Updated: Jan 24
In recent years, businesses have realized how important data is to their marketing efforts. McKinsey mentions that many massive companies are using data to drive their marketing efforts. The term “Big Data Analytics” immediately comes to mind since it’s tossed around so casually in conversation. However, the insights that proper analysis of data offers to a company are second to none. Brands around the world have realized how vital this data is to developing content that can help their brand market itself. It is here that we find the core of the idea of data-driven content marketing.
What is Data-Driven Content Marketing
SEM Rush defines data-driven content marketing as using data to determine the needs of an audience then crafting a content strategy around those requirements. Big data allows businesses to analyze a large swathe of information collected from its customers to figure out the areas that affect them the most. Marketers would immediately recognize these areas as “pain-points.”
Taking these pain-points into consideration, a company can then start developing a content marketing strategy that impacts those areas exactly. A business can craft their content to shape a company’s profile and product. Creating content that appeals to these pain-points while still providing valuable information and entertaining the consumer is the core of data-driven content marketing.
How to Create a Data-Driven Content Strategy
Content marketing is an idea that evolved from the ubiquitous availability of the Internet. Now even small companies can compete with larger ones in the grand scheme of things. Most smaller businesses don’t have the benefit of big data analytics at their fingertips. Despite this, smaller enterprises also stand to benefit from a data-driven content strategy.
Content Marketing Institute even throws a wrench at the term “Big Data,” stating that it’s just another buzzword that doesn’t add real value to the data that a company can use.
What data can small or medium businesses use to generate their insights then? Business2Community mentions that companies can utilize readily available tools for their data analysis, such as:
Trending Topics: From Google Trends to trending hashtags on Twitter, there’s a plethora of information that small or medium businesses can use here to get their content marketing pointed in the right direction.
Keyword Research: Moz and SEMRush are the masters of keyword research, and even smaller businesses can use those tools to figure out where to put their content marketing focus on.
Competitor Analysis: What are other people in your industry doing? Competitor analysis is another crucial element of researching how to craft a proper content strategy.
These core elements allow you to gain insight into what your ideal customer should be and what they are looking for in terms of marketing. It would be best if you had a general idea of what they enjoy, their focus, and the things that excite them.
Creating a Framework
Once you’ve done a bit of research into what the world is talking about (and in specific, your target audience), you’ll need to build a framework. The framework can be a simple method of putting together a content calendar. According to Convince and Convert, content calendars allow marketers to be more concise in how they deliver their content and offer them strict deadlines to work with. The content calendar shouldn’t only focus on topics, however. There should also be notes about the content distribution platforms and the types of content (audio, video, articles, etc.).
Figure Out Your Content Formats
Video, audio, even animation, are all ways for businesses to deliver content to consumers. Animoto mentions that as much as four times as many users prefer to watch a video relating to a product instead of reading about it. The length of the content is also essential. With shorter attention spans being the norm, you’d think that more concise blog posts would generate a lot more views. Quora Creative mentions that long-form articles that explore a topic in-depth can drive as much as ten times more traffic than shorter posts. Since this content strategy is going to have data as its foundation, you should adjust the content format based on responses from the consumer. The best methodology is to let the likes of the consumer drive your content marketing.
Distribution Channels Are Critical
A content strategy that only exists on a single blog doesn’t have enough of an impact to make sense for content marketing. Social media sites are where most consumers spend their time online.
Finding the social media network that your ideal customer will most likely spend time will give you the channel for your distribution. However, content marketing through social media isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Sprout Social notes that strategies will differ depending on the audience and the industry in question. That’s where your competitor research comes in since the most successful competitors are probably using social media channels that you should look at as well.
Test and Correct as Necessary
The reason why content marketing strategies can be so effective is that they can incorporate new data as it comes in. The statistics of landing pages and the location and volume of visitors can clue a company in to what they’re doing right and what needs to change. Even the engagement numbers on a particular type of posts show which kind of content the audience likes the most. The feedback you get here is the heart of a data-driven content marketing strategy. It’s using data to create actionable decisions that may impact the company’s visibility online.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Hard statistics and facts are what the world works on. We may have individual opinions about what works and what doesn’t. However, it’s only when we have the facts that we can decide whether we were right or wrong. Building a content marketing strategy on data as opposed to opinion allows a business to use the hard facts to drive its success. Every influx of data will enable you to tailor the strategy to the needs of the customer further. A well-crafted content strategy should always have the aim of using available information to be better.