How to boost your content marketing with a data-driven approach

DSM Digital School of Marketing - content marketing

As marketing professionals, we’re always looking for the next big thing. It’s a secret weapon capable of tripling our leads overnight.

Unfortunately, we haven’t found the foolproof blueprint – yet. One step closer to it is taking a data-driven approach. Not only does it lead to better marketing projects, but the customers actually WANT to take part in the advertising campaigns.

This article takes a look at what data is, how marketers and advertisers make data-driven decisions, and where content fits into this equation!

Defining data

It’s been a hot topic in marketing circles for a while now but is yet to become a common-place marketing facet across the commercial board. DATA. It’s all around us, continually flowing as invisible waves of image, video, audio, and other information. We create data wherever we go, and whatever we do.

For example, you walk into your favourite McDonalds every Friday morning and order a McMuffin at the drive-thru. It’s a seemingly regular occurrence, right? Well, if someone wanted to approach you about a business deal, they could draw the following data from your weekly visits to McDonalds:

  • They visit the same KFC around the same time every Friday
  • They pull into a parking space to eat their breakfast
  • They always end their meal with the hash brown, which makes them smile

Now, if you were to decide on the best time to approach this person with a proposal, you’d likely choose to approach just as they’ve finished eating their hash brown (since that’s when they’re happiest). Data helped you plan better, and gave you a better chance of nailing the business proposal.

Data-driven decisions

The above choice to approach the potential business partner at a specific moment is considered a data-driven decision. We assessed the habits of the target audience, used this information to make an informed decision, and followed through with it.

Data can be found in every action but is only as valuable as its meaning to someone who can benefit from knowing it. In the above scenario, it was the business owner. It could also have been KFC marketing staff monitoring one of their branches, or a schoolchild doing a class project. The trick is to know what data to look for.

Where content fits in

Content marketing, like any other form of marketing, is concerned with convincing people who come into contact with the campaign content to take an action. The actions people take after being exposed to an advert, blog article, or poster will tell marketers a lot about the content itself, the target audience, and the advertising campaign as a whole. Data can also be accumulated from other marketing avenues, including:

Direct marketing

Sending regular emails to your database of mailing addresses? Information such as open rates, hard and soft bounces, and click-through rates can be used to inform future email marketing decisions and helps direct marketers to improve their mailers.

Social media marketing

Brands are posting a lot of content on their social media pages, ranging from simple text updates to video content and other multi-media campaigns. Assess how many people are engaging with your social content, and do A/B testing to find the optimal design and copy combinations.

Content marketing activity is a treasure trove of valuable data.

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