Eighty four percent of consumers report that a quality content marketing strategy can influence their buying decisions. When you understand how your customers behave and what they want to see online, and then create material that appropriately engages with them, you have the potential to drive large returns.
When it comes to creating a strong content marketing strategy, data must play a critical role.
What should a content marketing strategy include?
With the level of competition today, brands have to be highly targeted in how they create their content marketing strategy. Brands that create content without carefully tracking what they create and where it goes set themselves up for wasted time and money.
Understanding where your customers live online and the type of content they want to see requires a level of precision and dedication to your content marketing strategy. Customers often have their own ways of describing pain points and solutions that differ from the way those in the industry speak. It is also easy to leave gaps when creating content that nurtures people through the entire customer journey, such as creating content for people at the top of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel but neglecting those in the middle. If you do not track your material, you may not realize that these gaps exist.
Similarly, Google has worked regularly over the past few years to better analyze and understand user intent with particular queries. This means they want to understand the type of content people want to visit when they type in certain queries. One query may prominently feature links to videos at the top of the SERP while another will feature many images or answer simple questions with a Quick Answer before the organic results begin. Knowing the type of content people want to see for particular keywords and queries needs to be part of your content marketing strategy and will help you better attract the targeted audience instead of having your content pushed further and further down the SERP.
Finally, you have to remember that you want your content marketing strategy to not just bring in more and more readers, you want content that encourages those readers to move onto the next stage of the funnel. Your content has to nurture them. You need to know what they respond best to as CTAs and where they want to go after reading your content. If you do not know this, then your content will not effectively make your brand any money.
Using data to track your content marketing strategy answers these needs. You will know precisely how people behave on your site, the type of content they want to see, where gaps exist, and what you can do to better engage with your prospective buyers.
How do I choose the right KPI?
To determine the KPIs for your content marketing strategy, you need to consider what will help you understand how users move through your journey as well as what other people in your organization want to see. The marketing and sales teams will have different priorities than the c-suite, for example.
You will want KPIs that allow you to track people as they move through the buyer’s journey. Your top-of-the-funnel KPIs should look at your traffic and how many of your new visitors become repeat visitors and the percentage that convert to leads through email registration and similar early conversion steps.
Your mid-funnel content marketing strategy KPIs should gauge your rate of engagement with your content targeted towards this group as well as how often they go on to register for demos and engage with your sales staff. Email open and click-through rates should be included here.
Finally for your content marketing strategy, you also want to track purchases, the size of those purchases, and the type of content these customers engaged with throughout their buyer’s journey.
What makes a good content marketing strategy?
Your KPIs will provide you with invaluable data about the movement of the average visitor and customer through your buyer’s journey. You can also gather additional important information to benefit your content marketing strategy by collecting stories and information from your customers themselves as well as your marketing and sales teams.
Ask questions such as:
- The content that has been the most helpful for the sales staff when it comes to engaging with prospective customers. Think about both the topics of the content as well as the style of content– such as video versus blog post.
- The content that customers found the most relevant and helpful as they considered their purchases
- The types of questions and obstacles that more content is needed for
Why do you need a content marketing strategy?
The data you collect through your KPI and interviews should then guide your content marketing strategy moving forward. Examine gaps in your content marketing strategy. Do you have any places where your percentage of conversions from one phase of the funnel to the next starts to drop off? Look closely at these areas and use information from your existing customers to better understand what people want to see here. Look for ways to bolster your conversion rates at each level of journey.
Use the information from your sales team and customer interviews to better understand what customers want to see towards the end of the funnel. Use these topics and ideas to guide the brainstorming of new ideas for the future of your content marketing strategy.
You also want to use the data you collect to build a stronger conversation with other team members. As the sales team better understands how the marketing team finds and engages their leads, they will improve their ability to pick up the conversation with the prospects and know what this particular prospect wants to learn about. This improves their ability to engage with their leads and nurture them towards conversions to better your content marketing strategy efforts.
The data can also be presented to those in the c-suite to better understand how the marketing team uses digital marketing to find leads and the amount of money these leads bring to the table. The ROI from the marketing efforts can then help support arguments for more budget moving forward, allowing the team to grow their content marketing strategy in the future.
Use the BrightEdge StoryBuilder to create dashboards for each of these particular groups. It will be easy to track the important data and report it to the relevant parties through these dashboards that are easy to create and organize.
Creating a content marketing strategy guided by data allows brands to accurately target their intended audience and then guide them through the buyer’s journey. As organizations begin to better understand their customers and their needs as they prepare to make a purchase, they will find it significantly easier to create a content marketing strategy and more targeted campaigns that allow for a more efficient usage of their organization’s funds and resources.