Content Marketing is seemingly a bit of a digital marketing buzzword, particularly at the moment. ‘Content Marketing agencies’ are popping up left right and centre, and every marketer and their dog is banging on about content marketing. But it is important, and can play a significant part in your digital marketing efforts moving forward.
Of course, content marketing can be absolutely anything, from blogs to social media posts to videos and infographics. But what makes content marketing perform? Just like many marketers and agencies, we’ve found that data-driven content marketing pieces tend to perform better than those examples which aren’t based on data.
So how can data shape your content marketing campaigns? What sort of data do you need? And where can you find it? Read on to find out more.
Firstly, we’ll look at the sort of data you could use, and where you can find it.
Every business has data, regardless of whether you think you do or not. Whether its data around the number of products sold, and how they break down into different categories such as where they were sold, or whether it’s something a little simpler, such as the most bizarre requests you’ve had through your live chat system, you will be able to harness the power of data to create content marketing. Whatever data you collect to fill in your CRM, whether it’s gender, address, product bought, age or even marital status, it can all be used to devise data driven content marketing efforts.
Why is data such as this important? The answer is simple. Because it’s unique and authentic. It’s your own data, and no-one else will have it, meaning whatever you can create out of it will also be unique to you and your business. With this in mind, it is also possible that this data and the content marketing piece which is built from it, will be picked up by media outlets, or can be outreached directly to them. Essentially, this will mean you will find a buzz around your brand, which could in turn lead to more sales, through an increase in web traffic.
The next area to consider is how to portray the data you have. Of course, with every data set, there’s a story behind it, such as a change over time. For example, it could be that last year, a particular product was most popular with females aged 18-25, but now it’s more popular with females aged 32-40. Alternatively, it could be that a product which was once popular in one area of the country is now not as popular. Whatever it is, there’s always a story behind it, and it’s a story which you are able to share with your audience.
But how exactly do you tell that story? Well, this ultimately depends on you and the resources you have available to you. You should however consider creating a number of different assets based on the data you have. For example, you could have a blog, or series of blog posts, which centre around different statistics taken from an infographic. Alternatively, you could develop an interactive content piece, where people can select different variables from a drop down menu, which is hosted on a vanity domain, which is linked to your main site. If picked up by the press, this could be used a solid link building exercise and could attract links from a number of high-authority sites. You could also create a video or animation based on the data you have. Keep in mind that different mediums will likely attract different results in terms of the platforms on which they are shared.
If you do create assets such as an interactive piece or infographic, consider outreaching them to journalists. Journalists love data, and they love it even more when you’ve essentially written their content for them. An interesting, insightful content piece using unique data, accompanied by a well-rounded, personally tailored press release is a journalists dream. As a hook, you could potentially offer them an exclusive first look, as this will guarantee coverage. However, if you are going to offer an exclusive, make sure it’s to a publication which carries substantial clout with your target audience.
Naturally, the next step is to shout about the coverage you have received across your own social media channels, tagging in the relevant journalist or publication, to try and encourage them to share it also. This will maximise your potential audience reach and could potentially attract new customers too!
Of course there are a number of benefits to taking this data-driven approach to content marketing, not just the potential PR and SEO benefits. It will also help you continue to develop your brand and establish you as a leading expert in your chosen niche.
Data can be extremely powerful. It can really differentiate you from your competitors, so use it wisely as part of your content marketing efforts and you will reap the rewards.