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Using Big Data to Drive Your Content Marketing Strategy

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Many companies have jumped onto the big data bandwagon to obtain better insights into their performance, customers, and other aspects of their businesses. Now, the technology is also widely implemented for marketing purposes. Big data can help you understand your customers better and device a content marketing strategy that’ll better meet their needs. Here’s a look at how big data can empower content marketing.

What is Big Data?

Image via Flickr by luckey_sun

Big data refers to the enormous amount of data being produced around the world. According to IBM, the world collectively creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and 90 percent of the existing data in the world were produced over the last two years. Big data can be any type of data, including structured and unstructured data such as sensor data, text, audio, images, video, log files, click streams, GPS signals, transactional information, and others. An effective big data system is able to collect, analyze, manage, and store huge quantities and varieties of data at incredible speeds.

How Big Data Can Improve Content Marketing

Better Understanding of Target Audience

There’s no surefire formula for creating effective content. No tool or app can help you produce content that has the right tone and language to impress your target audience. Despite the advancement of technology, businesses still need talented people to create high-quality content for them. However, content marketers and professionals can be more effective if they have access to information that provides clearer insights into their target audiences. One of the best ways to obtain such insights is implementing big data.

Big data can help you better understand your potential customers’ habits, so you can create content that appeals to their needs. For instance, if the analytics show that a large percentage of your target consumers use social media to do product research, you can create more content that’s related to social media and post more content on social media sites. Big data also enables you to hone in on specific customer preferences and needs, making it possible for you to craft highly targeted content to achieve specific marketing goals.

More Engaging Content

In today’s data-driven world, consumers are developing a preference for statistics, analytics, and actual events. Some companies and marketers are taking advantage of this trend and the rapidly growing availability of data to implement a new form of content called data journalism. With a powerful combination of fresh data, great storytelling, and attractive visualizations, they have succeeded in creating content that is both educational and engaging.

Data-driven stories and infographics are now spreading like wildfire across social media sites mainly because they’re able to meet modern consumers’ need for concise, compelling, and visually appealing content. With a big data system supplying you with a huge amount of data, you can share your wealth of information with your target consumers in the form of well-written, original content.

How to Use Big Data to Enhance Your Content Marketing Performance

With so much data at your disposal, it can be difficult to determine which pieces of information you should use. You should focus on your goals and know what kinds of data can help you achieve your desired results. This is especially important if you don’t have a large team to do data analysis. You can use big data to achieve three types of content marketing goals.

Raising Awareness

If you’re trying to raise awareness among your target consumers, you can use big data to track and monitor the progress. There are many metrics that can help you evaluate awareness and reach out to your audience more effectively, including:

  • Brand searches in search engines
  • Website traffic
  • Number of social media followers
  • Social media mentions
  • Social media actions
  • Number of backlinks from your content
  • Number of influencers
  • Traffic sources
  • Overall visibility

By looking at these metrics, you’ll be able to know many things about your target audience, including whether they’re talking about your business, what they like about your products, and what they think about your content. You can obtain such information using Google Analytics, Google Alerts, and other analytics services. It’s advisable that you create monthly or quarterly reports of your findings.

The purpose of analyzing such data is to identify trends among your potential customers. With the knowledge you gain, you can create content that’s more assertive and educational. Educational content is one of the most effective types of content for increasing brand awareness.

Converting Customers

If your content is aligned with the buyer’s journey, big data can help you convert more shoppers into paying customers. It enables you to find out how long they stay in a certain stage of the journey, what types of content they consume or abandon, how they respond to your calls-to-action, and other useful information. Using the available data, you’ll know how to use the appropriate type of content at different stages and what to include in each piece of content.

In general, a big data system will give you a clearer idea of the effectiveness of different aspects of your content marketing strategy. All you need to do is keep doing things that are delivering results and improve on areas that aren’t working. It’s recommended that you use a marketing automation tool to facilitate the analysis.

Retaining Customers

Content marketing can also help you retain customers by creating loyal subscribers. If this is your goal, you can use big data to evaluate metrics such as click-through rate, average time your customers spend on your website, number of subscribers, and overall customer satisfaction. When it comes to customer retention, it’s essential that you understand why some of your current customers are leaving. With big data, you can conduct research on customers who wish to cancel their subscriptions and find ways to improve your customer service or user experience to reduce customer turnover.

Big data can do wonders for your content marketing strategy. By providing you with valuable insights into your target audience, it enables you to tweak constantly and improve your content strategy to achieve better results. A better understanding of your customers will give you a significant edge over your competitors.

About the author

John Hsu