learn how to guide your strategy through data – WAU

Data can provide valuable information for those who produce content. Understand their importance and how they can strengthen your strategy!

Did you know that, while using our computers, mobile devices or any other that connect to the internet, we are leaving digital tracks?

Do you know when we read that Facebook or Google is spying on us? Well, that’s not the story, but the data they analyze is extracted from these tracks.

In marketing, it is increasingly common to use data to guide the team’s investments and efforts. Especially when we talk about digital marketing, this is taken to another level: after all, everything happens in the digital sphere, and therefore it can be measured, evaluated and understood.

This has a great advantage: it allows you to have a global view of the strategy, what is working and what can be improved.

But when we talk about content marketing, how can we apply the data? How is it possible to create content that is really data driven?

Let’s get there, but first it is important to clarify a few points:

One of the pillars of Content Marketing is data

Content marketing is a way to delight, engage and convert customers by building a positive relationship with your brand, generating more business opportunities.

Content marketing is not just about producing and posting content online. It requires a well-designed and structured strategy to bring concrete results to your brand.

The strategy goes through three phases: planning, execution and measurement.

Yes! As we can see, one of the pillars of content marketing has always been data. Measurement requires that you have clear documentation regarding your strategy and use tools to measure it.

So if you don’t document your strategy, it’s time to start. And, if you document it, it’s time to consider making it even more data-driven.

But what, in fact, are the data?

big data

In the past two years more data has been produced online than in the rest of history. Shocking, isn’t it?

Big Data, in a simple definition, is the set of data (structured or not) generated at all times.

Data collected all the time, coming from social networks, blogs, websites and even TVs and refrigerators (yes, the most modern ones have connections and resources to “capture this information).

But the big thrill of Big Data is not the collection or huge availability of data, but the possibility of crossing and structuring them to obtain valuable information about consumer behavior and interests, and making the actions of companies and institutions more correct.

Of course, the data has always existed. It is possible to collect them in several ways: opinion polls, consumption data in physical stores, population statistics, etc.

Big Data’s differential is its scope and its possibility to make the process increasingly broad and with different data.

How to merge content and data?

At first, when it comes to “data”, the initial reaction may be fear. After all, it seems difficult to talk about numbers, graphs, measurement and analysis, doesn’t it?

The truth is you can no longer think of a content strategy that is not based on data.

Content marketing is increasingly used to increase brand awareness, bring people closer to your brand, engage audiences and convert them into customers.

But how will you know which is, in fact, bringing results?

People are consuming content all the time: posts and videos are just two common examples. Collecting digital footprints in relation to content is essential.

But a large volume of information means nothing without organization and methodology.

It is not enough to look at Analytics and see how a post performed. It is necessary to understand what happened, what worked, what did not work, that is, to understand those numbers and graphs through an analysis that provides insights and guide the strategy.

This makes it possible to invest your efforts (and your budget) in replicating and improving what has worked.

By joining content and data, you can observe several aspects. As an example we can cite:

  • the user’s path within the blog;
  • subjects and formats of content with better performance;
  • time spent on the page;
  • CTAs that convert the most.

Applying the data to your content marketing strategy is possible and more affordable than it looks. With the right tools and documentation, your efforts will bring better, bigger and more evident results.

What tools to use?

You can use tools to study the market and identify trends, as well as tools to evaluate the data generated in relation to your business specifically.

Some of the tools for evaluating content marketing in a broader sense are:

  • Semrush: considered by many marketers to be the most indispensable tool on the market, it goes far beyond keyword analysis, bringing a true dossier of your website and precious information about the competition.
  • Google Trends: this tool offers information about users’ searches, pointing out the main search trends and what can turn trending topic.

To analyze your strategy, you need to invest in tools that allow you to track numbers related to your blog, your landing pages, your emails and everything else that involves your content strategy. Some very useful ones are:

  • Google Analytics: this is undoubtedly the most complete tool for an accurate analysis of your traffic and the profile of your users, in addition to their behavior in relation to the content of your website or blog.
  • Automation tools: they are dedicated to understanding the behavior of their leads, that is, visitors who have already offered some data to your company. Thus, it is possible to understand her behavior in relation not only to her content, but also to her needs and what she has been looking for on her website that can help her solve the problem, making it possible to develop an efficient nutrition for these leads towards the purchase. In addition, with them, it is possible to perform A / B testing.

If you want to know more about how to use Google Analytics with mastery, download our free and complete guide to the tool.

The Complete Google Analytics Ebook Guide

Let’s see how this works in practice?

5 ways to produce data-based content

1. Understanding your persona

The first step in a content marketing strategy is understanding who you are writing for, what that person needs and how your company can help them. Therefore, creating a persona is fundamental.

The creation must be based on data: research with potential customers (people who in some way have common interests with the service or product you offer) or current customers is a necessary step.

Then, identifying market trends related to the consumption of your products can also help you define more information about your persona.

Okay, now that the persona is created, it’s not over! It is time to understand it.

Analyze your data and identify points that show your persona’s behavior in relation to your content.

  • Is she reading the post or is the time on the page low?
  • She is rejecting your content (your bounce rate is too high)?
  • What kind of content does she consume the most?
  • What channel does she interact with you the most?
  • Does she respond to your offers?

Having that clear in your strategy will point out which paths to follow with your persona or even what to reevaluate in this relationship.

2. Content distribution

How do you disseminate your content, that is, deliver it to your persona? Email? Social networks? Organic traffic?

Regardless of your strategy, analyzing your deliveries is essential.

What is the open rate of your emails? And the click-through rate? Which people opened the email? Did the people who opened the email once open the other times? What is the unsubscribe rate?

What about social networks? What is the level of engagement? Do your users comment and share your posts? Do they access the content you publish? Are posted videos viewed to the end? What is your cost per click when you invest in ads?

Is your organic traffic growing or decreasing? What position are your top 5 posts in hits occupying on Google? How many users a day come to your blog through search engines?

These questions bring a greater understanding of what types of content perform well, what is the best posting time, what your audience identified as positive and negative, among many other aspects.

In addition, they are able to show you the relationship between your investments in content distribution and the return you are getting from it. Be sure to measure this data.

3. Competitor analysis

Yes! Having benchmarks is important for any business.

Understanding your competition, analyzing your strategy and identifying strengths and weaknesses will bring enormous learnings to apply in your business.

For this, you can invest in competitor analysis tools to identify which niches you have in common, which keywords it invests and bring the most results, which type of material has the greatest potential for viralization or lead generation, for example.

4. Test frequently

Testing should be among one of the pillars of your marketing strategy and this has several very simple reasons that can be summarized in: you will discover what works best in your strategy!

Testing allows you to know, with evidence, what should be replicated, what can be improved and what should definitely be discarded.

But what does testing have to do with data? All!

The tests come from a hypothesis. To be put into practice, they need to have measurable standards, generating data that allow a deep analysis of the issue.

For example: suppose I have a chance that a red CTA button converts more than a purple one.

This is a mere assumption, and if I take a test without measuring the data, I will never know the truth.

However, if I perform A / B tests for similar audiences over a period of time and analyze the data about which button generated the most conversion, you will, in the end, get consistent results.

5. Discover trends

Did you know that Facebook knows when you’re going to start dating?

It may seem funny (or even scary), but the largest social network in the world, from analyzing its users’ data, was able to identify exactly when a dating would start.

The statement, called The Formation of Love, is all based on data that users have provided on the network.

Through the published content, engagement and even topics covered, Facebook not only knew who would enter into a relationship, but in how much more or less the relationship would start.

This type of information is very valuable, especially when we think that the main form of monetization of the network is ads. Imagine what else they can discover?

And how can you apply this to your business reality?

Simple: look for trends!

Identify behavioral patterns, hot topics, topics that your audience most engages in, times, days or times that generate peak visits, in short: look for relevant and relatively constant data that you can explore in a content strategy.

But how to do that?

Good strategies are to use the tools I have already mentioned here to discover demographics of your audience. From there, you can relate this data to interesting topics for that profile.

In addition, you can see which posts are accessed the most to find out what your audience likes.

Also use tools like Buzzsumo to identify relevant and current market content. For this you can also use Google Trends and find out what your audience is searching for.

The important thing, to join data and content, is to get started! Do not be intimidated by the apparent complexity of the subject or the limited resources.

Many tools are free, start working for them. Later, understand the profile of your audience. Then you can start to structure and organize your data, identifying what needs more dedication and improvements.

If you are interested in the subject and want to explore further the possibilities offered by the union of content and data, download our complete ebook on the subject, prepared with Hekima, one of the largest references in data in London.

Content Marketing and Data ebook