Well-written, attention-grabbing content is what can set you apart from your competitors.
It can also create loyal customers who will want to continue to engage with you. Commonly referred to as Content Marketing, it’s the holy grail of any marketing strategy.
Generating valuable insights from data and applying the findings to your Content Marketing strategy will be more critical than ever.
Let’s explore what a Content Marketing strategy is, why it’s essential to your marketing efforts, and how data-driven Content Marketing strategies give you a competitive advantage.
In this article, we will cover:
What Is Content Marketing?
Often, business entities struggle to generate traffic and convert them into leads, keeping the top of their sales funnel full.
Paid advertising can be complex and risky if you don’t know what you are doing. It can also be super expensive if you get it wrong.
Content Marketing is a marketing approach designed to distribute informative and consistent content tailored to your buyer persona.
The content is geared towards answering the pain points your buyer persona suffers. It addresses these needs in a way that attracts and engages your audient.
A Content Marketing approach is designed to boost conversions by increasing brand awareness, and bring more traffic to your website.
There are several factors that determine the success of your Content Marketing strategy. One is to choose the right type of content, which may include some or all of the following:
- Product reviews
- Opinion pieces
- Case studies
- Live Streaming
- Podcasts and more
It’s best to choose the type of content best suited to your audience, the marketing channels you use and your marketing goals.
What Is Data-Driven Content Marketing?
Data-driven Content Marketing is an analytics approach used to optimize marketing strategies.
Data is collected from a targeted audience that matches a company’s customer profile or buyer persona. The data is then used to create effective Content Marketing campaigns.
You can take a spray-and-pray marketing approach or create a targeted marketing approach through the use of data.
A data-driven Content Marketing strategy will always outshine a spray-and-pray tactic every time. This is because data-driven Content Marketing uses real data acquired through customer feedback and interactions.
This feedback gives you insight into buyer motivations and their preferences as it analyzes their behavior online.
Data-driven Content Marketing strategies ultimately help companies optimize how a marketing channel performs.
Coupled with marketing attribution, it allows them to track performance in real-time. Using data as the foundation of a Content Marketing approach enhances the customer experience, ultimately leading to increased revenue and greater profits.
Why Is Data-Driven Marketing Important?
You can’t be everything to everyone. Consumers have preferences that guide their buying behavior and path to purchase.
Using the data that sits behind a buyer’s journey gives companies a greater chance of converting them into paying customers with a targeted marketing approach.
You don’t want to be spending money, time, and effort on Digital Marketing efforts that don’t work.
Data-driven analysis in a niche allows companies to uncover a snapshot of their customer’s buying habits.
With that information, it enables them to tailor sales and marketing strategies directly to their target audience.
The added advantage of using a data-driven Content Marketing strategy is being able to use the data to identify which marketing channels are performing the best.
How Data Can Guide Your Content Creation Strategy
In the business-to-consumer marketplace (B2C), you might want to collect data that includes demographics, psychographics and data collected from social media.
CES (customer effort scores) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) are also valuable pieces of information that can be gathered, along with other data sources.
By studying these data sets, you will reveal segments of consumers that demonstrate similar preferences, behaviors, and inclinations.
The data helps companies refine their marketing messages to include offers that closely align to the segment of the market where their ideal customers can be found.
It’s critical before launching into a data-driven Content Marketing strategy that you start with your goals.
The overarching goal of a Content Marketing strategy is to build a relationship with your audience by creating value-added content. Once you understand what your goals are, you can tap into appropriate data sources.
How To Build the Data For a Data-Driven Content Marketing Piece
You can either use a data-mining company to deliver the research, or you can procure data yourself through a variety of methods.
These methods include case studies, surveys and data you have already collected from your existing customers. This could include:
- A competitive analysis that highlights customer problems, and the solutions your competitors offer to resolve these problems or opportunities.
- Conduct keyword research using Google Analytics and SEMRush. This gives you insights into how the customer researches the product or services they want or need within the niche you operate in.
- Research market trends and statistics. You can collect this data from media and industry websites like Kissmetrics, Statistica, and Forbes.
- Collect data from your website including how you rank in Google, the number of visitors to your website, social media shares and click-through rates (CTR).
- Collect data from email autoresponders like Mailchimp that provide data on email open rates and the number of email addresses collected.
- Create a buyer persona to learn more about the demographics. Additionally, learn more about the psychographics of your target audience to uncover what your audience cares about and gain insights into their buying cycle.
Once you’ve collected the data, you can begin to plan a data-driven Content Marketing strategy to generate better quality leads.
How Can I Apply Data-Driven Content Marketing?
There are two approaches to using data. One is the content creation phase and the second is the post content phase.
The data needs to be used in a way that defines how the content will connect with your buyer persona. This helps to guide the creation of your content from the start of your project.
Begin With Strong Planning
In the planning stage of using data to guide your content creation strategy, you must create content with your buyer persona in mind.
It’s not good enough to guess if your content will resonate with your persona. You must design and write content targeted to a specific audience; not trying to reach the largest audience possible.
Ensure You Are Using Accurate Data
Using the data in the content creation phase starts with defining your marketing goals. Do you want to attract new customers, grow your sales revenue, increase your profits, build brand awareness, enhance the customer experience?
You might want to look at metrics like the time visitors spend on an individual webpage. Another metric to look at is if, when and where they abandon the site.
All marketing campaigns need to build trust and rapport with your audience to build an ongoing relationship with them.
Clearly Define Topics For Your Audience
When ready to create content, clearly define the topic and angle you wish the content piece to take.
It needs to address a problem or opportunity that sits within your niche. You can identify this from your buyer personas.
From here, research possible headlines you could use that come up on a Google search using key phrases that address the problem or opportunity.
If writing content in the form of a blog or article, use 8-10 headings. Some of these headings should contain keywords along with clickable links.
Readers tend to skim-read online, so headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs are critical in the body of the article.
Ensure you include inbound and outbound links to other content you’ve created. Including several links to other non-competitive websites creates credibility.
How To Create a Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy
Unless your Content Marketing strategy is well defined, you could be trying to connect with the wrong audience by hanging out in the wrong places.
Data can provide feedback on who is interacting with trending topics. This approach highlights what channels your target audience are currently using. It also enables you to identify the most relevant influencers within these groups.
Create Your Buyer Personas
Begin with your audience in mind. Use buyer personas and existing customer data to identify your ideal audience.
Once you understand the audience for your content, you can choose what type of content to use and seek out the marketing channels you are most likely to the audience.
Map What Channels You Will use
Tap into the data that informs you of the best channels to use to reach your intended audience.
The form and tone of your content will depend on the marketing channel you use to deliver your content.
Different demographics and different marketing channels suit different audiences. Some types of content will suit certain channels over others.
Leverage Influencers in Your Space
To maximize your reach, leverage influencers who already operate in your space. By co-producing content and sharing across each other’s platforms, the influencers will help you leverage new networks.
For example, the retailer GNC was able to leverage this strategy to gain more than 380,000 new Facebook fans simply by tapping into small niche groups online.
Evaluating Your ROI
As with any marketing campaign, data-driven or not, it’s important to measure critical aspects of what works and what doesn’t.
This means that as you define your marketing goals, choose key performance indicators (KPIs) that will measure value and engagement.
It’s easy to track sales which is an essential component of effective Content Marketing. Remember to include other metrics like customer retention rates and loyalty, along with engagement.
Here are a few metrics to consider, including your KPI’s when designing a data-driven Content Marketing campaign.
You want to monitor the size of the audience your content is reaching. Additionally, you need to measure what percentage of the audience is your target audience.
Another important metric is to measure engagement. If your audience is not engaging with your content, you may need to consider changing your approach and content.
The purpose of a data-driven Content Marketing strategy to collect leads that you can turn into paying customers. Here’s the most valuable data of all, measuring your conversation rates.
Depending on your Content Marketing goals, what did your audience do after seeing, watching, or reading your content? Did they sign up for a newsletter? Did they go to the website? If so, how long did they stay there, and how many pages did they click through to? Did they download any content or share it on social media?
While data mining can be time-consuming, you will find the effort is more than worth it. This is a targeted approach that allows you to target the right prospects.
With the right content, using the proper marketing channels, you can convert those prospects into paying customers.
In summary, your lead generation may stay the same — unless you focus on data-driven Content Marketing today.
A good way to gather data from your audience is through interactive content. If you want to boost your strategy, without spending hours on it, take our assessment and see the best formats of interactive content that you can use!