Say the right thing to the right person and at the right time. It’s a perfect combination that can help businesses unlock doors to greater profits. It’s also the goal of every content strategy. The question is, how to create better content that will deliver these results?
You might think that having a team of talented writers and designers is the key to success. Although it doesn’t hurt to have the next distinguished author writing your articles it’s not actually the most important factor.
Sometimes a single precisely targeted word can shake mountains and lift you above the competition. As you might have guessed it has something to do with data. Big data, to be more precise.
This article will give an answer to the question: How Can Big Data Help You Write Better Content.
We fill first shed some light on the famous buzzword. Big data has become a popular term but that doesn’t mean only the biggest companies have access to it. Next, we will explain the current state of the content marketing battlefield. We will then join the two topics and see how big data can give us an edge in today’s market conditions. We will layout a path for you, a powerful formula that can immediately generate results. In the end, we will offer a piece of friendly advice on how to proceed forward.
That buzzword again!
Big Data can sound menacing. It sounds like only the biggest organizations can have access to it. What do you imagine when you hear the term? Do you envision server farms that look like they came from a sci-fi movie, an endless field of buzzing noise?
The usual definitions of big data point out to the fact that it’s any amount of data that can’t be processed in a set period of time with a given technology. Did you ever want to send something through an email but the attachment was too large? Maybe it sounds funny but, hey, it fits into the definition. Big data is not defined by its absolute quantity.
Jokes aside, in reality, big data can come from various sources. Examples can be competitive analysis and market information, marketing research, product knowledge data, social media posts, press releases, call center logs, customer feedback, device data, 3rd party data, consumer sentiments, and transaction logs.
You just need a big data analytics platform and you can have an insight into all that juicy data. For today’s analysis let’s take a closer look at the data which you can obtain from your customers. This data is important as it will help you write better content.
No matter the size or the market, if you have a website you have access to big data. When your customers are visiting your website they leave plenty of clues behind them. To name just a few, we have the total and an average number of visitors, sources for incoming traffic, the value per visit, bounce rate, page views, average session duration, etc.
You also don’t need to invest in a pricy data analytics platform since you already have access to a free one. We are of course talking about Google Analytics. It’s free, it’s powerful, and it’s easy to use.
Next, you have a plethora of information buried in your social media channels. Listen to what your customers and prospects talk about. Try to understand what do they share, what is important to them and how they react to a piece of content. There are also free and paid tools with which you can analyze these channels.
Those are at least two sources of good actionable data, that we can use for our content marketing efforts. However, don’t stop there. You probably already have a lot of data on your existing customers. Use as much as you can. Also, if you’re in an industry where other organizations are creating big data sets, use that as well. Sites like Ahrefs and Buzzsumo are good starting points for this kind of strategy.
Next, we want to briefly explain why are we doing this. To do that let’s take a look at the current state of content marketing.
Content marketing today
Unfortunately, not everybody will have the same idea about content marketing. Although many will hold it dearly and invest a lot of thought and effort into it, many will only regard it as a necessary evil.
This doesn’t mean that they will completely abandon the idea of sharing and posting new content. It’s a more common scenario that they will produce a lot of content through a copy-paste method.
Go now and google a topic you find interesting. How many articles did you find to be the “same”? Around 100,000 new posts are published every day. Many of those posts will offer something the audience has already seen. Google can actually drop down your ranking if you have a lot of “meaningless” content. It’s better to produce something awesome once a month than 8 mediocre pieces of content each week.
Marketers are more pessimistic than optimistic when talking about their results. Only 8% of them are confident that they achieved them. Another problematic area is the inability to successfully measure the success of a single piece of content.
Now that we have seen how things are, let’s take a look at how big data can fix these problems and help you write truly legendary content.
Understand your audience
So far we have mentioned Google Analytics and social media channels.
Google Analytics is a good starting point. Let’s say you have a blog on your website. By watching the usual time spent on each page you can determine which articles perform better from the rest. After you have identified the “top-performing articles” you can deconstruct them and try to figure out what might be the secret ingredient that makes them better. Sometimes it can be the topic, the style or even the format.
From where are your leads coming from? A usual lead generation field for a B2C company is Facebook. For a B2B company, it might be something else, perhaps LinkedIn. Google Analytics helps you identify the source of your traffic.
Social media listening tools and other analytics can offer you a perspective on your audience’s demographics. Take age for example. Would you address somebody in their teens the same way as you would a senior citizen?
By examining social media channels you can actually determine the main pain points of your market. Are people complaining about something, can’t understand something or do they want to figure something out? Be responsive! If you pay attention to their behavior you can produce a piece of content that will be incredibly useful to your audience.
Is there a bottleneck somewhere along the customer’s journey? It can be a good idea to create a piece of content that will help you move your prospects through the stages of their journey.
Create engaging content
The key is to create content that is unique for different audience segments. This goes all the way from the topic choice to be able to match their language.
There are some rules about what makes for an engaging piece of content.
- First, the message has to resonate with something that is familiar to the audience. Additionally, if the message triggers a positive emotional reaction that is a big plus.
- We share information that makes us look good in the eyes of others.
- Stories make good content travel far. If the message comes masked in a captivating story we will like it and share it.
These are only basic guidelines. Good content must be personalized. We’ve already pointed out how you can achieve this by monitoring what people talk about. Another way to do it is through dynamic content.
Some examples of dynamic content:
- When a user finishes reading a single piece of content they receive a recommendation about a similar piece of content that might be of interest to them. This can be achieved through an algorithm that takes into consideration their demographics and their observed behavior.
- Is somebody visiting your website for the 2nd time? Serve them different content than you would to somebody who’s on the site for the first time.
Measure your success
In the end, big data can help you measure the success of your content marketing strategy.
If your goal is to raise brand awareness you can keep an eye on brand searches in search engines, social media mentions, number of social media followers, website traffic, traffic sources, etc. Around 71% of companies use website traffic, and 67% use SEO ranking to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing. Educational content is one of the most effective types of content for increasing brand awareness.
If your goals are to convert prospects you should watch how long they stay in a certain stage of the journey or how they respond to your call-to-action.
In a world where information has turned into noise, meaningful data can make a big difference. That is the reason why we’re seeing the rise of a new term, data journalism. Data-driven stories and infographics have become highly valuable as consumers find statistics, analytics, and actual events an important part of their everyday lives.
Writing a powerful piece of content means having a strong content marketing strategy built on top of actionable data. This can be hard to achieve overnight as it is advisable to have a planned approach. To really generate big results it isn’t enough to publish a single piece of content from time to time. You need to invest in constant effort to understand your audience, supply them with meaningful content and then measure the success of each piece of content.
ElectricBot is a content writing company that can get you there.
Creating powerful content is a 24/7 job. Since it takes time and effort and you might want to use that time and energy for other tasks it makes sense to hire a professional marketing agency to land you a hand. As expert digital marketers we are both creative and data-driven when it comes to creating content strategies.
- We gather and analyze data from all of your channels
- We create actionable plans and conduct weekly and monthly reports
- Our team of writers and designers create masterful pieces of content
- We monitor how each piece of content behaves and measure the success of each campaign, and use that insight to continuously improve our strategy.
It isn’t hard to win over your audience and captivate them with breathtaking stories. It just takes some time.