You Ask, I Answer: Qualitative and Quantitative Content Marketing Metrics?

Susan asks, “Which is better for measuring content marketing, qualitative or quantitative metrics?”

You Ask, I Answer: Qualitative and Quantitative Content Marketing Metrics?
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Christopher Penn 0:13

In today’s episode, Susan asks, which is better for measuring content marketing, qualitative or quantitative metrics?

Christopher Penn 0:25

It’s not really an either or it’s both you got to do both.

As a quick refresher, quantitative metrics, anything, it’s a number, anything is measured as a number, number of pageviews, number of clicks, number of conversions, and so on and so forth.

Percentage of new visitors, etc.

They’re all numbers.

qualitative metrics are anything is not a number, right? Where did this user come from? Where did they go? What kind of browser do they have? What kind of device? Are they on? non numeric things.

And what’s true in market research is also true in content marketing metrics.

And that is, there’s a cycle of measurement that you go through that is sort of iterative starting quantity, and then flipping the qualitative, then back to quantitative, and so on and so forth.

And that stems from the questions you ask.

So let’s walk through a real quick example.

Suppose you’re in your Google Analytics account, you’re looking at your blog, and you have all these metrics and dimensions, murmur, metrics and numbers, dimensions are not numbers.

Similar to qualitative, quantitative, to some degree, you would start probably with something quantitative, how many people run our block? Right? That’s a quantitative measurement, then you might ask a question.

Where did they come from? Right.

So now you’re looking at sources and mediums, campaigns, channel groupings, etc, very qualitative.

You might say, Well, how do we get more of organic search visitors? Now you’re starting to ask questions that will lean back towards the quantitative, right? What can we what tactics? Can you apply, go apply this tactics and measure their results? Did you by putting pictures of your dog in your content? Did you increase page retention time? Right? Did you increase the number of clicks or the scroll depth the page, and so on and so forth? In this endless loop between qualitative and quantitative? You wouldn’t? Probably not.

I was gonna say never, but there’s always an exception, you probably not pick one or the other, you would most likely be choosing metrics that better in either camp, right, some qualitative metrics, some quantitative metrics, and continuing to evolve.

And one of the most important qualitative metrics that goes substantially overlooked is is surveying.

You know, every time we go onto a set this little pop up on the website that says, you know, please take 30 seconds to answer some questions about your experience on our site, things like that.

That qualitative data, very often can lend a lot of insights into why people did the things they did.

Because one of the challenges of quantitative metrics is there is no, there is no why there is no explanation.

You can say how many abandoned shopping carts we had, but you don’t know why people abandon them unless you go and ask them right, there’s really no way to know that to know what somebody was thinking.

You may see decreases in organic search.

But you don’t know why is it because there’s less interest from the market broadly in your thing? Did you screw up your SEO? There’s no way to tell, again, that doing a lot of research the market research on the qualitative side? So to answer Susan’s question, it’s not really either, or, you’ve got to do both.

In that iterative, you know, in your yin yang sort of cycle that one gives rise to the other.

What makes that work, is that every time you come up with a finding an either one, it should spur an additional question, a new question to answer where you flip to the the other measurement.

So maybe you start with qualitative, maybe you do an email survey, and a bunch of people give you some good freeform responses, and say, Okay, let’s quantify this.

We’ve

Christopher Penn 4:32

clearly touched on a nerve.

We’ve gotten 10 responses back from on this newsletter, people saying, Oh, this is really valuable and impactful.

You know what the topic is? Now it’s you you quantify the say, Okay, I’m gonna send out a survey.

How many of you, how would you on a scale of one to five like this newsletter would be all about? I don’t know, left handed Smoke Shifters.

fiving Yes.

Now you can look at those numbers and say, our qualitative insights can be cool.

quantified and we can use that to make a judgement.

For example, if you did say we’re going to focus only on left handed Smoke Shifters, you might want to know what percent of the audience would want to actually want that.

Because there is always the chance particularly it’s not done well.

in market research, when you ask a question and it over or understates the importance of the what the person answers until you run some surveys to quantify it.

So the same would be true in your content marketing, right? You write some content, and you get some responses and you say, Okay, well, now we need to quantify this.

For example, I wrote a very political newsletter a couple of weeks ago.

If I liked the responses I got, I would say, maybe I’ve run a survey, how would you like more of that kind of content? Vote your, your, whatever your preference.

I would be willing to bet probably.

Most people would say no, that’s not why I signed up for this newsletter, right? That’s not what I’m here for.

Once in a blue moon is fine if it’s something really important, but for the most part, let’s stick to marketing.

So that’s my long winded answer for qualitative and quantitative are two sides of the same coin.

And you need both of them properly done, so that you can make good decisions.

Good question.

Thanks for asking.

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