In order to measure content marketing performance in a multichannel world, brands need analytics that compile data from numerous platforms.

Marketers know their brands must be active across channels to reach target audiences as they move through the no-longer-linear sales cycle. Consumers and business buyers traverse from mobile to social, read emails, discover answers through search and pay attention to display ads. Companies have recognized this trend, and many have risen to the challenge.

However, they don’t always know how to track their success and measure content ROI when taking multiple channels into account, according to a recent Forrester report commissioned by Knotice. In an era of omni-channel marketing, brands need content analytics to measure each channels’ performance.

Companies meeting consumers on multiple channels

“We try not to view them as channels, because from the customer perspective there is no sense of channels.”

The days are long gone in which consumers reaching brands’ content through one or two touch points. Rather, surveyed marketers strive to be active on every channel their customers use, according to the Knotice report.

“We try not to view them as channels, because from the customer perspective there is no sense of channels,” one marketer said.

Brafton previously reported brands use 12 different channels to generate leads and conversions, which requires them to publish custom content for each and establish appropriate content measurement strategies in place.

Integrated marketing strategies demand content analytics

While marketers acknowledge the need for better reporting and measurement, they struggle to pull in data from multiple sources for meaningful analysis of their overarching efforts, the report found.

One Digital Vice President of a global publishing firm told Knotice, “I won’t lie; there’s a certain amount of qualified guessing. You look across channels agnostically and look for trends and similar tactics you can apply across each of them.”

 “I won’t lie; there’s a certain amount of qualified guessing.”

Additionally, marketers are implementing measurements that worked for their campaigns in the past, such as A/B testing and step-by-step progressions. These practices might have been effective for offline or single-channel campaigns, but now brands are leaving money on the table when they can’t leverage real-time insights to guide their content marketing campaigns.

For instance, a recent Leads360 report revealed duplicate leads have a 167 percent higher conversion rate than average site visitors. If marketers can intercept returning prospects with appropriate web content, they can nurture those leads until they’re ready to purchase. But missing that opportunity and delivering the same brand messages that are intended for individuals just entering the sales funnel might leave duplicate leads wanting better information, and motivate them to turn to competitors.

Marketers need reliable metrics for their email campaigns, search marketing practices and social media efforts that can be synthesized to determine when and where content is generating returns, so those strategies can be developed and replicated.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.