INBOX INSIGHTS, July 7, 2021: No Easy Answers, Content Republishing, Midyear Goals

INBOX INSIGHTS: No Easy Answers, Content Republishing, Midyear Goals (7/7)

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Sometimes There Isn’t an Easier Answer

One of the most common questions we receive during events and presentations goes something like this:

“If you don’t have the budget for a fancy tool or people with the skills to do X, what’s an easy alternative?”

Occasionally, there’s a easier alternative. For example, if you don’t have access to machine learning capabilities for the most effective forms of attribution analysis, you can get by – with reduced effectiveness – on some of the built-in attribution models in software like Google Analytics. It isn’t as good or as accurate as more complex models, but they are still better than nothing, better than guessing, or better than “the way we’ve always done it”.

However, there will be many times when the answer is, “You either have to find the budget or build the skills.” Folks find that a deeply unsatisfying answer, but just as “I don’t know” is an uncomfortable but often true answer, so is “there isn’t an easier answer.”

For example, there is no easier way to do trend analysis that’s still even remotely accurate without using the mathematical technique of regression. Simpler ways that still deliver a correct answer don’t exist. (there are plenty of simpler ways that deliver incredibly wrong answers!)

As marketing becomes more complex, the bar for simple answers continues to rise with that complexity. SEO used to be very simple and easy – stuff a page full of keywords, earn a bunch of links from sites of any quality, and you’d rank well for the terms you want to be found for. Now that companies like Google use insanely advanced AI to general search results, those easy answers are now totally wrong and counterproductive. All the shortcuts are gone – it’s now mandatory to create the best content possible and distribute it using as many means available to us as possible to create the signals Google uses to rank content.

What does this mean for our marketing? We must accept that marketing is more difficult, demands more of us in terms of our own skills and budgets, and will take longer for everything. In turn, that means we must plan better, forecast further, and set more frequent milestones that eventually lead to the results we want to showcase. As marketing becomes ever more competitive, the bar climbs higher, and we must climb with it if we want to succeed. The best thing we could do is prepare our stakeholders for this reality – show them that “the ways we always did it” doesn’t apply any more, and to expect that we will require more resources to deliver results.

In marketing, as with mountain climbing, you’re either climbing or descending; there’s no such thing as staying in place. Keep climbing.

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Binge Watch and Listen

In this week’s In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris pause to take a look back at the first half of the year. What should you be thinking about at the midpoint of the calendar year, and how does that thinking inform your goals for the rest of the year? What do you do when you’re behind on your goals? Learn why some data isn’t helpful, how to boil down what you need to focus on, and why you need to be re-evaluating your goals on a regular, frequent basis.

Watch/listen to this episode of In-Ear Insights here »

Last week on So What? The Marketing Analytics and Insights Live Show, we looked at newsletter marketing and how to activate an email subscriber base, attract more subscribers, and build lists with third parties.

Watch/listen to this episode of So What? here »

This Thursday at 1 PM Eastern, we’ll be tackling change management basics – what they are, common mistakes in change management, and some simple solutions to get you started.

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Data Diaries - Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, we take a look at content republishing for Q2. What happened in Q2 with content republishing? How prominent was it?

Q2 Content Republishing

We see a common trend in content republishing whenever we examine the data. There’s a large wave of content that’s consistently republished, over and over again, 30 days prior to the date we examine the data. Many of these pages are continually republished over and over again by their publishers, either because they received actual updates or because publishers refresh the content just to keep it looking current.

The median percentage of page content published in the quarter was 5.1%; 5.1% of all web pages were republished at some point during Q2.

As always, we have to ask ourselves whether the republished content performed better or worse than original content; republishing is only viable if it delivers a performance benefit commensurate to the time saved by recycling content.

What we see is this:

Republished content performance

In general, republished content averages 15% more referring domains, 101% more tweets, and is 19% longer than original content. However, republished content earns 19% fewer visits and the traffic is 22% less valuable; republished content also fares 48% worse on Pinterest.

So, the big question we must ask is, do we save enough time and effort by republishing content to merit the performance above? If the answer is yes, then republishing should be part of your content strategy, because it can deliver efficiency. If your goal is not efficiency, but growth, then the performance penalty displayed by republished content may not be worth the tradeoff for efficiency.

Methodology: Trust Insights used data extracted from AHREFs Content Explorer. Top-line data was extracted from the AHREFS database for articles using the top 5 most frequent words in the English language, excluding adult content and excluding website homepages. For content performance, we extracted a random sample of 10,000 articles per month to estimate content performance as a whole. The sample size was at a 99% confidence level with a 0.75 confidence interval. The timeframe of the data is April 1, 2021 – July 6, 2021. The date of study is July 7, 2021. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.

In Case You Missed It

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Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • Women in Analytics, July 2021, virtual
  • DigiMarCon, July 2021, virtual
  • MAICON, September 2021, virtual
  • Content Marketing World, September 2021, Cleveland, OH
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