Jun 12, 2018 / in Comms Best Practices / by Kayla Matthews

In the world of content marketing, tapping into data is especially important because there are so many streams of information that can potentially distract users and grab their attention. Data-driven marketing involves using statistics to both influence campaigns and gauge their effectiveness.

When brands use data to personalize content and make it relevant, they resonate with target audiences.

A great example of this is when the NFL customized their content to increase football fandom.

Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) found that customers associated with professional sports organizations are more likely than those connected to other industries to actively show their support and interact with the brands.

The NFL used a data management platform from Adobe to filter information about its customers and serve up content that interested people who aligned with specific teams instead of just the NFL at large.

The organization reports that it immediately saw the worth of a data-driven strategy that allowed for delivering specialized content that was highly likely to be appreciated by people who can’t get enough of their beloved teams and players.

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Want to use data-driven content to achieve similar results for you business? Here are four things you need to do:

1. Use Specialized Tools

The increased popularity of data-driven content marketing has urged many technology providers to build tools to help marketers use data well.

For example, Cision lets you track what's being talked about on social media, and Google Analytics has a wealth of demographic information about the people who access your website.

“Analytics are vital to our content marketing strategy,” says Shelley Marshall, Digital Marketing Director for UPMC Pinnacle. “How users find existing content and how they're engaging with the website can give valuable clues as to what they are finding important and what might be a concern to them.”

For example, this recent video UPMC Pinnacle created about SEPSIS highlights facts about the infection that users would find valuable.

Specialized tools put resources at your fingertips, often allowing you to uncover findings and accomplish other objectives in much shorter timeframes than you could achieve without help.

2. Understand the Most Effective Ways to Personalize Data

According to a 2016 study by Marketing Dive, 70 percent of respondents said personalization was their primary goal in data-driven marketing campaigns. If that’s your aim too, it’s crucial to not over-personalize the content and miss out on other worthy groups that fall outside your primary demographic.

Emerging personalization strategies focus on behaviors, emotions and moments for audience targeting. They only depend on demographic data to remove outliers and instead focus on whether behaviors indicate interest in products, feelings suggest increased agreement with brand messages or whether things like storms or live events have suddenly made the material more relevant.

3. Have a Results-Oriented Mindset

Data can indeed motivate and shape your content strategy. However, you also have to figure out how data will inform the concepts that lead to the results you want to achieve.

Consider working backward and coming up with the preferred result first. Then, think about which data could help you reach that point and how content creators can come up with material that fits the overall strategy.

4. Don’t Overlook the Value of Keyword Research

When initially exploring data-driven content marketing, many companies mistakenly think they must solely focus on the newest, most advanced kinds of data.

Keep in mind, though, there’s still worthiness in keyword research because it’s one of the most effective ways to move forward with a data-driven strategy. You can find out what your audience searches for and how to craft content that mirrors those queries.

Regardless of the kind of business data available and what your goals are, the tips above will help you gain traction while coming up with the best ways to use data to your advantage.

Once you get started, you’ll have an increased understanding of your customers and what they want.


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About Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews writes about branding and digital marketing for websites like Convince and Convert, The Daily Muse and VICE. You can learn more about Kayla and her brands here.