Data-Driven Content Marketing: The Key to Targeting and Engaging Your Audience in 2015
With more and more consumers deriving their information from search engines and social media sites, content marketing will not only remain king in 2015, but will also be bolstered by the introduction of new technologies, resources, and tactics. With the aim of helping marketers identify and harness the technologies that will drive content marketing in 2015, the Content Marketing Institute (@CMIContent) staged ContentTECH—a free one-day event on February 25, 2015.
Attended by numerous industry thought leaders and respected marketing executives, many emphasized the importance of data-driven content marketing in 2015. CMSWire (@cmswire) got some of the experts to share their recommendations in the Networking Lounge.
Chad Smith (@Chadksm), Director of Content for Imprint Content, mentioned that the business’s goals should ultimately guide their content marketing efforts:
In 2015 there are multiple resources and tools available to help with content marketing efforts, but you have to really understand the goal of the business to know which tools make the most sense. The output of those tools should ultimately support a continuous data-driven content marketing program.
Creating a Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy
Data can be aggregated from various sources—statistics, market research, surveys, as well as publicly available data. Marketers can also use data derived from their lead management systems, social media channels, and others to inform their content marketing strategies.
The aggregated data needs to be measured and analyzed, and actions should be taken based on derived insights. “Whether you use data to drive your digital marketing or inspire how you connect with customers, you need a framework in place to compile, consolidate, and manage the volume of customer insight you acquire every day,” stated Ted Karczewski (@TeddyHK), Content Specialist at Skyword.
Karczewski has provided six actionable tips that will help marketers create data-driven content marketing strategies:
- Use available tools to start to understand your customers
Marketers need to use the most efficient technologies to understand their audiences’ needs, as well as nurture relationships with leads that have shown interest in products/services. While creating buyer personas is vital, marketers are advised to avoid assuming too much about their potential buyers, and instead analyze the data that will help them understand their customers’ life cycle.
Some technologies worth considering include: content analytics, social listening technology, marketing automation, and content marketing platforms.
- Create content derived from your data findings
To create targeted and personalized content, marketers need to develop more accurate, updated, and segmented buyer personas. Age, gender, and income bracket are no longer sufficient to developing viable buyer personas. Marketers need to widen their scope by studying purchasing patterns, in-store visits, and local based information, among others, to identify topics and areas of interest for target audiences.
- Don’t allow big data to stunt creativity
A caveat: while aggregated data should influence content marketing decisions, metrics shouldn’t be allowed to stunt creativity. Content that is too data-driven ultimately loses its human element, or the story that drives engagement. “Let the insight inspire you rather than drive the whole plan forward,” advised Karczewski. In short, don’t ignore your instincts; content is an art form after all.
- Build a community around your engaged audiences
Marketers should employ internal and external content contributors to create content for their brands and engage their audiences. To ensure effectiveness, brand guidelines need to be established for contributors to follow.
- Create timely content with “where” in mind
Aside from being “searchable, snackable, and shareable,” content needs to reach the right audience at the right time. Marketers are advised to diversify their content distribution channels and analyze aggregated data to highlight the channels that will most likely deliver timely content to the right audience.
- Measure and test constantly
While there is a lot of room for growth, marketers won’t know what works and what doesn’t unless they have a reporting system in place. Hence, marketers are advised to measure and test their content marketing constantly to more accurately determine which programs and formats are working and which aren’t. Insights can also be derived from narrowing focus and analysis to channel-specific interactions.
Do you have a data-driven content marketing strategy? What other tips/insights can you offer?
Latest posts by Marketing Digest Writing Team (see all)
- How Taco Bell Struck Gold with Its Memorable Viral Marketing Campaigns - September 15, 2015
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud Releases New Instagram Marketing Tools - September 12, 2015
- Chrome Begins Pausing Flash Ads by Default to Improve User Experience - September 3, 2015