Content Analytics is the discipline of recording, processing and deriving insights from a variety of metrics that measure the performance of published content, usually in a digital media format. The Analytics metrics in question typically cover Audience Profile, Audience Behavior, Volume and flow of Traffic and Audience Acquisition channels.
In short, Content Analytics provides accurate data to measure the impact of any published content and its distribution - which helps content creators, publishers and marketers optimize their workflows for improved reach, higher engagement and audience delight.
Content Analytics requires a tool (usually multiple tools) to record and report the data - this can either be developed in-house by brands or using 3rd party providers such as Google Analytics or even some specialized providers like NativeAI.
How does a Content Analytics tool work?
Most analytics platforms require a script that needs to be installed on every single page of the web property on which the metrics need to be measured. The capabilities of these scripts can vary depending on the features supported by the platform, but at a minimum, the script places a web cookie in a reader's browser so that it can tell one user from another and track sessions, behavior as the user moves between pages.
The script may also be able to record page scroll depth, clicks on links or buttons, time spent on pages as well as the source of traffic using HTTP Headers. All this data is passed on to the servers of the Analytics platform which then offers the publisher an easy way to view this data in the form or tables, charts or even in an API form to add to their own data warehouse.
Certain analytics tools such as NativeAI that specialize in high volume / media publisher analytics even offer real-time dashboards which enables the publisher to view user behavior live on their website.
What are the metrics I can measure using content analytics?
Page views, Sessions, Unique users, Bounce Rate, Time spent on page are some of the most common metrics you can find on a popular tool such as Google Analytics. You may have several options to filters and pivot these metrics such as Traffic Sources, Location, Device used, other user attributes such as operating system.
Many content analytics tools also provide other visualizations like user flow behavior, event recording which can then be classified as goals or conversions etc. NativeAI provides publishers with advanced metrics & filters customized for the digital publishing or content marketing industry that operates at scale. These are:
- Engagement Quality (EQ) - Uses time spent on page and scroll depth, normalized for the page length to allow you to compare articles by their ability to drive engagement
- Audience Interests - Uses Machine Learning to classify your articles, assign its topics to readers based on their EQ with that topic. Most reports on NativeAI can be filtered by audience interests!
- Re-circulation - Measures how well your website retains users by making them read more articles on every visit
- Filter by Authors - As an editor for a publication, you need to be able to view and compare authors and their ability to drive reads and engagement. NativeAI automatically pulls your Author names from articles and allows you to filter and group reports.
What are the popular tools used for Content Analytics?
There are several free, freemium and paid content analytics tools in the market. Some popular ones are: Google Analytics(free with a separate premium version), Facebook Analytics (free), Adobe Omniture (paid), Mixpanel (freemium). You can view a list of Analytics products at Similartech.
Apart from generic web analytics tools, the market also has niche tools that offer a variety of services:
- User behavior recording: Crazyegg, Hotjar etc.
- Content Analytics for Publishers: Native.AI, Parsely, Chartbeat etc.
- Mobile App Analytics: Flurry, Heap, Localytics etc.
There are also a few end-to end Analytics suites that include marketing automation engines, ad-tech hooks, optimization and data visualization tools - Google Analytics suite and Adobe Analytics.
Here's a 30-second video that summarizes all you get with NativeAI Analytics for content marketing as well as digital publishing users:
Is the data from my analytics tool real-time?
Several analytics providers, especially the free ones have a 12-24 hour delay between website activity and reporting for accurate updates. Many paid providers, including NativeAI have real-time dashboards that are accurate to within a few seconds.
Do I need Realtime analytics for just content marketing purposes?
Being able to use data in real-time enables audience development and marketing teams to react tactically to campaigns and drive engagement as well as reach to meet their goals.
The above video from NativeAI shows how the real-time data stream gets updated as your content marketing campaigns kick in allowing you to edit your campaign for maximum performance. Realtime analytics data ensure you get maximum return on marketing investments.
What is the difference between Publisher Analytics and Content Analytics? Do I need a publisher analytics tool?
As mentioned above, Publisher Analytics caters to a select category of businesses who have a high volume of fresh content published every day and a high volume of visitors. This typically restricts the list of potential clients to News media publishers, socially viral content publishers and large brands with a sophisticated content marketing operation.
Publisher Analytics tools are thus designed to provide some or all of the following features, critical to the unique needs described above:
- Real-time dashboards
- Understands Content (currently available only on Native.AI)
- Audience segmentation by Reader Interests (currently available only on Native.AI)
- On-page engagement metrics
- Tagging Engine (reads Authors and Tags placed by publisher and allows filters on its basis)
- Event tracking (for driving paid subscriptions or better ad-network targeting)
- Campaign Analysis tools
- API and/or data pipeline
Publisher analytics offers several advantages to audience development, editorial, marketing and social media teams as well as to authors with its deep actionable insights, that track user preferences and engagement. If you are a publisher with over 500,000 views a month and generate at least 30 new pieces of content per week, you should consider using a Publisher Analytics tool like Native.ai.
Can you take a moment and tell us your expectations from a Content Analytics tool?Create your own user feedback survey
We hope this post helped you understand what content analytics is all about. In one of our following posts, we will cover "How to derive insights from content analytics data?"
Read more: Content Analytics guide for Publishers