Many brands worldwide are aware of the importance of content marketing for their brand’s success in today’s growingly digital world. That has led to content marketing becoming an integral part of many marketing strategies worldwide. According to research by Content Marketing Institute, 86% of B2C marketers take advantage of content in their overall strategy! However, only 29% of them deem their strategy extremely successful.
So what’s the catch here? Why is there such a significant disparity between these numbers? The answer is pretty simple — investing time into data analysis and adjusting your campaign accordingly is essential to making a successful content marketing strategy. Unfortunately, only 33% of B2C businesses have reported they have a documented content strategy. With so many brands not utilizing data-driven content marketing, it’s no wonder the success rates are so low.
But what is data-driven content anyways, and why is it so crucial for success? That, among other things, is what we’re going to find out! But let’s start with the basics.
Data-driven content is a form of analytical strategy many marketers worldwide use to boost their campaigns’ success.
This tactic relies heavily on statistical data gathered from a variety of sources. The variety of information you might gather is vast and could range from your customers’ average age to your website’s traffic.
In essence, data-driven content is used to personalize your marketing campaigns to tailor them to your users’ needs better. By doing so, you maximize your overall likelihood of success and campaign ROI.
The first step on your road to collecting data for your data-driven content marketing strategy ought to be putting together a buyer persona. Essentially, a buyer persona is a tailored model of your target customer. Once you have a buyer persona set up (if you need additional help, you can find some examples here), you will know what kind of consumer you want your campaign to target.
But why is that crucial? It’s quite simple — if you know who your target audience is, it will be easier to tweak your campaign to better meet that goal. You’ll be able to personalize your videos, blog posts, and even email campaigns to your ideal consumer.
After you’re done making your buyer persona, it’s time to do some customer demographic data collection! This information will help you identify how much of your existing audience already fits your buyer persona, which will prove invaluable on your road to further planning. Here are some of the factors about your consumers you should be looking to learn:
Aside from the above parameters, you should also research some of the following elements:
All of that, combined with your buyer persona, will offer you plenty of information on what kind of content you should create, where to promote it, and how to adjust your campaign. Namely, it will help you identify your customers’ needs and wants, which, as we all know, should be the first step toward building any successful marketing campaign.
Now that you know what data you should collect, it’s time to look into how you can do that. Here are five ways you can collect data for your data-driven content marketing strategy.
One of the most intuitive ways of collecting data on your consumers is from themselves. Excellent ways to do that would be using:
The easiest way to promote these is to share them on social media and ask your users to participate. But if your response rate isn’t satisfactory, you could organize a small giveaway and ask for your audience’s information to participate. That way, they would have a much better incentive to take their time to fill in your questionnaire.
Another way you could collect user data would be to implement gated content. That would require your audience to fill in some personal information before being able to access it. Doing that would save you a lot of trouble the next time you decide to do audience research for you will already have a lot of data on them at the ready.
Overall, this method does take some time, but it doesn’t require much effort, so you’d be smart to use it the next time you decide to do audience research!
Analyzing your website can offer you an incredible amount of useful information that you could use to fine-tune your campaign. You can do the majority of the research through Google Analytics. The first things you’ll be looking for are:
These parameters can give you plenty of data on how your website is performing on the technical end. You will also learn more about the content marketing formats your users enjoy seeing, which you can use as an indicator of what content you should be making. Finally, knowing your primary source of traffic can pinpoint which parts of your lead generation strategy are providing the best results. That can help you shift your focus toward the part of your strategy with the best ROI.
Analyzing your website’s content is imperative to your marketing strategy’s success. There are many various parameters to look out for, each giving you different valuable information:
All of this information will help you identify what content will perform best for your business goals.
Once you’ve identified trending topics and know what content is popular with your audience, it’s time to do some keyword research! If you want your content to rank well on Google, this step is mandatory. Finding trending keywords and terms that you can rank for is essential to any content marketing strategy. Luckily, you can do that with next to no hassle using some of many keyword research tools out there.
Lastly, if you want to develop a killer data-driven content marketing strategy, you will need to take your competitors into account. That is where competitor analysis comes into play!
There are many ways to approach this process, but the most obvious one is researching your competitors’ websites and social media profiles. This process will be time-consuming, but it will be well worth it. Check how your competition interacts on social media, their approach to creating content, which mediums they use, etc. Oh, and you can also use some competition research tools like this one from SEMrush to look into the statistical and website data of your rivals.
If you think your job is done after you’ve set your content strategy in motion, you’re mistaken! The next thing you should do is keep regular tabs on your campaign’s performance. But how do you do that?
First, you need to determine your campaign’s goals. Then, you have to set your target KPIs accordingly. Essentially, these are parameters you will track and use to evaluate your campaign’s success. Let us give an example — if your content marketing campaign’s goal is to up your presence on social networks, your KPIs might be:
Alternatively, if you’re looking to monitor the success of your website’s content, you’ll likely be looking at data like your website traffic. That parameter is undoubtedly the most valuable one since it’s among the top two most commonly used metrics used to measure the success of content marketing campaigns. Some other things you should monitor would be:
We know that all of this might seem daunting if you’re new to it, but trust us — if you want your data-driven content strategy to succeed, all of this is essential.
Before we leave, there’s one final thing worth mentioning…
Do not, and we repeat, do not overlook the importance of tweaking your strategy on the fly. That is why evaluating your campaign’s success throughout its duration is so vital. By doing so, you can immediately address the weak points in your strategy and minimize losses.
An excellent example would be locating opportunities for updating old content. If you are trying to rank for a specific keyword and realize you already have decently performing posts focused on it, it would be much smarter to update them than to write an entirely new one! But don’t take our word for it — 51% of brands found that updating old and stale content was the best performing strategy in their repertoire.
Another fantastic example would be if you found out mid-through your campaign that your visual content was outperforming the written one. It wouldn’t take much effort to shift your focus from blog posts to videos and infographics. However, that impromptu change could result in substantially higher ROI than you might have initially anticipated.
Overall, don’t underestimate the value of reinventing your strategy on the go!
As you can see, data-driven campaigns are the way to go! That is particularly true if you’re basing your digital strategy around content. By collecting data on your audience, website performance, trending keywords, and competitors, you will be able to create a killer strategy to propel your business toward the stars! Oh, and keeping tabs on these elements throughout your campaign will allow you to adapt on the fly and overcome any challenges that might come up.
So are you ready to start your first data-driven content marketing campaign? We wish you the best of luck!
Until next time!