Talk about the role of data in this area has mostly been limited to disciplines like keyword research and influencer identification. When we say data, we mean the numbers behind your social media campaigns, for example how many people your post has reached on Facebook and how many times people have interacted with your tweet. Here we have pulled together our top 5 ways to put data at the centre of your marketing strategy, with tips on how to maximise the opportunities it presents.
What data should we be studying?
- Your Web Content: At the centre of most content marketing strategies is a content calendar, this document should be driving the data which you choose to study. Everything in said content calendar, including the types of content, blog titles, publication times and content categorisation, should be subject to data interrogation. Already have a content calendar? Brilliant, already having a content calendar puts you one step ahead as you can analyse what data tells you about what you’re already doing. For those of you who are part of a large business, you may have a team of data analysts and developers in-house; request they extract your blog’s content data in a structured way, showing key information and your established KPIs so you can evaluate what is, and isn’t working.
- Your competitors content: Similarly, analysing your competitors in the same way can provide some really valuable insights. This will take more manual effort as you won’t be able to export their proprietary data although from the information you gather, you will be able to identify opportunities to determine new topic areas, be inspired with new content ideas, plus be able see how your performance compares. All in all, it will definitely be worth the time and effort.
- Guest posts and external content: Just like studying your competitors, tracking the content which you have published on platforms other than your own is also valuable but extremely manual and time consuming. Tracking the post engagements/interactions, publishing time/date and number of site visits will help you see what is working well and what isn’t working so well. If you’re also focusing on the SEO benefit of your content, it may be worth tracking additional metrics as well, such as page rank, domain authority and trust flow.
- Social Media Content: From what content to create to the weighting of that content within your overall plan, social data can help to make a wide range of decisions and should be considered as a considerably powerful tool for driving your content marketing strategy. All social media platforms have tools which help you gain an insight into your performance; for example you can pull key metrics from Facebook insights on performance, such as how many people your post reached, how many people engaged with your post and which post/posts are performing the best, all of these things put together will help you understand what your audience is interested in and help you understand how your content is being received.
Social data can also reveal important insights into your audience – by using audience profiling tools such as Optimal Social, you can gain knowledge of other types of content your readers are engaging with. This can help to inspire you to create new content topics and ideas with a high possibility to interest your audience.
What do I do with the data?
Now that you have gathered all of the data, you need to compile a report which you can refer back to, that will also provide you with a snapshot of information to help develop and inform your content marketing strategy. No two reports are the same, as the report needs to look at the KPI’s which are specific to your business
Once you’ve put together your report, you need to identify what issues you can see and begin to resolve said issue. Also, the report will help you see what big opportunities you could be missing out on which your competitors are benefiting from. Use it to refine key components of your strategy that could use a boost in performance, and to see if your results show you that you’re moving in the wrong direction.
By being aware of and scrutinising every element of your content strategy (using data and adopting a data-led approach) you are likely to make positive and significant changes for the better in your marketing efforts. Make sure you analyse your performance over time and check the numbers and metrics are going in the right direction. An approach driven by data is set to develop and improve your strategy, whatever your brand or company.