Content marketers have heard it all before – content marketing is supposed to be an art form, a way of reaching people, a way of broadcasting that a brand or company is a thought leader in its space.

But while content marketers can easily access page views to determine if a piece of content is a success, the harder question to answer is why. Why has one piece done well, while another was just lacklustre? These are the questions that Atomic Reach, a B2B content marketing agency, is trying to answer.

Based in Toronto, Atomic Reach has built a scoring engine that analyzes about 21 different factors in a piece of content, assigning each piece of content an Atomic Score to gauge how well it may perform. While some of the factors include spelling, grammar, and whether the content uses emotive language, one of the most key factors is whether the piece is written for the right audience, says Ira Haberman, director of marketing at Atomic Reach.

“You need to write content to your audience’s knowledge level. We feel very strongly that when you structure your content, independent of topicality and theme, to your audience’s knowledge level and their understanding of your topic, you’re bound to engage a larger audience,” Haberman says, adding that could mean using the right language, industry jargon, and so on.

What Atomic Reach does is that it splits audiences into five different categories – general, knowledgeable, specialist, academic, or genius. While the audiences’ names don’t actually mean whether they are literally academics or geniuses, it does help content writers and marketers figure out how they should structure their posts to appeal to these groups. Posts that are on-target and well-optimized for a specific audience typically get a score of 70 or higher, Haberman says.

To get access to the Atomic Score, writers and marketers need to work with Atomic Reach’s team, providing the team with a guess of which audience they believe is reading their blog or site. Atomic Reach will then figure out the right level of audience, how much time readers have spent consuming a post, and so on.

Customers have choices as to how they want Atomic Reach to access their content. They can either inject all of their content via an RSS reader, or they can integrate Atomic Reach into their content management systems (CMS). By plugging in Atomic Reach into their CMS, writers can actually get tips on improving their content as they’re writing it – for example, Atomic Reach might suggest making a post longer or shorter, or fixing the title. This makes it faster and easier to optimize a post, Haberman says.

Sometimes, publishers and marketers can be really surprised by what their Atomic Scores will show them, he adds, pointing to the example of one of his customers, a publisher in the entertainment industry. The customer believed its readers were all at an academic level, when really the more popular pieces of content were written for a knowledgeable audience – “a couple of rungs below,” Haberman says.

“It’s true, you may have a very high level of knowledge and sophistication around a topic. However, if you’re in Hollywood and you’re an executive producer or a director, or even an actor, and you’re reading an industry-type of magazine, you may decide you don’t have a lot of time to spend with that content. So you want content that’s written to be quick and easy to understand so you get the gist of that content,” he says.

There’s also a social aspect to Atomic Reach’s scoring engine. It can show writers which social networks give them the most traffic referrals, telling them they may need to focus on Twitter and Facebook, but that their audience is too small to worry about on LinkedIn, for example.

To give Atomic Reach a two-week trial, content writers, marketers, and publishers can head over here. Pricing starts at around $25 a month, and it’s tiered based on the number of screens, feeds, and authors added to an account.

There’s also a free version called the Engager App, a WordPress plugin that will allow marketers to figure out how they can improve their writing styles and help them optimize their posts for search.

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