Use data to drive your content marketing strategy
A data-driven content marketing strategy will increase your program’s success and help win the buy-in of executives.
What is driving your digital and content marketing strategy? If all you have in the driver’s seat are a few creative ideas, you may find yourself frustrated with the results and struggling to garner support from the C-Suite.
Different audiences respond in different ways. The question is, where are your potential new customers and what are they looking for? Data plays a critical role in uncovering those answers.
Data can guide you to:
- Define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? When can you best reach them?
- Select the best topics for your content. What information do they need, and what will peak their interest? What do they seek most from the content they read?
- Narrow down a distribution strategy that will produce results. Which digital and social media channels will best reach your audience, grow your business, increase sales, and improve your brand’s reach? Which networks are your competitors using most?
- Gauge what is working and what is not. Reportedly, 53% of digital content marketers don’t measure their success. No wonder so many content marketing programs fail. If you don’t take the time to determine what content is resonating with your target audience, how will you know what to produce in the future?
- Tune into market changes. As your business evolves and customers’ needs change, data serves as your compass to remain competitive in an ever-changing marketplace.
A data-driven strategy will win over the C-suite
In addition to giving you a foundation for your strategy, data can garner the support of the C-suite, which you must have in order to fund your marketing program. A plan based simply on ideas, no matter how brilliant, will not appeal to executives who base decisions on data.
They want to see how your marketing plan provides answers to the needs of your target audience (potential customers) and what those customers are worth to the company’s growth and success. If your strategy aligns with data, they’ll be able to get behind every point.
Creating a data-driven strategy
Aligning your strategy with data takes some time and effort, but it is crucial to optimizing the performance of your content marketing program and winning C-suite support. Here are some steps to get started.
- Analyze your reports, data, and interviews with stakeholders in the company about your target customer. Compile this information, and document the very specific demographic(s) you want to reach. Research the digital behaviors and patterns of this demographic.
- Audit your existing content (or hire an expert to do it). Look at the substance, source, and performance of your most successful and your least successful assets. Are there changes you can make to your poor-performing content to improve it, based on learnings from your successful content and your audience research?
- Plan an editorial calendar of future content based on what has been successful in the past. Sharing this information and seeking ideas from employees outside the marketing department can be a very valuable exercise.
- Test the distribution channels and times that have been most successful in the past and that fit the behaviors of your target audience. Continually refine your distribution strategy based on your results.
- Don’t forget to document your strategy! Marketers who put it in writing report success at significantly higher rates than those who don’t document their strategies.
By distributing the right content, at the right time, to the right audience, on the right channels, your content marketing program will reach its maximum potential.