Content: New Tool Aims to Put a Number on It

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A marketing mix without content is like a cookie without milk. Still potentially tasty. But content marketing without measurement? Why bother.

Content marketing means big money—according to the Customer Content Council, content marketing constitutes a multibillion-dollar industry—and as it continues to grow, so does the need to define a standard metric of success.

At the DigitasLBi NewFront in New York, the digital agency announced its new partnership with predictive content analytics startup SimpleReach to create the NewFront Brand Content Index, a tool that aims to enable marketers to measure their video content in reality across any platform—rather than in what DigitasLBi Chief Strategy & Media Officer Baba Shetty referred to as “a vacuum.”

The Index, available to Digitas clients, reportedly provides real-time and historical benchmarks for how any piece of branded content is performing in general, as well as against industry-specific competitors. Some of the metrics tracked will include shares, page views, socially generated traffic, time spent engaging, and unique visitors. To create the benchmarks, the Index collects anonymized data from a variety of digital media outlets currently doing work with SimpleReach, including Forbes, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times.

“As brand content has quickly matured, one of the key issues is the lack of tools to understand and measure success,” said Edward Kim, CEO of SimpleReach. “If you're a technology company, for example, you can take your content and see exactly how it compares against all the other technology companies out there.”

"Who cares about your content?"' is a burning questions for all brands—and if you're going to create content, you want it to resonate.

“It's become a truism that our greatest natural resource these days isn't gold or oil, it's attention,” noted Eli Pariser, cofounder of social content powerhouse Upworthy, speaking at the NewFront. “The amount of things to pay attention to just keeps getting bigger, but the amount of attention we have to give stays constant.”

That's why brands are looking to analytics to see what kind of content they should be creating.

In other words, as Pariser said: “You are what you measure.”

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