be behaving differently than the people who come in online.

So you can’t just use online data for a store that is both online and brick and mortar, you want to be asking across the company across the different touchpoints with the customer to understand, yes, this is this the effect these channels have all over, for example, someone could see your stuff online, say on Twitter, and react online.

Someone might see your stuff on YouTube.

And then the next time they’re out and about, they might visit your store.

And so that’d be a different audience.

It’s a different audience, that content modality would work differently for one group than the other.

And that’s why that third option, even though it seems simple, and is simple, it’s not easy.

It requires a lot of effort on your part to put the answers together.

But that’s how you determine content modalities and their effectiveness.

It’s it’s straightforward requires a lot of processing.

But the answers will help illuminate what you should do less and more of So great question.

Thanks for asking.


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