By Ronald Wolf
Did you know that the average CTR for any form of online advertising went from 0.09% to 0.05%? For this trend we are to blame the rise of social networks and ad blockers which helped consumers successfully fight the unwanted ads.
Where does this leave marketers? A bit behind, certainly, but not hopeless. They were just forced to back from the battle and come up with a new strategic plan that will appeal to their (target) customers.
And boy did they discover a nuclear weapon, one that was actually at their disposal this entire time – data. It provides marketers with access into human’s (better say, customer’s) social dynamics – their needs, demographics, shopping habits, etc.
The Idea Behind the Data-driven Content Marketing
It’s rather a simple one: a marketer collects information on the target market and its customers in order to use this data to design their marketing campaigns more effectively. Though in theory this sounds quite simple, in practice, it is far from effortless.
More often than not, you will be presented with an abundance of data and will not always be certain how to use it to connect all the dots. Nevertheless, customer-driven marketing campaign represents the best way to create content that will appeal to your target customer and ultimately make them convert into buyers. In fact, statistics presented by the CMI show that in most cases companies use customer-collected data to boost brand awareness (91%), retain customers (86%) and improve engagement (86%).
Taking all of this into consideration, it comes to us as a surprise to hear only a bit more than 40% of content marketers are confident that they are running successful campaigns. That’s because the industry can still be classified as fairly young, and many are still learning how to navigate their content in a way that yields results.
How Data Can Guide Your Content Strategy
Despite the possible complexity of the content creation process, the benefits that data can bring to the table cannot be so easily overlooked. In fact, for top results, data has to be analyzed both pre- and during content creation process. This means a content marketer has to take into consideration how data will help them determine whether the current content is connecting with the target audience and how it can help you guide the process of content creation in advance.
Pre-creation Phase for Post-creation Results
First, it’s essential to define KPIs for your campaign that will enable you to measure engagement and value. Most beneficial metrics include:
- Traffic – establishing how large your audience is and whether they are truly your target customers.
- Engagement rate – determining whether people are engaging with the content.
- Rankings – SEO Experts from GWM advise that the best thing you can do is conduct a detailed keyword research and analysis in effort to establish a strong search engine optimization campaign. This will contribute to higher rankings in SERP and improved visibility.
- Conversions – seeing what the visitors did after engaging with the content (purchased a product/hired a service, sign up for a newsletter, downloaded your content, etc.).
Content Creation Process
This is the time content marketers leverage valuable analytics instead of relying on their gut feeling. Data aids in targeting the right audience, trending topics they discuss, their channel-specific preferences and potential influencers. Data driven analysis will help you:
- Get close to your audience – To reach out to potential buyers, it’s important to understand what type of content and channels interests them the most, as well as which topics resonate with them. The collected data will outline specific details about your buyer persona (demographics, interests, location) so you can see who exactly you are selling your products to, and also show you how your main competitors communicate with them.
- Content and channel mapping – The form of content depends on the channel you are targeting. Decipher the data to see where your customers are and at what specific time they are using these channels.
- Influencer marketing – It’s not just about what your target audience is talking about, but who as well. Look for industry influencers you could possibly partner with and who will gladly share your content, ultimately helping you tap into new networks.
The Bottom Line
Data can be used to track your customers in effort to deliver them higher value and build long-lasting relationship. For SMBs especially, engaging with fewer of the right people instead of thousands of wrong ones is always a more effective approach. No more taking leaps of faith. Only hard data and a bulletproof plan.
Have you started working on yours yet?