Marketing experts love their numbers, charts, and graphs. They use them extensively to support their campaign decisions and to guide their marketing teams to deliver the best possible content pieces for a brand’s online presence. On the other hand, we have your target audience, who, above all, strive to find a solution to a particular problem without worrying about keywords and search engine optimization. However, the ideal content strategies start where data and the focus on audience meet.
Using just raw data or just your customers’ opinions as your guiding star for content creation would be like using a single leg in a race where all your competitors rely on both – you’ll probably get to the finish line, but definitely not first, and certainly in a great deal of pain. While the premise of blending the two approaches into a single strategy may sound fairly simple, it’s a complex issue most brands fail to achieve. Let’s take a look at how you can use the best of both worlds and turn them into a winning strategy for your brand.
Do your homework on both fronts
You may be an expert when it comes to knowing your brand, but in order for your audience to know and love your business as much as you do, they first need to understand what you do. For that chemistry to happen, you need to know your market, if there is a gap you could fill with a unique value proposition, and how on Earth your top competitors are sitting on their thrones.
Then again, you also need to know your possible customers – not just their age, gender, and problem that needs solving, but their preferred social networks, what sort of language structures and imagery they enjoy, etc. Using different tools to analyze niche-specific keywords is a great start, but analyzing how your actual audience searches for your services is an even better way to refine your content creation.
Focus on engagement
Spewing dozens of posts on your Facebook page every day without striving to engage is a waste of time and creativity. Although an active page is a great way to signal Google and other search engines that your brand is alive, if the type of content you post isn’t getting people chatty, then being liked by Google is pointless. Take a look at the posts that have gathered the most buzz around your brand, and that have inspired the most likes, shares, and comments – the timing and type of content both matter for your target audience, so you’ll get a better understanding of what and when to post.
Striving to get people talking about your brand will naturally increase your website traffic, your conversion rates will grow, and your brand awareness will skyrocket. By building a customer-focused mindset, your data analysis will reflect your efforts to the benefit of your brand.
Step up to the learning curve
As much as you conduct your initial research both of the available data and your audience to craft the perfect content strategy, you need to remember that no approach is set in stone. Market trends change, and so do your customers’ preferences, which means you need to be in the loop with the latest updates you can implement into your strategy.
You wouldn’t target millennials with direct-call marketing, and you wouldn’t target baby boomers via Instagram – but these are just rough ideas in a sea of fine-print that can affect your entire marketing campaigns. Keep organizing surveys, sending email inquiries, and doing data research for the sake of cross-comparison, and you’ll have enough information to adjust your strategy on the go and even expect trend changes before they occur.
Diversify, monitor, analyze, tweak
Even the least-informed of marketers now know that content diversification has become a must-do of every modern brand. Including videos, memes, animations, images, and articles, and always looking for new formats is now a norm, not a marketing exception. Knowing and implementing this is not enough, hence the need to keep an eye on how your efforts are unraveling and if they are making an impact. In the process of analyzing the effect of your content, you needn’t only look at the numbers, but you can go straight to the source and ask your audience.
Use your content to implement call-to-action messages, to ask if they’d like a sequel to a detailed blog post, if they’d like a new topic covered, or if they would enjoy a weekly roundup of your posts. Their feedback is as valuable as the data that tells you how much time each visitor spends on your website and on a particular piece of content.
Rinse and repeat
There is no cookie-cutter solution to win the content race. Your brand is a unique entity that needs an equally unique strategy to be presented consistently to your audience. Bind your data and your audience’s feedback into a flexible strategy that allows room for change as much as it makes the most of the two sources to deliver quality content.