Data is everywhere, and more business leaders are using it every day to make better decisions, improve products, and understand buyers. Big data for content marketing can be a huge differentiator for your brand. The more insights you decipher, the more you can uncover opportunities that will attract buyers with content, and convert them.
If you’re not using a data-driven approach to content marketing, or not realizing the benefits you desire, then we have some ideas for you.
Content Marketing Is a Mixed Bag
It’s a misconception to believe that content marketing only requires a strategic approach and some creative resources. While that’s true, it’s only part of the story. The other, is data. Leveraging big data for content marketing, you tap into things you can’t access with just a creative mindset. Data is factual and objective. It can greatly influence what content you develop, its format, and its distribution.
Let’s look at the benefits you can expect from big data.
Your Content ROI
Content marketing is much more than a cost center. While you’re investing in talent, ads, and tools like content marketing software, your efforts should also generate revenue. You can find the answer to your content ROI (return on investment) with content analytics.
It seems like an easy and straightforward process to have in place. So why are so many content marketers ignoring it? The 2020 State of Marketing report found that only 35 percent of marketers said that understanding campaign ROI was “extremely” or “very important.”
You should track and monitor content performance to understand its impact on conversion and sales goals. If you aren’t looking at this data, you’re missing opportunities to enhance and optimize.
Some of the most essential content metrics are:
- Traffic referral sources (where users are coming from, when landing on your blog)
- Engagement rates
- Assisted Conversions (how content “assisted” in driving a visitor towards a download, demo request, purchase, or other action)
Big Data and Your Content Strategy
Your content strategy is your blueprint for how you approach, produce, and distribute content. It impacts every project, and each project should meet the requirements and goals in the strategy.
A content strategy, however, isn’t a fixed thing. It’s a living document that evolves, and big data should be part of the evolution. You need to take what you learn about content performance and buyer behaviors, and refresh your strategy a few times a year.
For instance, if you learn that your target audience downloads infographics and shares them at high rates, you know this is an excellent format to use. Add more of these to your content calendar to continue seeing returns.
On the contrary, if you learn that buyers are having difficulty understanding how your product works, and adoption rates are trending downward, you need to rethink your onboarding content. You may need more explainer videos or instructional content.
Big Data and How It Shapes SEO
Another way to leverage big data for content marketing is to focus on the insights it provides around SEO. Optimizing content with the right keywords is critical to your content’s visibility. Your SEO strategy is another aspect that’s always changing. Emerging trends or changes in the environment impact searches. For example, searches for “buy online” and “remote work” spiked considerably due to the pandemic.
One of the most important aspects of keyword big data is rank tracking. Most SEO teams monitor rankings at least every 30 days. You can see where you improved in organic rankings and where you dropped. You’ll also see the updated quantity of searches. By analyzing this data, you can identify trends in ranking, impacting what keywords you focus on for the next 30 to 60 days.
Big Data Enlightens Your Distribution Practices
Content doesn’t live in a vacuum. You have to share it with the world for it to provide results. You may distribute in many channels, both paid and owned media. You likely use social media, email marketing, partner or industry sites, and third-party platforms like Medium or LinkedIn.
It’s certainly good to diversify channels, as they each have value and may align with different buyer personas. However, even with a big team, you may not have the resources to go all-in on all of them. Furthermore, it may not be worth your time.
In choosing which distribution channels to focus on, you’ll need to:
- Look at current data around how each is referring to your content.
- Figure out the costs associated with each and decide if you’re getting a good return.
- Measure the engagement rate of each channel and determine its value.
- Understand where your target buyers seek out information.
When you look at all this data holistically, you should be able to identify your strongest distribution channels and funnel more energy into those.
Buyer Behavior Big Data
There are more ways than ever to collect and analyze data on buyer behaviors. Of course, this can directly benefit your content marketing strategy. You have internal data about how a user interacts with your website and the journeys they take. You also can access third-party data about your target audience.
By combining all these sources, you’ll have a wealth of intelligence about what motivations, challenges, and objections potential customers have in relation to your solution. Use this to build better buyer personas and zero in on specific topics or content formats that seem to elicit the most interest. This is a good approach for emerging topics in your industry, as you can monitor how buyers are responding to it.
Big Data Delivers on Substance
Transforming your content marketing efforts into a “science” with big data is extremely vital to its long-term impact. Big data colors what you create, how you create it, and where you promote it. It also can improve the quality of your content since you’re looking at it with a data-driven perspective. This sets your brand up as credible and trustworthy.
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