Most businesses know they need a content marketing strategy. They know it involves blogging, posting to social media, and occasionally emailing a list of customers. But creating content in this haphazard way will eat up your time, budget, and deliver less-than exciting results. If you want your content strategy to succeed, you need data-driven marketing.
In this blog, we’re going to show you how you can start using data to create content. We’ll also give you some data driven content marketing examples, so that you can launch your data-driven marketing and content strategy today.
1. Set goals and measure success
At the end of the day, your goal is to help make your business profitable. For this reason, you should be able to expect a return on investment (ROI) from your content marketing. In order to get that ROI, you should set your content strategy’s key performance indicators (KPIs).
KPIs help you to:
- Set a purpose for your content strategy
- Measure its success or failure
- Understand how you can improve it
So what should be your content strategy’s key performance indicators? While content marketing should indirectly help to drive sales and boost your Google ranking, it has other more important goals. These goals target customers when they’re at the top of the marketing funnel.
[bctt tweet=”Your content should provide value to your audience and help build a relationship.” username=”relevance”]
Your content marketing KPIs should include:
- Brand awareness
- Customer retention and loyalty
While these factors seem less tangible than sales and rankings, they are extremely important.
For example, brand awareness is important because 59% of shoppers prefer to buy new products from brands that are familiar to them.
You can track your brand awareness through a number of metrics. These include website traffic, external mentions and links, social engagement and search volume. For more information, check out this article on how to measure your brand awareness and prove your ROI.
2. Research target audience
It’s time to look at how data can help you understand your target audience to create better quality content: thumb-stopping content that your audience finds engaging and seeks out for information or entertainment.
You may already have an existing customer base who you want to understand better, so that you can develop content they will enjoy. Or you may have a new product and want to define your target audience. Either way, you want to compile as much data as possible on your target audience.
Your data should include:
- Age: Categorise your audience into age groups (15-25, 25-35, etc) Also understand what stage of life they are at. For example, are they new parents, university students or baby-boomers?
- Location: Location is important because you’ll find differences between rural and urban audiences, languages spoken, time zones, and many other factors.
- Interests: Unearth your audience’s interest so that you can feed them topics of interests and tap into what’s trending for their demographic.
- Spending power: Understand your audience’s wealth and disposable income. Facebook, for example, gives data on salaries.
- Spending habits: Get to know your audiences spending habits such as their tastes, where they shop and when.
Once you have this data, you can start creating audience personas to get a better feel for your audience. Make your personas as real as possible, by creating profiles. Profiles work best when they include pictures, names, and the demographic information listed above. In this way, you can visualise you audience and craft content that is perfect for them.
3. Develop effective content
Just like you need to collect data on your audience, you also need to collect data on the type of content they engage with and how they like to view that content.
This guide by ScribbleLive discusses different generations’ favourite types of content. Find out which type of content your audience is most responsive to.
Types of content include:
- social media posts
- interactive experiences, and
You can also use data to find out your audience’s favourite channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat, or other. If you are targeting a corporate audience or businesses, channels like LinkedIn may be more appropriate.
[bctt tweet=”While social media is one of the first go-to’s in any content strategy, beware that too much social media can sometimes detract from your strategy.” username=”relevance”]
Using the research you’ve compiled on your audience, their preferred channels and content types, you can also research which times of day they are most active. This will inform what you post and when, including user-generated content campaigns.
4. Finesse your content
While using data-driven marketing to boost your content strategy, you can even use numbers and statistics to improve on the finer points of the content itself.
Headings are incredibly important to your content. They’re the first thing users see, along with an image, when deciding to click on an article or post. For this reason, your headings need to grab attention and get clicks. Coschedule headline analyser is a tool which allows you to enter your heading and get an engagement score, effectively using data to back your content.
[bctt tweet=”Your content as a whole needs to be readable if it’s going to be engaging.” username=”relevance”]
“Readability” indicates how clear and easy-to-read your content is. Use the Flesch Reading Ease Readability Formula, which gives a gold standard for your content.
Naturally, you’ll want to incorporate keywords into your content including both headings and body copy. Moz is just one of many tools you can use to search for keywords that are relevant to your offerings and have a high search volume. By using a tool like Moz for keyword research, you’ll effectively use data to inform your content strategy.
In this article, we’ve shown the relationship between data science and content marketing. We’ve shown you how to set goals and measure the success of your content strategy. We’ve also explained how to use data to create original content, and improve on that content. Whether you’re creating a content strategy from scratch, or improving an existing strategy, your content needs to be data-driven if it’s going to succeed.