In a recent survey (April 2014) for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), research firm Ispsos OTX found that brands that use social media as part of their content marketing approach use proxy metrics as their primary means of measuring effectiveness of content.

The study revealed that the most common measurement statistics cited were Facebook “likes” (89 percent) and clickthroughs (87 percent), an indication that brand awareness is a desired objective; less than 25 percent of the respondents identified sales as a means of determining effectiveness.

The results of this survey were reinforced a month later by Contently, whose May 2014 poll found that brand awareness was the goal cited by almost 73 percent of marketers as the purpose of social content. Within this, 65 percent of marketers relied on social shares and likes for determining the efficacy of their content, while only 42 percent cited sales as a measure. Curiously, seven percent of the respondents do not monitor the success of their online content at all.

The ANA report also found that posts to social media platforms were the most prevalent social media content, and considered the most effective content type by a wide margin.

eMarketer. “Finally, Most Brands Measuring Social Content Effectiveness”; June 30, 2014.

Association of National Advertisers. “Infographics: 2014 ANA Social Media Content Development Survey”; June 16, 2014.

Contently, “A Crisis of Confidence: The State of Content Marketing Measurement”; May 2014.