Tagging Content: The Simple Thing Most Brands Get Wrong
In meeting after meeting, I run across content marketers who worry that their work isn’t being taken seriously by the rest of the company. I like to give them an analogy to explain why:
Imagine that you’ve just been named the CRO of your company, and you’re trying a lot of new tactics to grow the business—hiring new people, opening new offices, or changing the price of your product. After a month or two, it would be reasonable for others to ask how each move affected the company’s bottom line. If you can’t answer with quantitative results, you’re left to conjecture—which, in our data-driven world, is a fast track to getting fired.
Unfortunately, this is how a lot of marketers are treating their content strategies; do a lot of things, but then only look at the total end result. In a way, this is understandable; content marketing is still new, and there’s a lot of debate about the best way to measure its effectiveness. Marketers are rightfully wary of investing time in the wrong content measurement strategy, but I’ve found that many are shooting themselves in the foot before they even get started.
Time and again, we see that there’s a simple, overlooked fix that produces huge results: tagging content is the foundation for successful content marketing operations.
You may be thinking that you can put this off—perhaps content isn’t a company priority, your operation is small-scale, no staff to backfill—but having a robust taxonomy can solve all three of those problems. It helps you demonstrate that content is supporting key business goals, compare content’s value in cross-channel campaigns, and optimize what your staff works on. The simple act of using tags and tracking their performance is often enough to get content marketers a seat at the big table.
Creating an effective taxonomy isn’t easy, but it’s not rocket science either. It’s important to know that at the start, you’re going to be wrong, and that’s okay! To cover the basics, considering the following categories: topic, type of content (by length, media type, etc.), audience (potential buyers, info-seekers, advocates), marketing campaigns (if you have multiple messages in digital), and business themes/goals (leads, signups, awareness).
It’s that simple. At the end of the quarter or month or week, check the results. For those that have been riding their intuition, the results can be shocking: what you thought was a great recurring topic or format may turn out to be a dud, while another may be surprisingly effective. But the important thing isn’t what’s performing—it’s that you’re accountable.
That’s the only way content marketers are going to get the budgets to play with the big boys.