Activate Takeaways: Oli Gardner on Metrics with Meaning

Here’s a stat that’s common among marketers.

“Visitors watch on average 67% of your video.”

As tools like Google Analytics, Looker, and Wistia make it easier to see data that used to be invisible, marketers have become inundated by more data points than they know what to do with.

At Activate, Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner argued that most data isn’t meaningful. Even though there’s a lot of data out there, it isn’t always clear what that data tells you.

Visitors watch 67% of your video. So what? How valuable is that? Does it actually help you turn them into customers?

Content marketing today has three major problems:

  1. It isn’t designed with purpose
  2. It doesn’t collect meaningful data
  3. It doesn’t show products

what's wrong with content marketing

In his talk, Oli covered how marketers can fix content and get more actionable insights that they can use to personalize their marketing.

You can watch the full talk above. Below, we’ve put together some of the key takeaways—and how you can use these lessons to do better marketing in ActiveCampaign.

To get meaningful data, design content with purpose

It’s not enough to create content and then try to measure it.

Content should be created with measurement in mind from the very beginning. According to Oli, content needs to be created specifically to capture specific pieces of meaningful data.

WIth that data in hand, marketers can personalize the rest of their content—and actually measure the impact that content marketing has on money metrics (i.e. sales).

content marketing metrics with meaning

What does it mean to “design content with purpose?”

Oli gave an example from Unbounce’s own marketing. One of Unbounce’s evergreen pieces of content is a guide to landing pages.

When visitors are on the Unbounce site, Oli actively gets them to answer questions. In particular, he wants to know:

  • What industry are you in? He uses this information to personalize content later on.
  • What tools do you use? He wants to know what else is in someone’s tech stack.

How does he use that information? Immediately.

personalized video marketing

Oli put together video demonstrations of Unbounce products. But in each video, he cuts out the middle section to make it industry specific.

People in real estate see an example for real estate agents. Ecommerce people would see an ecommerce landing page.

By collecting data from his content, Oli is able to create a more personalized experience.

Remember the generic data “visitors watch on average 67% of your video?”

This process lets Oli put together a more meaningful metric: “54% of viewers saw the product in action.”

Now instead of saying that “2% of people sign up for a trial…”

He can say “People who see 3 or more product in view events convert 18% more than other visitors.” Content marketing increases conversion rates.

How can you get more meaningful metrics?

“What questions do you have, that when answered, enable you to create experiences targeted at an aha moment?”

That’s the key question you need to ask when you’re in search of more meaningful data.

For each potential customer, there’s an “aha moment” that you’re working towards. The moment when they really understand the value of what you offer.

The question is: what creates that aha moment?

Unbounce gets people to their aha moment by targeting them based on industry and the marketing tech that they use. Your users might care about something different—and you should create content designed to collect information you can use to personalize their experience in ways that matter.

How ActiveCampaign helps you use meaningful metrics

ActiveCampaign puts huge emphasis on segmentation—specifically so that you can use your data to target people based on what they need to see.

Here are just a few of the ways you can segment your audience in ActiveCampaign.

Screen Recording 2018-01-30 at 09.56 AM.mov

Because ActiveCampaign uses a tagging system, you can create groups of your audience based on any data you collect.

Let’s say you’ve collected information about someone’s industry, like Oli did. You could have used:

  • A custom field on an ActiveCampaign form
  • A third party tool (like Clearbit or RightAsk)
  • Manual input from a sales call

Now that you have the information, though, you can create a totally personalized experience.

Send people down entirely different sales funnels based on their industry. ActiveCampaign lets you create automations that automatically put people into the correct funnel.

Because Unbounce collects information about marketing technology, they could use dynamic content to customize the content of individual emails—and swap out case studies and examples that are more relevant to each reader.

Need an ActiveCampaign example? ActiveCampaign User Platinum Skin Care used a quiz to get meaningful data about their audience’s pain points.

Because the quiz asked people questions about their skin care needs, Platinum Skin Care was able to segment new leads immediately.

Platinum Skin Care segmentation automation

And with the leads segmented, they could immediately follow up with a customized workflow.

Platinum Skin Care Welcome Funnel

The result of this funnel was a 17% paid conversion rate—from completely new leads.

You can hear Platinum Skin Care founder Jennifer Tilney give more background on their funnel in the below video. Or you can read the full case study on Platinum Skin Care.

The lesson? Collecting meaningful data helps you create more personal experiences—and personal experiences ultimately win you more customers.

Conclusion: Content marketing isn’t broken

Oli concluded his talk by arguing that content marketing isn’t broken. It’s just difficult to measure, and often measured poorly.

Think about how you will collect data during content creation, so that you have more information to create personalized experiences for your audience.  

Oli closed with these words:

“Content marketing still works. It’s just a lot more technical than it was 5 years ago. And doesn’t work when you don’t design content for context.”

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