Why would you produce Digital Marketing content without knowing why or for whom?
Only those who want to waste time and money would do that!
In times of big data, companies have a massive amount of information about the market to analyze and use to plan their content strategy.
Data marketing is a data-driven approach that can also be applied to Content Marketing.
From this perspective, every strategic decision about content planning, production, and promotion is based on the knowledge that data can generate about the market.
This way, you have a bigger chance of producing content that sparks interest and achieves the company’s Content Marketing goals.
If you also want to have these results with your brand, keep reading this article and understand how data-driven marketing can be used to optimize your Content Marketing.
We’ll discuss the following topics:
What is Data Marketing?
Data marketing or data-driven marketing is an approach based on data as the central pillar of marketing decision-making.
The creation of campaigns, the definition of target audiences, the choice of a new channel, and content production are planned according to the available data.
However, data alone do not reveal anything. A graph may show the average age of your audience, but how can this be used to improve results?
That’s why companies should count on tools and procedures for collecting, processing, and analyzing data so that human intelligence can turn it into useful information and insights to improve strategies.
These practices are becoming increasingly common with Digital Marketing.
Before, marketing used to look for market data to define the audience or the media for a campaign, for example. But it did not have the precision and volume of data that the Internet provides.
Today, it is possible to know all the steps of consumers, website visitors, and even competitors, in addition to monitoring the performance of your actions.
Thus, information becomes much more precise to support decision-making.
Based on data, marketing is more likely to hit the mark on its objectives, take risks more intelligently, and perform better.
Therefore, those who know how to use data marketing have a competitive differential in a market that increasingly demands results and efficiency.
What is the Relationship between Data Marketing and Content?
Content Marketing is one of the marketing areas that can become more efficient by adopting a data-driven approach.
This strategy consists of creating relevant content for the audience, thus connecting with them to attract their interest and generate more deals.
Because of that, it is one of the pillars of Inbound Marketing — or, in other words, attraction marketing.
When Content Marketing decisions are data-driven, they make better-targeted strategies.
Data brings information about audience behaviors and interests, the performance of published content, competitors’ strategies, and much more.
Then, this information can be used to evaluate results and plan content so that it becomes more relevant to the audience and meets marketing goals.
How Does Data Marketing Contribute to Content Marketing?
Data marketing adds intelligence to Content Marketing.
Instead of acting in the dark, creating purposeless content, you can now design strategies that are persona-oriented and focused on results.
Below, you will better understand how data marketing contributes to the development of content strategies.
Knowing the audience
Data helps you to get to know the people you want to reach with your Content Marketing strategy.
You need to know who they are, how they live, what they like, their challenges and motivations, what problems they need to solve, and other characteristics.
This way, you will better understand how your content can be relevant to people.
With this information in hand, you can describe the strategy persona, which summarizes your ideal customer’s profile, interests, needs, and behaviors.
This persona is a picture of the person your content should aim to reach.
Planning your content
Data analysis helps you understand what people are searching for on the Internet.
Google searches reveal users’ search intentions and topics you can address in your content to meet them.
In this way, data helps you find out what type of content is more likely to attract interest and traffic.
Moreover, if you deliver good content that answers users’ questions, you have a great chance of achieving good positions on Google.
Mapping the content channels
Data analysis also shows which channels are best for publishing and promoting content, such as blogs, Facebook, Instagram and email.
The persona may pass through several channels along the buyer’s journey.
So, it is important to understand which platforms are used during this journey to lead the persona to the purchase.
That way, you can produce more compelling content for each channel and each stage.
Monitoring competitors and promoting benchmark
Data also serves to keep an eye on what’s going on around your company.
Content competitive analysis helps you map out competitor strategies, learn what’s going well, and inspire new content ideas.
Besides, you can also monitor your position in the market.
With an SEO analysis, you can find out who is competing with your brand for Google results, for example.
Then you can analyze the strategies and plan what you need to do to conquer your space.
One of the most critical missions of data analysis is to identify behavior patterns.
Among thousands and thousands of users, you can notice that the interest in a specific subject increases according to the seasons.
Interest in topics related to the Olympic Games, for example, has a clear tendency to grow every four years.
So the best time to produce content that generates the most results is when these peak moments of interest are approaching.
Identifying best-performing content
In data analysis, you can also identify which content performs best according to the indicators you monitor (reach, time on page, conversions…).
A deeper analysis of this content can show which themes, approaches, formats and channels generate more interest and results.
Optimize the consumer experience
Finally, data marketing helps create a better experience for consumers who encounter your content.
You can address topics that are more interesting to them, in the channels they prefer to use, with content that solves questions and problems in their lives.
How to Implement Data-driven Content Marketing?
Now, let’s get to the practical part.
How to use data marketing to guide your content strategy?
Some professionals may think it is enough to use a few tools and look at some data to produce data-driven content.
However, data marketing requires you to plan the data collection and analysis procedures, while always keeping the business goals in sight.
Now, let’s see the main tips to structure marketing with a data marketing focus:
Deepen your knowledge about your audience
Gone are the days when marketing worked only with the demographic profile of the audience and data on location, age, and gender.
These are still important for audience profiling, but it is necessary to deepen the knowledge about interests, motivations, and behaviors.
Content production should focus on what the audience wants or needs to know at that moment.
Therefore, use data to discover people’s doubts and needs and create posts that help solve them. This way, the brand shows its usefulness, getting closer to the public.
In addition, data also helps you understand what motivates people, their values, and what place in their life they are currently in.
This way, the brand can connect with them and create meaningful conversations.
Know which data to monitor
Working with big data requires planning, so you don’t get lost in the sheer volume of information.
When looking at Google Analytics reports, for example, you have so much information available that you may not be able to extract any analysis from it.
Therefore, you need to know how to prioritize the data you should monitor. And what defines this prioritization are the goals that should be outlined in the marketing plan.
This way, you can identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that tell you if your content is on the right path to reach its goals.
Suppose Content Marketing has the goal of increasing brand awareness, for example.
In that case, data marketing should prioritize reach metrics, positions on Google results, number of searches for the brand name in the search engine, among others.
Explore different types of data
To explore the full potential of data marketing, you need to use the different types of data that can be collected.
First, look at primary and secondary data.
Primary data is valuable for getting to know your audiences better and answering specific questions in your research. It is usually collected through:
- Feedback surveys.
- Focus groups.
- Ethnography or netnography.
- Cookies from web analytics tools.
- Heat maps.
On the other hand, secondary data has already been gathered by other companies, organizations, or researchers.
It can reveal general audience characteristics or major market trends, for example. They may be available from:
- Newspaper and magazine reports.
- Reports by research institutes.
- Government publications.
- Studies by professional associations.
- Academic papers.
In addition, explore both quantitative and qualitative data.
Quantitative marketing research, usually done with questionnaires, can cover a larger population and reveal behavior patterns, but it does not provide in-depth answers.
Differently, qualitative data is conducted with fewer people and cannot be understood as the general behavior of the population.
But it brings a depth of information that helps to better understand the studied audience’s behaviors and motivations.
Have data collection and analysis tools
You can’t do data marketing without the help of tools.
They consolidate data and transform it into intelligible graphs and reports that can be used to generate insights and strategic information.
For this reason, data marketing also requires planning for the acquisition of tools and software that support data analysis.
In the next section, you will learn about some of the main tools that can be helpful in this sense.
Follow the data protection rules
Anyone who works with data needs to know the rules regarding personal data protection to which they are bound.
These regulations define the rules of data treatment in the country where your company is based, and the sanctions for those who do not comply.
Most of the regulations establish that users must explicitly consent to the collection of their data and be clearly and transparently informed about the purpose of the processing.
Companies that use data in their strategies should also appoint a Data Protection Officer who will answer to the national authority and define governance policies that ensure information security.
If you want to know more, we have blog posts on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).
Create a data-driven culture
To implement data-driven marketing, it is important first to create a data-driven culture in the company.
When absorbed by employees, this culture means that every decision is made based on data rather than guesswork and assumptions.
This applies to the whole company, not only marketing, since data must circulate among the teams, as we will see below.
Understand that a culture change may be resisted by professionals who prefer to do things as they have always done.
Therefore, the application of data-driven marketing also requires raising awareness and training the team.
Integrate data and teams
A data-driven company works with data that is integrated across the organization.
Using data in Content Marketing, for example, can generate insights for the finance department, while the sales team can bring valuable information to your content planning.
A data-driven approach can also change a company that no longer limits information to organizational silos but works collectively to generate more intelligence.
Key Data Tools for Content Marketing
We’ve already mentioned the importance of having tools to apply data marketing to content strategies, right?
So, let’s discover what are the main platforms we recommend for this, and how they can help you plan and create better content:
Google Analytics is an essential tool for those who want to work with data. In relation to Content Marketing, its reports and graphs bring information about:
- Audience profile.
- Channels that generate traffic.
- Google keywords that attract visitors to the site.
- Best performing content.
SEMrush is an SEO analysis tool that brings valuable information to content strategies. On this platform, you can:
- Perform keyword research to plan your content.
- Discover topics that interest your audience.
- Receive guidelines for content optimization.
- Monitor competitors and market references.
- Discover gaps in competitors’ keywords and content.
Typeform is used to create more attractive and responsive survey forms.
It can be used to collect primary data — quantitative or qualitative — to get to know your audience better or gather feedback on your content, for example.
Hotjar offers different data collection tools to understand how users interact with your website.
Heat maps, for example, monitor what areas of your pages are most viewed or clicked on, which can help you understand what sparked the most interest in a piece of content.
Another relevant tool is the instant feedback forms shown to the user while they browse the website.
This allows them to give their opinion on the spot about what they thought of the content.
Google Trends reveals search trends on Google.
These are topics that are arousing people’s interest and that you can address in your content to attract more interested parties.
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio is a tool for creating dashboards with the data you need to monitor or present.
You can create custom, interactive and responsive dashboards with different chart formats to track the KPIs of your content strategy.
Wrap Up: Data Marketing Helps you Create Better Content
Data-driven is a trend that is being embraced by companies in the midst of a digital transformation process.
Adapting your business to the digital age involves exploiting the potential that data offers for strategies and decision-making.
So, it’s time to integrate this trend into one of the most crucial areas for the success of a business: marketing.
After reading about data marketing and content, check out our Rock Content Magazine edition that is dedicated entirely to the pillars of data-driven marketing!