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Contently’s new data analytics product Insights measures engagement, not pageviews

Job­bing prod­uct man­agers famil­iar with adver­tis­ing tech will be aware that the rise of con­tent mar­ket­ing has posed a prob­lem for con­ven­tion­al met­rics. Before it emerged, most adver­tis­ers were chiefly inter­est­ed in how many eye­balls and clicks land­ed on their ad, which made track­ing the num­ber of pageviews a use­ful stat. But con­tent adver­tis­ing has a dif­fer­ent aim; it’s all about build­ing rela­tion­ships with cus­tomers for longer term mutu­al ben­e­fits. And pageviews don’t real­ly mea­sure relationships.

Mea­sur­ing rela­tion­ships 

How can brands, adver­tis­ers and agen­cies get a han­dle on whether con­tent mar­ket­ing is work­ing in its stat­ed aim? That’s a ques­tion that New York’s ris­ing con­tent mar­ket­ing start­up Con­tent­ly is seek­ing to answer with its new data ana­lyt­ics prod­uct, Insights.

For Contently’s co-founder, Shane Snow, if con­tent mar­ket­ing isn’t suc­ceed­ing in build­ing rela­tion­ships, it’s just cre­at­ing con­tent for noth­ing. Pageviews are too crude to offer any insight into this. Ad tech prod­uct man­agers will know only too well that they give a good pic­ture of how much traf­fic an ad might be attract­ing, but they don’t give the faintest inkling as to whether peo­ple are read­ing the con­tent because they like it or because they think it stinks and want to crit­i­cize it.

The startup’s VP of Prod­uct, Paul Fredrich, likened pageviews to net­work­ing at a cock­tail par­ty and just wav­ing at peo­ple. Contently’s Insights prod­uct, he says, would seek to track each time you’re “stop­ping at a table, talk­ing to some­one, and exchang­ing busi­ness cards.”

New met­rics 

Our prod­uct man­ag­er may now be grow­ing intrigued: how does it do that? Busi­ness can see at a glance not sim­ply the total num­ber of peo­ple who vis­it­ed their site over 7, 30 or 90 days, but how much time each one of them spent on the vis­it as well as the total time spent by all vis­i­tors col­lec­tive­ly. Insights also shows the per­for­mance of the aver­age sto­ry in sim­i­lar terms: total num­ber of vis­i­tors, time spent per view by indi­vid­ual vis­i­tors, total time spent by all.

And it doesn’t just gen­er­ate num­bers devoid of con­text; Insights trans­lates them into clear Eng­lish so that it’s easy to see what the num­bers sug­gest (for exam­ple, “Read­ers who were on your pub­li­ca­tion seemed to pre­fer this story.”)


The age of pageview data just shift­ed to the age of engage­ment data.

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