Analysing target audience and content consumption for an effective data-driven strategy
How successful was your last content marketing campaign? Looking at the returns and success of your product or service should be telling enough.
According to research by the Content Marketing Institute,
5% of marketers find their content campaign *extremely successful*
23% consider it *very successful*
50% believe it is *moderately successful*
However, 86% accept that content is integral to their organisation.
Which percentile would you ascribe to your operation? The take-home message is that an effective content strategy with campaign results are key business components.
But, just like people, every business and its product are unique. Likewise, content requires an equally unique approach. How is this achieved?
Use these 5 tactics in your content campaign for enhanced results,
Analyse your target audience
Use analytics to inform your strategy
Decide your content format
Establish your content scheduling framework
Review your content and use the results to improve & strengthen your campaign!
Analysing the target audience
Data-driven marketing requires researching potential customers to understand their,
Location, job, income and other key demographics
Collecting and analysing consumer data enables you to understand habits, preferences, and needs which you can then feed into your strategy and create client personas.
Try using an analytics tool like Google Ads, Facebook Pixel, or Moz to get started.
Your aim is to know your target audience characteristics including their preferred,
Be confident and use your well-researched data to drive your content strategy forwards.
Using analytics in your strategy
Don’t fear the data! Dive in and gather data on your website, content, SEO, and your competitors.
Analyse website traffic
Review your site. Find what’s popular and working: is it attracting your target audience? What can you build on? What can you drop?
Different content types often attract specific users e.g. articles, videos, podcasts, images etc.
Are your trending topics producing impressions? Are your insights useful? Look at your audience’s habits and their social media usage. How can you reach them there?
Figure out why your best content resonates with viewers and apply your findings.
Trending keywords are useful, just remember that frequently switching website keywords is risky since search engine indexing takes time. BuzzSumo is a handy tool to analyse core and long tail keywords
Keywords are also important for posting content and enhancing coverage.
It’s something we all must do; chances are, others are doing it to you! Browse your competitors’ online to ordain their content strategy.
The name of the game isn’t copying (legal reasons aside!) but to reflect on ideas and techniques that you can try out yourself.
Deciding content format
Articles, video, podcasts, infographics…
Choose the right content format or multiple formats for your data-driven strategy requires careful consideration of both your product/ service and its target audience.
For example, a visual approach will likely work best for users of specific social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, so consider using infographics for optimum reach. Plus, infographics are excellent at communicating complex processes and new concepts. Conversely, an audience that engages with written text will likely prefer a platform more on those lines, such as Medium.
Content repurposing and recycling can be used, to an extent, across different platforms, remembering that precise, informative, and insightful content is the goal.
Focus on specific content aspects to maximise impressions and reach. These are,
Engaging titles and leaders
Use reliable data to support your viewpoint.
Consistency is key here, as well as persistency: stay true to your content strategy by following through in your content campaign for best results and reliable data to feed back into your strategy.
A question of consent
Much of content user engagement depends on implied consent to give their time and attention. For instance, sending a 3,000-word report – which is highly insightful – in the body of an email newsletter is not optimum since it is too invasive and users are not in the best mindset to digest and absorb your content regardless of how insightful it is. However, if a tasteful and accurate leader is included in the newsletter to entice users to click through to the full article, this will likely yield much better results. This is because, by clicking through, the users have consented to receive your content and are ready to consume it.
When deciding your content format and appropriate delivery channel, it is therefore important to consider the specific engagement demand your content requires of the end-user. Considering this will likely make your choice of platform easier and more appropriate.
Data, analytics, and private browsing
What do you do when users don't want to give up data about their browsing habits? The trend of users masking their digital footprint is increasingly as people become aware of data privacy and actively work to engage in better privacy practices.
It is essential to consider this when using online data analytics tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel. Most importantly, consider the product or service that you are marketing: is it potentially attractive to users who mask their digital footprint? How can you assess and test this assumption?
Furthermore, privacy choices give clues to user habits and preferences. Users who actively engage in private browsing and data masking are aware of their digital footprint and protecting their data and personal privacy is very important to them.
Privacy by design is becoming an increasingly core component of software, applications, and platforms. Therefore, this will be a key consideration – not just of your content marketing strategy – but also your product/service if this demographic forms at least part of your target audience.
Finally, where there are concerns over masked digital footprints skewing analytics, this should be accounted for and corrected where necessary.
Establish your content schedule and content framework
Delivery timing is a key factor for content effectiveness.
Quality + timing = impact
Using data related to when, where, and how long your target audience is online on specific platforms gives insight into optimum time of day and day of the week for posts and publications.
Facebook engagement is comparatively high at 0900
LinkedIn engagement is high between 1000-1200
Instagram is high at 1700
(Times are in 24-hours). Adjust these times for your locality and audience locality.
However, this data is general. Timing in your strategy needs to be specific to:
Where audience data is lacking, experiment and gather data. Establish a timetable to post certain content types at different times of day and review engagement rates to adjust industry benchmarks and tailor them to your content strategy.
Routinely review your content campaign
Feed the insights back into your content strategy for continued future results. Schedule campaign performance reviews to gauge your content strategy effectiveness. Marketing trends change continually as do consumer habits change.
To stay ahead of changes, review,
user behaviour while consuming your content
new vs. return viewers
overall engagement rates
Observing changes – even subtle ones – and adjusting your content campaign will likely increase engagement and campaign effectiveness.
Broadly, positive changes that include increases in likes, shares, comments, and social mentions indicates a strategy is effective. Whereas negative change i.e. decreases in statistics suggest that key strategy methods need adjusting.
Where return on investment (ROI) is your main metric for gauging the success of your content campaign use an ROI calculating tool to analyse the cost per acquisition.
Plan your strategy, execute your campaign, and continually improve your content
Much like other marketing techniques, content marketing is intensives and time-consuming. Using available data enables you to keep the various elements of your content strategy in-check and performing optimally, and this in turn increases return.
Using data-driven content marketing to its fullest requires,
intimate awareness of the demographic features and browsing trends of your target audience
routinely assessing content analytics
developing insightful content with high impact
establishing an effective content delivery framework
planning key review periods and feeding the findings back into your campaign
Although this is time-intensive, it is well worthwhile investing time and funds into your content strategy and campaign to get optimum results – including conversions – for your product or service.
The key take-away point is that content marketing does not end when you hit “publish” on your latest post or article. Rather, this is when the work really begins in a data-driven strategy that includes continual analysis, review, and adjustment.
Where it is a question of staff time versus funds, dedicated content and social media managers assist by coordinating and handling key content tasks including creating content, scheduling and posting, as well as analysing and reporting on campaign performance and adjustments.
Furthermore, using dedicated content managers can potentially free up other staff members to focus on key duties, such as product or service development and delivery. Content managers are often in-house, and they can be hired freelance either full-time or part-time, and companies even outsource their entire content needs to content marketing companies that specialise in their product or service type and their industry.
Making the right choice for your brand and product will give it the best opportunity for success.
Published 9 August 2019