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Andrew McWhaw
By
March 21, 2019

Things We Loved Learning from the Content Experience Report

engineering.com learning from the content experience report

Readers of this blog know we value data-driven analysis more than anything.  We crunch engineering.com’s own internal data to draw out insights only we have access to by virtue of serving information to more than 2 million engineering professionals each month.

That data mining is then complemented with survey-based research, like our How Engineers Find Information 2019 Research Report and 2019’s Trends in Industrial and Technology Marketing (both now available with a few easy clicks – so check them out!)

Of course, we don’t have exclusive rights to producing great data-driven content.  Like all good marketers looking to stay ahead of the curve, we keep an eye out for content that will help us better serve our audience.  We recently found such a piece of content in Uberflip’s Content Experience Report.

Using data-science investigative techniques, the report details eight ways marketers are already winning by focusing on the content experience.  In this blog, we’re going to dive into three of the findings we think are most valuable to you and discuss how they apply to the world of engineering marketing.

Opportunity #1: Content Placement

The common belief around content such as blogs is that they should reside solely in one space.  The principal reason for this is that if content is repeated across several pages, then search engines—most importantly Google—will penalize each page’s ranking. 

Contrary to this common wisdom, Uberflip reports that when content is placed in a new environment it sees a surge in viewership.  This is captured in the following graph showing one specific post they investigated. 

 Life of a blog post courtesy of Uberflip(Image Courtesy of Uberflip and its Content Experience Report)

As you can see, when reissued in a new environment, the new post did so well that it surged well above its original release. 

But what does a new environment mean?  For customers of Uberflip, it means a marketing stream—a personalized content stream that is created by marketers to collect relevant content for a particular account or segment of accounts. 

If you’re not an Uberflip customer, however, that doesn’t mean this opportunity is unavailable to you. For engineering marketers, it’s both very doable and incredibly relevant.  Let me explain with an example.

Let’s say that your organization produces design software that can be used by anyone in the industrial manufacturing space—so, industries like automotive, aerospace, gas turbine engines, etc.  Now, for the sake of this example let’s also say you produced a piece of content titled, “The 5 Hard Decisions You Need to Make When Spec’ing a Project,” and uploaded it to your company blog to moderate success. 

Why end the story there?  You’ve already likely structured your site to have sections dedicated to the major industries you service.  Place the content there with a slightly tweaked title to see its views propagate.  If your site isn’t structured that way, then create a new page not found in navigation that collects relevant information by industry (including the blog) and run segmented email and PPC campaigns against it.    

Opportunity #2: Tagging Content on the Back End

Not only did the Uberflip study look at ways to boost the effectiveness of content on the front end, their study also examined the back end.  One finding that we found very interesting was how teams that were more efficient in tagging their content saw higher views on their content overall.  You can see this in the following graph:

Taggings Effect on Views Per Item Content Marketing Courtesy of Uberflip(Image Courtesy of Uberflip and its Content Experience Report)

In the table, there are three groupings based on the percentage of tagged content in the study’s subject’s CMSs (0-33%, 33-66%, or 66-100%).  The Y axis shows the views per item expressed as a percentage, allowing for comparisons between companies of different sized audiences.  The more tagged (or organized) a marketing team’s content is, the more views it receives.

The explanation offered by Uberflip for this finding is that when content is organized with tags – for instance relevant industry, place in funnel, persona, etc. – it makes it easier for people within the organization (like your sales reps) to find and share with relevant prospects and customers. 

Given the highly segmented markets served by engineering marketers, it reasons that the same would hold true for our activities.  Ensuring that those interfacing with prospects and customers have an easy way to find and share relevant content only makes sense. 

So how can you do this on your own?  A Google document is an easy method and only requires diligence from the marketing team in the form of regular updates.  If you can convince people to buy-in, track content ROI by ensuring those sharing report back to marketing with whom they’re sharing—or better yet, just make it a column they can modify in your Google doc.

Opportunity #3: Personalize Content with AI

The study found that when personalized recommendations are made, the likelihood that additional content is consumed increased by 60% over the best performing generic recommendation.  This is captured in the following CTR data table:

Personalization and Click Through Rates Courtesy of Uberflip(Image Courtesy of Uberflip and its Content Experience Report)

This is something engineering.com knows a lot about.  For the last two years, the Operations team at engineering.com has been tinkering away building an amazing recommendation engine.  Today, that recommendation engine uses user activity (views, downloads, shares, opens, etc.), demographic data, and natural language processing to find and recommend the most relevant content for anyone visiting engineering.com’s site.  Since launch, our own click-through rate has risen by 100% over the control

In fact, we’re taking it one step further and making the recommendation engine the heart of engineering.com going forward, personalizing 100% of our audience visits.  We’re working to make finding relevant and interesting engineering content as easy as finding your next favorite show on Netflix. 

Want to see what we have in store? The system is fully live on the app, so check it out on iOS and Android, or check out the website beta.  Have any thoughts on the interface? Please share them.  We’re always curious to know what you think.

Oh, and before we go, be sure to download your own free copy of the Content Experience Report

Until next time,

Andrew McWhaw

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