Why Active Content Consumption Should Be the New Content Marketing Metric

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As marketing guru Seth Godin once said, “marketing is a contest for people’s attention.” In an era where brands are constantly competing for consumer mindshare and wallets, being able to understand and effectively measure audience engagement has never been more important. Engagement describes the connection between a brand and its audiences, facilitated by content across all channels. This connection can manifest as a consumer clicking on a content asset, digesting content on a website or interacting with content on paid media channels.

How a brand measures engagement will vary across channels and whether you look overall or at the individual level. For example, you might look at total likes, shares or followers on social. Or you might look at clicks across your various landing pages. Even better, you might look at repeat visitors to high-converting landing pages. At the individual level, you might be looking at time spent with content, or the conversion from one piece of content to another.  These all roll up to one key concept that we at OneSpot deem the most important indicator of engagement with a brand—active content consumption.

After analyzing billions of pieces of content and conducting research on behalf of some of the world’s leading brands, we’ve uncovered one metric that all marketers should measure – how much content does each of your audience actually consume? At OneSpot, we define audiences that consume more content as “Active Content Users.”

What is an Active Content User?

When people consume one piece of content, we are doing something right, but are we doing enough?  We are meeting that person’s need, at the right time, and in the right channel. But does the viewership of one piece of content move the needle?

By our definition, Active Content Users consume at least three different pieces of content in a single session. These are the most engaged users because they are consuming a significant amount of content. They move from VIEWING content to USING content.  And our data shows that Active Content Users are valuable beyond just clicks; we’ve actually been able to identify some stark differences in how someone who reads one article engaged with a brand from someone who reads three or more articles.

Why Active Content Users Are So Valuable

When we compare Users who’ve consumed at least three pieces of content to those who’ve engaged with one or two pieces of content, our data shows that these Active Content Users view brands much more favorably. More specifically, we see significant lifts in brand metrics like brand awareness, brand trust, purchase intent and net promoter score. A study by a OneSpot customer found that Active Content Users were 41% more likely to trust the brand than those that only saw one piece of content. The brand also saw a 19% lift in net promoter score, which suggests that Active Content Users are more likely to recommend the brand to their own audience. The study also found that Active Content Users are 45% more likely to recommend the brand and 13% more likely to purchase one or more product from the brand than consumers who engaged with fewer than three pieces of content.

While brand affinity is great, what’s even more valuable about Active Content Users is their desire to take action, especially “high-value actions.” These users are on average up to 5X more likely to convert on brands’ websites through key calls to action like “buy now,” “sign up for newsletter” and “open account.”

How to Develop More Active Content Users

Our data shows that Active Content Users add a tremendous amount of business value because of their high brand scores and conversion rates. So that leads to a new mandate: develop more Active Content Users. This can be done both strategically and operationally.

Strategically, you can focus on delivering valuable content to your audience that recognizes their rational and emotional needs at each stage of their journey with your brand. Operationally, you can use personalization to deliver a more relevant experience. The more relevant experience, the more likely that your audience will want to spend more time with your brand. At OneSpot, we deliver Individualization, which is personalization that leverages machine learning to deliver a unique experience for each individual.

By individualizing the content experience based on a user’s needs and behaviors, your brand is delivering the most valuable and relevant content for each visitor. In exchange, Active Content Users will behave more favorably towards your brand and convert at a much high rate. And to close the loop with Seth Godin’s original quote, “don’t just compete for your audience’s attention, earn their retention too.”

There are many additional benefits of individualization that are made possible by content individualization platforms. To learn more about how you can leverage sophisticated individualization tools that are based on artificial intelligence and make measuring Active Content Users possible, download our guide: How to Master Individualization to Delight Your Customers .