7 Data-Driven Content Strategy Tips For Improving Conversions
There is an old wisdom in the world of marketing, “Content is king.” This has been true for as long as search engine optimization has been around, possibly dating back even further in the realm of general marketing.
But despite the simplicity of this aphorism, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. What kind of content?
In those early days of SEO, that meant selecting your keywords and jamming them into the pages wherever they fit.
But modern digital marketers are much smarter (not to mention that the strategy no longer works).
These days, successful content starts with a numbers-backed plan, a data-driven content strategy, if you will.
But, exactly what does that mean?
In simple terms, it means developing content using a user-informed approach. This can include information such as demographics, survey answers, consumer preferences, etc.
You probably don’t need to be told why this is important, but just to make sure there’s no doubt, let’s be clear: Using a data-driven content strategy helps you decide where you’re spending your time, effort, and money.
In other words, you have limited resources. You don’t want to waste it on people who aren’t likely to change.
A data-driven content strategy allows you to tailor your marketing campaigns to generate the best return on investment.
For the purposes of search engine and PPC professionals, it can help you decide which keywords to follow, ensuring that you’re targeting the right audience.
Seems simple enough, right? All you have to do is open up the content finder and look for commonalities, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is a little more to it than that.
But never fear, that’s why you’re here.
In this handy guide, we’ll give you a step-by-step approach to developing, implementing, and improving your data-driven content strategy.
Ready to get started?
1. Define your content goals
The first thing you need to decide is what you hope to achieve. You can’t be all things to all people, so you have to make some choices.
Do you want to increase traffic? Are you looking to make sales? Do you want more leads?
Define your content goals and select the most appropriate channels to achieve them. Once you do that, you can create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Make sure to keep this in mind as you create your content.
Everything you add to your website or campaign should serve a purpose. If you’re not sure what he’s doing, your audience won’t know either.
2. Determine the target audience
Now that you know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s time to figure out who you’re going after to make it happen.
Comb through the demographic data and other information you have access to. Identify commonalities that occur across many or some of your goals.
Many marketers find it helpful to create customer personas. Using your data, imagine a typical person for each of the different roles you’re targeting.
For example, you might have a potential character, main character, buyer character, and recurring character.
Put yourself in the shoes of these imaginary people.
What kind of language resonates with them? What is their highest level of education? Do they want professionalism or personality? Why are they on your website? What do they hope to achieve with your help? Be as detailed as you can.
Many marketers even give them a name. For example, if you were creating characters for your plumbing supply company, you might have:
Lead Larry – 45 years old
A mid-career lead plumber, he owns his own one-person company. He earns $75,000 a year. He attended a trade school and his work van was 6 years old. He is looking for a way to reduce overhead and find parts cheaper than his local supply company. He values hard work, honesty and professionalism.
Be as creative and detailed as you want, just remember this is not an exercise in fiction writing. You create characters based on your typical goal, so keep your character in line with who they really are.
3. Review your competitor’s content and do objective research
Now is the time to take a look at what the competition is up to. They might be flying by their seats, but they probably put some effort into their campaigns, too.
Review what they’re doing and see what seems to be working.
For example, if they are blogging, they might have a view counter on the page. If so, what type of blog gets the best results?
Look for trends in your industry. What is everyone talking about? Is there a big trade fair coming up? Or a new technology about to be launched?
Find out who you’re competing with for clicks, not only to see what works for them, but also to gain ideas for your content. Start by making a list of the things you want to cover.
If there are influencers in your niche, this is also a good time to check and see what they are posting about.
4. Conduct keyword research
Once you’ve settled on what your content should be about, it’s time to do the old SEO component: keyword research.
Using a tool like Google Analytics, Semrush, or something platform-specific like YouTube Search Insights, find out what kind of language your content needs to use.
This will help you in more than just the SEO aspect as well.
Using keywords in your content shows your audience that you speak the same language as they do. This does not mean the English language, but rather the use of terms that everyone in the specialized field understands.
Going back to the plumbing supply example, this would mean referring to a product as a “full port three-quarter threaded ball valve,” rather than a “metal connection.”
Well, that’s a silly example, but you get the point.
The good thing is that you probably already have a working knowledge, if not an expert, on the matter.
5. Create content that aligns with your goals
If you remember, the first step to creating a data-driven content plan is to define your goals.
Now that you’re equipped with everything you’ve done since then, it’s time to create content that speaks to them.
do not worry. You don’t have to be F. Scott Fitzgerald to write the kind of content your audience wants. And you’ve already done a lot of foundation work – now it’s time to get everything together.
Your content can take almost any form, videos, blog posts, infographics, case studies or white papers.
If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, it should be easy to find a writer or videographer in your area or your extended network. Just ask your colleagues for recommendations.
If you’re still not confident about your ability to deliver or just can’t hire someone, don’t worry. We have an excellent piece that will walk you through everything you need to know about creating content.
6. Promote your content on the right channels
You have created your masterpiece from related content. Now is the time to share it with the world. But how do you do that? Do you just post it on your company blog and wait for Google to index it?
You can take that kind of negative approach, but these are great things you just made. Everyone in your stature will want to consume it. And to make sure you get the eyes you want, it’s time to promote it.
But before you go on linking to it on Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn, and every other social media platform and aggregator site you can think of, pause for a minute.
When you’ve been developing your user personas, you’ll hopefully receive some data about where your targets live online.
Are they regular Twitter users? Are they stalking industry forums? Are you connected to them via Slack or other instant messaging apps?
Find out where he hangs out and post away. In most cases, if you aren’t sure whether or not your targets use a platform, you should go ahead and post anyway.
There are some sites where you can get exposed to spam (Reddit, for example), but most of the time, it doesn’t do any harm.
This is also a time to start thinking about how you can repurpose your new content.
Have an opportunity to guest blog post on another site? Or, would your new infographic be a perfect fit for your next investor report?
If your data-driven content is built on the solid principles we discussed, it will get engagement.
7. Use analytics to measure results
After you publish your content, you can start measuring your ROI to see what you did well, where you missed the mark, and what could be improved to perform better.
This is where the KPIs discussed in step one come into play.
Some of these are easier to track than others.
If your goal is to increase sales or conversions, you must have data that supports performance. Likewise, if you set out to improve the traffic to your website, you should have the analytics to track it.
Things like brand visibility can be more complicated.
No matter what you use to define success, you should find the data you need to track performance in Google Analytics.
For a step-by-step guide to this process, we’ve provided information on exactly how to measure content marketing success.
A data-driven content strategy is a winning strategy
Data is a marketer’s best friend. It tells you exactly what works, what doesn’t, and oftentimes, why this is the case.
A data-driven content strategy is vital to success in today’s highly competitive business and SEO environment.
Use the tools at your disposal to gather data – that’s the raison d’être for it.
Learn to identify what the numbers are telling you and use them to help you craft the kind of content that not only drives views, but gets shares and achieves your goals.
- How to manage your data-driven content marketing calendar
- How to create a successful content strategy by combining GA4 with a BI tool
- Completely optimized content from start to finish
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