As a publisher, you need more in-depth audience and content intelligence than traditional website analytics can provide. The right “tool” can help extract actionable insights that assist in making publishing decisions that engage your audience. While mainstream website analytics tools can reveal patterns in user behavior, they’re not tailored to provide deeper audience intelligence.
Increasingly, publishers are turning to content intelligence solutions to understand both content performance and the interests their audience. While there are several analytics tools available for publishers, these six essential feature sets will ensure you get the most actionable data on user behavior, audience interests, and content performance.
6 Essentials of the Publisher's Analytics Toolbox
1. Real-Time Measurement
With digital consumer behavior changing faster than at any point in history, publishers need real-time measurement tools to take timely action. Look-back analysis of historical performance is rarely an effective means of informing a data-driven publishing strategy. Real-time analytics and easy-to-understand dashboards are an important tool in the modern publishers’ toolbox.
2. Interactive Analysis Tools
Publishers need the ability to answer questions with data on-demand to understand performance holistically and inform current content creation efforts. Dashboards are most effective if they offer interactivity, including the ability for users to compare performance over time, performance by segment, topics, and other characteristics.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is remarkably effective at recognizing anomalies and quickly processing unstructured data, such as an enormous online content library. Publishers can benefit immensely from AI-driven insights into unusual spikes in engagement or emerging topics of interest. While AI isn’t meant to replace the publisher’s role in developing a content strategy, a publishing analytics platform with AI capabilities can augment human understanding of emerging trends or unusual patterns.
4. Flexible Data Filtering
Increasingly, publishers are experiencing pressure to create “ultra-personalized” content strategies, including dynamic on-site experiences for their audience members based on interests, geography, demographics, and other differentiators.
Publishing analytics tools should provide data filtering capabilities that allow publishers to interact with segments, audience characteristics, and content characteristics. Examples of on-demand data filtering include the ability to measure performance by:
- Visitor loyalty
- Visitor interests
- Referral channels
Tools for dynamic analysis allow publishers to develop a big-picture understanding of who their audience members are, and what types of content drive engagement among these segments. These filtering capabilities can reveal a demand in news-based video content among North American Facebook users, or other in-depth patterns to inform smarter publishing and on-site content delivery.
5. Role-Based Data Access
While the responsibility for extracting insights from publishing data is usually put on one or more members of the publishing team, the most effective organizations work to develop a data-driven culture and performance transparency among the leadership team, marketing, editors, and content creators.
Increasingly, publishing analytics tools are offering the capability for role-based access. While an Executive may need total oversight of site performance, authors or editors may need access to the performance of their own efforts.
Examples of individuals who can benefit from data include:
- Social Media
- Ad Ops
If your organization is preparing to take an increasingly data-driven stance, it’s important to understand that expanded access is not a native capability of all publishing analytics tools -- or at least not a free feature.
Many popular solutions charge an increased fee for additional users or custom access roles. However, other leading solutions offer this tool free-of-charge.
6. Aggregated Performance Insights
Most individuals who are researching publishing analytics solutions have a need to be regularly engaged with data insights. However, the needs of publishing analytics managers and editorial directors aren’t always reflective of the needs of others on the team.
For individuals whose analytics needs are limited, a quick-view daily digest is an important component of the publisher's toolbox. Leadership and contributors can often benefit immensely from daily summaries of content performance, conveniently delivered in dashboard format via email.
Several tools are fantastic all rounders - such as Google Analytics, but Publisher Analytics tools give you a more unique tool kit that solves the unique challenges only digital media publishers face. Learn more about why you need both Google Analytics and a Publisher Analytics tool.
Tools Bridge the Gap Between Publishers and Actionable Insights
Publishers often understand their existing measurements and tools are lacking, but less frequently understand why their efforts to develop a data-driven strategy have failed to deliver returns on audience engagement.
In a competitive landscape, the publisher’s needs are unique. More than ever before, driving results among consumers requires in-depth, real-time content understanding and the ability to interact with data in real-time to uncover emerging patterns.
With an understanding of what should be measured and the tools best used to measure it, publishers can develop a stronger stance when it comes to accessing actionable insights.