It is not enough to create good content; you must also create content that your audience desires. Here’s how to devise a plan to accomplish just that.
In the marketing world, there is an old adage that “content is king.” This has been true for as long as search engine optimization has existed, and it is likely even older in the world of general marketing. But, as straightforward as that adage is, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation, specifically, what kind of content?
In the early days of SEO, it meant identifying your keywords and stuffing them into pages wherever they could fit. However, modern digital marketers are smarter (not to mention that strategy no longer works). A data-driven content strategy, as it’s sometimes called, is the foundation for effective content creation today.
What does that mean, though, exactly?
In layman’s terms, it means creating content with a user-centered approach. This can include information such as demographics, survey responses, consumer preferences, and so on. You probably don’t need me to tell you why this is important, but just to be clear, using a data-driven content strategy aids in choosing where to invest your time, energy, and money.
In other words, your resources are limited. You don’t want to squander your resources on people who are unlikely to convert. With a data-driven content strategy, you can tailor your marketing campaigns to maximize ROI.
It can help search engine and PPC specialists decide which keywords to go after, ensuring you’re targeting the right audience. It seems easy enough, doesn’t it? Isn’t it enough to open your content research tool and look for commonalities? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s a little more to it.
But don’t worry, that’s why you’re here.
We’ll show you how to create, put it into practice, and optimize your very own data-driven content strategy in this helpful guide.
# Determine Your Content Objectives
Making a decision about your goals should be your first priority. You must make some decisions because you cannot please everyone. Do you want to boost traffic? Do you want to sell something? Do you desire more leads?
Establish your content objectives, then choose the channels that will help you achieve them. After that, you can define your key performance indicators (KPIs). As you create content, be sure to keep this in mind. There should be a purpose for everything you add to your website or marketing campaign. Your audience will also be confused if you are unsure of what it is doing.
# Establish Your Market
Knowing what you want to accomplish now will help you decide who to approach to bring it about. Examine the available demographic data and other information. Find patterns that are shared by many or some of your targets. The development of customer personas is viewed as useful by many marketers. Consider a typical person for each of the roles you’re targeting based on your data.
You might have a prospect persona, a lead persona, a buyer persona, and a repeat persona, for example. Think of these fictitious individuals as you would yourself. What kind of language appeals to them? What is the highest level of education they have? Do they prefer professionalism or friendliness? What are they doing on your website? What do they hope to achieve with your assistance? Be as specific as possible.
They are even given names by many marketers. For instance, if you were developing personas for your plumbing supply company, you might include: Remember that this is not a fiction-writing exercise and feel free to be as imaginative and detailed as you like. Keep your persona in line with the actual characteristics of your target audience since you are developing it based on them.
# Examine Your Competitors’ Content and Conduct Topical Research
It’s time to check out what your rivals are doing right now. They may be operating haphazardly, but it’s likely that they’re also giving their campaigns some thought. Look over what they’re doing and identify what seems to be working. For instance, if they’re blogging, the page might have a view counter. What kinds of blogs, if any, are producing the best results?
Analyze the trends in your sector. What is being discussed everywhere? Will there soon be a significant trade show? Or is there new technology on the horizon? Determine who your competitors are for clicks, not only to see what works for them but also to get ideas for your own content. Make a list of the topics you want to cover. This is also an excellent time to see what influencers in your niche are posting about if there are any.
# Run a keyword search
It’s time to conduct that time-honored SEO practice of keyword research once you’ve decided what your content should be. Determine the type of language your content should use using a tool like Google Analytics, Semrush, or something platform-specific like YouTube’s Search Insights.
More than just SEO will benefit you from this. By incorporating keywords into your content, you can show your audience that you are conversant in their language. And by using terminology that everyone in the industry will understand, we don’t just mean English.
Returning to the plumbing supply example, this entails referring to a product as a “three-fourths full port threaded ball valve” rather than a “metal connection thingy.” Although that is a ridiculous example, the idea is clear. The best part is that you probably already have a functional understanding of this, if not expert knowledge.
# Make Content That Supports Your Goals
Identifying your goals was the first step in developing a data-driven content plan if you recall. It’s now time to create the content that addresses them, armed with everything you’ve learned since then.
Don’t be alarmed. Writing the kind of content that appeals to your audience doesn’t require you to be F. Scott Fitzgerald. Additionally, a lot of the groundwork has already been done; the final step is to put everything together. Videos, blog posts, infographics, case studies, and white papers are all examples of content.
Finding a writer or videographer in your neighborhood or wider network should be fairly simple if you don’t feel comfortable doing these on your own. Simply ask your contacts for recommendations. Don’t worry if you’re still not confident in your ability to deliver or if you can’t afford to hire someone. Everything you need to know about content creation is covered in a fantastic article we have here.
# Use The Right Channels To Promote Your Content
Your masterpiece of pertinent content has been produced. Now is the time for the world to know about it. Do you simply post it to your company blog and wait for Google to crawl it? Although this is excellent work, you could adopt a passive attitude. Everyone in your target market will want to consume it. And now it’s time to promote it so that it gets the attention it deserves.
But wait a minute before you start linking to it on Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn, and every other social media platform and aggregator site you can think of. Ideally, you had access to information about the online habits of your target audience when creating your user personas.
Frequently do they use Twitter? Are they active on forums specific to the industry? Do you communicate with them through Slack or another IM app? Decide where they congregate and start posting there. In most cases, if you’re unsure whether your targets use a platform or not, you should still post.
Reddit is one website where posting controversial content can result in penalties, but most of the time there is no harm. At this point, you should also begin considering different uses for your fresh content.
Do you have the chance to write a guest post on another website’s blog? Alternatively, would your newest infographic seamlessly fit in your upcoming investor report? Your data-driven content will receive engagements if it is constructed using the sound principles we’ve gone over.
# Analytical Tools For Results Measuring
After your content goes live, you can start tracking your ROI to determine what worked well, what didn’t, and what needs to be optimized for performance. The KPIs that were discussed in step one comes into play again at this point. More easily tracked than others are some of these.
You should have data to support performance if increasing sales or conversions was your goal. Analytical tools should be available if your goal is to increase website traffic. Some issues, like brand visibility, can be more challenging. Whatever criteria you use to measure success, Google Analytics should have the information you require to keep tabs on your campaign’s progress.
# A Successful Content Strategy Is Data-Driven
A marketer’s best friend is data. It tells you exactly what works and what doesn’t, and often why. In today’s hyper-competitive business and SEO environment, a data-driven content strategy is critical for success. Utilize the tools at your disposal to collect data; that is why they are there.
Learn to interpret the data and use it to inform your content creation so that it not only draws viewers but also garners shares and helps you achieve your objectives.