Is content marketing art, or is content marketing science? The answer is “a bit of both.” The best content marketing is artful, featuring engaging text and colorful graphics or eye-catching video. But then again, the best content marketing also has science behind it, with data and stats propping it up and informing the decisions content marketers made.
If the concept of content marketing science is completely new to you, here’s a closer look at it, and a few reasons why you should care about it.
What Is Content Marketing Science?
Content marketing science is the facts and figures behind content. It’s the strategy that gets a brand from point A to its goals. It’s also the data behind each piece of content, such as who is looking at it, where they’re looking at it, and for how long.
While art can be touchy-feely and subjective, science is concrete. For example, you can use science to gauge the quality of a piece of content. That’s in spite of the fact it seems like a more subjective measurement.
Online apps like Hemingway or apps that give you a sense of the reading level of your content are a good example of content marketing science. They give you an idea of where your content currently stands. And they give you explicit steps you can take to improve it, so that more people want to read it.
What Does Content Marketing Science Cover?
Content marketing science doesn’t only concern itself with readability (although that’s a key component). It covers all aspects of content marketing, from strategy to research and from testing to measurement.
It’s safe to say that having a documented content strategy can be the difference between success and failure. An impressive 62 percent of the most successful B2B content marketers have documented content strategies, and 72 percent believe their strategies improve their chances for success. A content marketing strategy is what helps your team plan for and reach content marketing goals. A science-focused strategy looks at how content affects the buyer or audience at all points along the buyer’s journey.
Another aspect of content marketing science concerns itself with analytics, or measurement of content. If you don’t measure your content, you have no way of knowing whether people are looking at it, sharing it, or completely ignoring it.
Good scientists conduct experiments to test hypotheses. So do good content marketers. Whether you’re running A/B or split tests to see which headlines do best, or testing out a new content format to gauge audience reaction, you’re using content marketing science.
Science is all about research. In many ways, so is content marketing. Research can take the form of trawling news sites to see what’s trending. It can involve keeping tabs on your competition. Or it can simply be conducting surveys to find out what your audience really thinks.
Who’s Using Content Marketing Science?
Content marketing science is key to success with content marketing. Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report found the companies that used measurements or metrics to track their content marketing tended to be the most happy with their results.
A 2015 report from the Aberdeen Group found that a group of B2B marketers it labeled “best in class” were the ones most likely to be using scientific principles to track and measure their content. Compared to all others, they were three times as likely to track their content to some form of revenue.
Hearing words like “science” and “data” might make some people want to run and hide. But when it comes to your company’s content marketing efforts, having science and facts on your side is important. It can be the difference between a campaign that’s a smash hit success and one that doesn’t have any impact.