The Numbers Game: 7 Tips on Using Data to Improve Content

data-key-571156_1280My grandmother told me how she used to receive a firm handshake with a thank you for her purchase at the mom-and-pop stores she frequented. That was how small business owners built relationships with customers. But with today’s online marketers, there’s no opportunity for handshaking in the mix.

That’s why smart 21st century businesses are turning to data to help them build relationships and influence the creative process.

Even within the elite advertising community at this year’s Cannes (Lions International Festival), MediaPost reports, “The New Creatives Are Data Geeks Too.” The account goes on to say that, “…the creative minds are embracing the idea that creative can be improved when you know exactly who you’re talking to, and when you can prove the value of those conversations during a campaign or after the fact.”

Data is (amazingly!) driving a major creative renaissance …especially when it comes to content.

Just do a number on them

The entire advertising and marketing community has learned to tap into their data, listen to their customers and make the information actionable. That’s especially important in developing a targeted online content strategy and applying it across the board to your websites, blogs, micro-sites, social media and more. Using your customer information (also called “big data”) can also strengthen the service side of your operations.

Today’s successful online marketers use data and personalize their content to: connect with customers; drive shoppers to buy; identify channels that interest their audience; get customers to join their conversations; identify with products and services; attend webinars; request more information; answer surveys and much, much more!

7 effective tips to drive content with data

Here are some hints to help you tap into and use data to drive your content strategy:

  1. Study the right data. Every item on your website (and in your editorial calendar) should be driving the data you study. That includes such information as types of content to blog, titles, posting days/times and more. Take a look at what your competitors are doing. And review the metrics from all your social media marketing.
  2. Use the right tools to best understand your customers. Tap into content analytics (like Google Analytics or a proprietary solution) to see how traffic behaves on your website. For example, what categories are performing best…are articles in these categories being discovered through specific channels more often? Use social listening technology to take a snapshot of the Internet and zoom in on various conversations taking place around specific keywords. See how people are talking negatively or positively about your industry on Twitter and Facebook and apply that information to future blogs. There also are programs that help you nurture leads and drive content.
  3. Segment, segment, segment. Find out how each specific group of customers responds to your content, by channel and social media outlet. Then, apply specific content to that media and channel…and personalize, customize, and individualize.
  4. Track the most popular “help” or “Q & A” topics. This metric can help you create content to address specific areas of concern. Plus, it can help in future development of products and services.
  5. Create content that increases loyalty. When you look at the data, you will most likely discover that you cater to dozens of unique buyers. It’s no longer sufficient to just focus on age, gender, and income when developing buyer personas. You must cast a wider net and evaluate information to identify topics and areas of interest for your audience that increase customer loyalty, like content tied to life events.
  6. Use big data to inspire BIGGER creativity. It’s easy to let the numbers influence your decisions, but don’t let metrics hold back your creativity. When you become too data-driven, you can lose the human element behind your content. Let the insight from the metrics inspire you rather than drive the creativity.
  7. Measure and test constantly. Be a little adventurous with your content marketing. There’s a lot of room for creative growth, but you won’t know what works and what doesn’t without a reporting system in place. So be sure to determine which content is working and which is not through testing and retesting.

Want to know more about using data to create content? Just talk to the pros at Solamar. We’ll show you how the numbers can work in your favor!

Want blog updates sent to you like magic?

Just enter your email below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *