For most marketers, the performance of downloadable content is shrouded in mystery.
Which topics sparked intrigue? How did different audiences respond? Which distribution channels drove the deepest engagement?
To get these answers, Microsoft partnered with Contently to access Docalytics, a tool that turns documents like PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and Keynote decks into dynamic web-based content and tracks reader engagement page by page.“We wanted to able to see how speciﬁc channels were engaging with the content itself,” said Chauncy Freels, marketing analytics lead at Microsoft.
“We wanted to optimize the length, the quality, and the cadence of down-loadable assets.”
Docalytics provided Microsoft the data it needed to understand different audience behavior. Heat maps and page-by-page engagement metrics told Freels and her team where and to what degree different readers focused their attention.
These insights helped Microsoft optimize its demand-generation strategy. With Docalytics, Microsoft could alter the topic, length, and structure of a piece of content.
In addition to improving content quality, Docalytics helped ﬁne-tune Microsoft’s distribution tactics. When the same asset was distributed across different marketing channels—say, an email campaign or a paid social campaign with a dedicated landing page—Microsoft could test how each audience engaged with unique content.
Docalytics in Action: Landing Page vs. Delayed Gate
Microsoft had an internal debate about how to “gate” its content. Should it create a landing page that required readers to provide an email address in order to start reading? Or should it embed a form within the material, which would allow readers to access the ﬁrst few pages before they had to provide their contact information?
Microsoft decided to test the two options.
Using Docalytics, Microsoft saw that while the upfront landing page was 25 percent more effective at collecting emails, people who ﬁlled out the embedded form were 51 percent more likely to read the entire piece of content.
The results drove Microsoft to an important conclusion: While the landing page was effective for lead generation, the delayed gate was better for nurturing leads further along in the buyer journey. “Docalytics has deﬁnitely shifted how we think about our gating process,” Freels said