The Forrester Wave™ rankings for enterprise marketing management and optimization solutions are out – and we’re excited about what their research revealed. What stuck out to us, though, weren’t the results themselves but rather their insights into sound data-driven marketing objectives.
It’s stuff we content marketers have known for years. As Amazon founder Jeff Bezos puts it, it’s “customer obsession.”
The Wave’s criteria, to “measure and monitor marketing performance beyond clicks and conversions and incorporate the impact of exogenous factors on marketing planning and performance,” go to the issue of getting to know the customer – from their first hint of interest to post-sale service and everything in between.
Content Marketing Institute’s Ted Karczewski said much the same back in 2014. He noted that the decade’s leading-edge content marketers use “data to improve their content marketing strategy and customer conversations in ways that go beyond the checkout experience on their eCommerce sites.”
Those early adopters of full-tilt content marketing used that data to “strengthen the service side of their operations, as well as to optimize…content.”
The goals remain the same. Just a few more fancy technologies to make achieving those goals a whole lot easier.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
No matter what the decade, data-driven marketing must laser-focus on the customer. When you remember that – getting started gets a whole lot easier. Here are some tips to help you jumpstart your data-driven content strategy.
Build Buyer Personas with Data
Here’s where today’s technology can give your research an edge in customer research. Today’s social media and content analytics provide a wealth of information to help you draw a more detailed picture of your ideal buyers.
And, unlike back in 2014, you can use AI-driven buyer persona tools, such as Mnemonic AI, to combine those data with information gleaned from customer reviews, social media comments, surveys, and other sources to construct accurate, up-to-date buyer personas.
Then, use those buyer personas’ interests and pain points to create timely, valuable content that will help them solve problems and expand their knowledge.
Align Your Metrics with Your Company’s Overall Goals
While your customers need to be at the heart of your marketing strategy, it’s equally important to align your marketing goals with the overall goals your company leadership lays out. Meet with some of your C-suite executives regularly so that you can make yourself aware of their objectives.
For example, if your company’s goal is to expand into new territory, you’ll need to research the local demographics, customs, and culture to give you insights into your new prospects’ mindset. Taking a proactive approach to your marketing strategy goes a long way toward helping your company succeed.
Or, if your company plans to introduce a new product or service, partner with your subject matter experts in content collaboration sessions to find out all you can about how it works. Use the data they gathered while developing and testing the new product to tell your prospects how it can help them overcome their challenges.
Even more importantly, knowing your company’s objectives enables you to align your content with those goals through consistent brand messaging. And, it can help guide you to translate their goals – such as increasing their ROI – into measurable goals your teams can achieve, such as:
- Automating content production and publishing processes to save time and money
- Repurposing older content with updated information or in a different form
- Revising poorly performing content to increase conversions
- Increasing brand awareness by creating content for promising new market segments
- Tracking and reducing your customer acquisition cost through better targeting
Use Sales and Support Data to Add Value to Your Content
Your sales and support teams often use function-specific analytics programs to drive their decisions. But if you don’t have access to that data, your content won’t address all the concerns of people at the bottom of your sales funnel or those who have already become customers.
Collaboration with other teams is easy when you have a content platform that can integrate easily with sales and support platforms. When you have access to their data, you can see what prospects and customers are saying – allowing you to create content that answers their questions and troubleshoots their problems.
Identify Audience Trends with Content Analysis Tools
Content analysis software, such as SAS’s Text Miner, allows you to sift through what your audience is talking about online on social media and elsewhere. Using that data, your teams can create content that addresses their concerns.
For example, let’s say you’re the chief content officer for an investment firm. Using content analysis, you discover that your social media channel is all abuzz with talk of inflation.
So, you jump ahead of the curve with blog posts chock-full of advice on protecting themselves against inflation. Also, you could send your current customers emails that show how your firm plans to deal with economic uncertainties, along with an invitation to meet with their advisor for a custom-tailored strategy.
Wow Your Audience with Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics tools allow you to personalize content more accurately than ever before.
For example, instead of guessing which words, images, and channels communicate best with what audience segments, you can analyze your audience’s engagement patterns, demographics, and pain points to predict what kind of content will drive them further down the sales funnel.
In addition, predictive analytics can help you identify behavior that signals that an audience member is ready to take the next step in the buyer’s journey. Armed with that knowledge, you can send them content that will help them firm up their decision to take their relationship with your brand to the next level.
And, once you have transformed your audience into customers, use predictive analytics to suggest them new products to try, detect possible problems to troubleshoot with support content, and find new ways to build their brand loyalty.
For example, there’s no better example than Subaru and its uber-passionate customers. Predictive technology empowered the company to heighten customer experience and endear them to their brand.
It’s almost like reading their minds. And the more you wow them, the more likely they’ll be to spread the word about your brand.
To take advantage of these leading-edge marketing technologies, you need a content marketing platform where you can coordinate all the moving parts that data-driven marketing requires.
DivvyHQ empowers your teams to conduct all the research, collaboration, and analysis that goes into content production all under a single digital roof. Try it free for 14 days today!