Analytics, when spoken, is a word that can divide a room of people. It will intrigue some and send others mentally somewhere else believing that it is “someone else’s” responsibility.
Every person interested in engaging others in meaningful conversations should pay attention to analytics:
- Analytics and conversations share the same goal…engagement.
- Analytics and conversations measure the same thing…behavior.
- Analytics and conversations uncover the same truth…validate or challenge our assumptions.
Kem Meyer recently explained Why analytics are top priority & How To Keep Them Simple. Every communicator wants to make the most of the opportunities he or she is presented with. But too often our game plan is…
- based on a whim.
- grounded in the success of others.
- unchecked and left to intuitive evaluation.
Conversations are fragile, dynamic, and always evolving. The idea that once we gain the attention of others we’ll always have their attention is a dangerous assumption to make. Digital communication channels offer message-makers the chance to “listen” to their audience by monitoring this group’s actions and behavior. It’s really what marketing is all about.
The temptation, though, is to possess too much confidence in our knowledge of our audience that we presume upon them our interests, preferences, and questions. We must never stop being a student of who our target audience is. I’m consistently surprised at which blog posts, articles, and other work people most connect with. I can never be so sure about the direction I’m headed that I fail to verify if my audience is coming with me.
How to start using analytics…
- Begin with what you have. Many content management systems have a basic set of analytical tools already built in. Start there.
- Ask questions you can’t easily answer. The pursuit of every piece of measurable data should begin with a question you need answered.
- Review the information regularly (and be ready to make changes or adjustments if necessary). Data is useless if ignored.
Our desire to connect, engage, and move people to some type of measurable action should override any inhibitions we might have about measuring data, validating our assumptions, and making course corrections when necessary.
How are you using analytics to ensure you’re engaged in meaningful conversations with your core/target audience?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.