How Marketing Leaders Can Utilize Data to Improve Content
“Content is king” is a saying that never seems to grow old. Even though digital marketing has evolved considerably since it first came into being, its emphasis on quality content remains as important as ever. Today, however, marketing leaders have many tools at their disposal to ensure they are creating and curating the best possible content. Out of these, the most useful has to be data.
From optimizing landing pages on your website to improving user experience (UX) for a new app, you can utilize data to revolutionize your content processes. Read on to learn about how to use data to improve your content:
Today, companies have access to more data than ever in the past. Mining big data makes it possible for business leaders to make decisions based on relevant, actionable insights. When it comes to UX, marketing, and subsequently creating targeted content, data mining can come in handy in many different ways. For instance, data is especially useful in formulating user personas. As defined in an article on Martech Advisor, a user persona is “a mock representation of the hypothetical user complete with various personality attributes including name, age, gender, preferences, cultural makeup, hobbies, etc.”
You might think you already know enough about your users. However, creating a user persona ensures that you have relevant information about your users that you can use to create targeted marketing campaigns. Knowing the right information is key to driving sales. The power of big data thus allows marketers to create accurate user personas that properly represent customers.
Secondly, data mining can be used for customer segmentation in content campaigns. While creating user personas is the first step, categorizing your users into groups can help you create target-specific content in the future. To quote an article by Ohio University, “To implement better segmentation in a practical way, data mining can be used to cross-reference customer records. This can illuminate both the differences and similarities between them in ways that were not possible before.” Knowing these similarities and differences can do wonders to improve content, allowing you to create personalized campaigns.
Without actually testing your efforts, you won’t really know where you’re succeeding, and more importantly — where you’re falling short. When designing for user experience, marketers must test user feedback to further tailor their efforts. User testing can provide valuable, tested data and responses to further help improve all content campaigns.
Strategies for user testing include watching how users with some level of loyalty interact with the item (website, app, product etc.). Additionally, testing people from various segmented groups, as explained above, can give you insights about the keys differences among your various user categories. While in-person testing is great, today, you can also employ remote user testing to save time and money.
The benefits of remote user testing include the ability to gain insight about the tested item in various countries, as well as watch users behave naturally, and not fall prey to the “Hawthorne Effect.” The Hawthorne effect, also known as the observer effect, occurs when people change their behavior because they are aware of being watched, or tested. Remote testing provides a viable solution to removing biases in data as a result of this effect.
Finally, remote usability tests are more easily scalable than in-person tests. While you might not need to test a large group of users, it is definitely easier to recruit remote users for testing than it is to find in-person users. This is something to keep in mind, especially as your marketing efforts grow and you require access to a vast data pool.
Collecting data is one thing, but transforming it into useful actionable information is where the secret to marketing success lies. Not everyone has a knack for searching through piles of data and pulling out relevant information. For instance, some individuals may favor qualitative data, whereas some may be better versed in dealing with quantitative data. In reality, a mix of both qualitative and quantitative data is necessary to measure progress and improve marketing efforts — and to succeed, you need a team that can deal with all of it.
If your internal teams aren’t up to the task, you might consider hiring experts to do the job for you. As a marketing leader, it is your responsibility to know when to complete a job yourself, as well as recognize when outside help is needed. While hiring an outside agency to use data to improve your content campaigns can be a scary endeavor, the risk often yields a high reward.
You have the option of hiring one agency that specializes in a particular aspect of digital marketing and data analytics, or a multi-faceted agency that can service all your needs. Obviously, there are pros and cons to each, but remember that working with different agencies can often be very challenging, and information tends to get lost in cross-communication. A rule of thumb by experts at SMB Team is to interview agencies just like you would interview new hires: “Scan the internet, conduct multiple searches and inquire to potential agencies who look like they may be a good fit on paper. You’ll want to vet these agencies thoroughly, having multiple meetings with them before making your decision.”
Today’s world is data-driven, and to succeed in it, you need to be data-driven too. Harnessing the power of data can transform your content and marketing campaigns, resulting in customer loyalty and retention, increased sales, and thus a higher return on investment. While anyone can create content, data gives you the ability to create relevant, target-specific quality content that makes for improved user experience and drives long-term success.