26 enero, 2020

How to Improve Conversions with a Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy

As Matt
Trifiro, CMO at Heroku, puts it, time and money are our scarcest resources. So
we should allocate them to areas that have the highest impact. Trifiro also
says that good data reveals the true impact on a business and we can use it to
bring more science into our decision making.

Only after
analyzing data from various online campaigns can you begin to build data-driven
content. Data is collected from people who converted into customers, and it
helps us understand what really works. Data-driven decisions allow companies to
personalize experiences for their customer bases and spend their budgets more
wisely.

The global
market is becoming seriously competitive, forcing companies to avoid the
guessing game of what works and what doesn’t.

Content is
such a broad subject, and many might claim that they know the secret that
unlocks the 100% conversion formula. The reality is that there is no
one-answer-fits-all scenario.

This is why
each company needs to collect good data, analyze, and leverage the information
correctly to improve their content marketing campaign.

You might ask
yourself:

  • Is your content effective?
  • How are you doing on social
    media?
  • Is there enough engagement?
  • Does your client base respond
    to a certain type of call-to-action (CTA)?

When a company starts to craft a content marketing strategy, it is normal not to know what is going to work. You’ll have to start with some basic hypotheses and use A/B testing to validate your ideas. The data you collect will be your treasure trove.

Holiday Marketing Toolkit 2020

Why does your content
marketing need to be data-driven?

When we use
data to make decisions, we take emotion and assumptions out of the picture. We
also take past experiences and improve on them instead of starting from scratch
every time.

Where do we start?

Before we even
begin posting content online, we need to set our key performance indicators
(KPIs).

The three
basic KPIs you need to measure for content include:

  • Traffic

Who
is viewing your content?

How
many people are viewing it?

Is
it the right audience?

  • Engagement

Are
people responding to your content?

If
so, how? (positive/negative?)

How
do you measure engagement?

  • Conversion

Is
your traffic converting?

If
so, what is the best performing content?

Can
you identify which CTAs work?

How
can you increase these numbers?

How
to improve conversions using a data-driven content marketing strategy

Great planning
will lead to great results. Here’s what you need to do.

1.  
Define your goals

Before you
assign a mountain of content to your qualified writers, define what results you
expect from the content.

Depending on
the goal of your campaign, you need to separate content into various types
including:

  • Awareness-focused content
  • Traffic-generating content
  • Conversion-focused content
  • Fun content

For example,
awareness-focused content is designed to educate the public about your products
and services. Traffic-generating content is based on strong SEO to drive
traffic. Finally, conversion-focused content is enriched with social proof and
other techniques that help buyers make a decision.

Fun content is
something you can share occasionally to continue engaging your audience.

How to Improve Conversions with a Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy-template

The above is a
simple example of a template. Each marketer can create their own according to
the needs of the company.

You can assign
each category a number of articles, goals, and KPIs.

2.  
Publish more articles than you
think you need

Content
marketing is growing faster than most companies can keep up with.

Keeping the
attention of your audience is becoming a major challenge for most marketers.

Did you know
that, according to CMI, 72% of marketers report that publishing
content often significantly increases the engagement from their audience?

According to
the Digital
Information World
, the average attention span is now floating
somewhere in the area of 8 seconds.

This means
that you have 8 seconds to capture and hold someone’s attention.

This also
means that trends do not last as long as they used to, so your team needs to be
constantly on the lookout for new trends.

Google
Trends
is a great tool to use to stay on top of things.

Publishing
articles more frequently will get you more leads and also keep you competitive.
Creating authentic, creative, and engaging content is not an easy task.

The faster you
train your team to do it, the faster you will move up in the rankings.

3.  
Decide on your channels and
content format

Do not limit
yourself to your company’s blog. There are many channels that you need to use
to create and distribute your content.

To drive
traffic on your website you need your own blog, but do not stop there. Consider
all of the possible channels for content distribution.

How to Improve Conversions with a Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy-hubspot

Now you have
to consider not only the channels, but also the type of content these channels
accept.

When we hear
the word, “content,” most people think of text. But content takes many forms
and shapes including:

  1. Blogging
  2. Videos or vlogging
  3. Infographics
  4. Ebooks
  5. Research content
  6. Email content
  7. Website copy
  8. CTAs (micro-content)
  9. Ads
  10. Press releases
  11. Reviews
  12. Testimonials/social proof
  13. Social media content
  14. Podcasts

Your social
media content strategy needs extra care and attention, as social media is a
common core for all companies and brands out there.

You can use
data to understand which channels and content formats work well with your
target audience. With tools like Cortex, you can collect insights about what
subjects, themes, and colors your audience likes. This will help you develop
the kind of content that will appeal to them.

How to Improve Conversions with a Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy-cortex

A data-driven
content marketing campaign needs to explore different types of content. Then
you need to identify what kind of impact that content has on conversions.

Finally, you
need to use the right content for the right campaign.

Do not feel
that you need to test every single piece of content type that exists.

Rather, do
some research to find out what works well for your industry and start with
that.

Did you know
that, according to WordStream, using videos on your landing pages
will increase conversions by 86%? You could experiment with this tactic too.

4.  
Use links and then use some
more links

Google’s Andrey Lipattsev said that content and links
are the two main factors when it comes to indexing your page.

By now, you
understand that you need to plan your content calendar, decide on your KPIs,
and set up your analytics. These actions will help
you measure what works while investigating what type of content works best for
you.

But what about
links?

There are many
ways to get links, including:

  1. Find websites with broken links and contact them to suggest potential links to replace the broken one. Be sure to include your website in the suggestions. To make this super easy, various plugins can automatically check for broken links on websites.
  2. Create infographics and get other websites to publish them along with links to your site.
  3. Have guest authors write for your blog. Even if your blog is a company one, you can ask your clients to share their stories. It is a great way to leverage your existing audience.
  4. Spy on your competitors and sign up for their newsletters and alerts. They might know something you don’t and they are probably spying on you anyway. Check their backlinks and see if they are successful in their methods.
  5. Build internal links. When you publish a new article, connect it to existing relevant articles on your site. This will keep the reader on your website longer, reflecting a lower bounce rate.
  6. Promote your content through social media platforms and channels that make sense for your industry.
  7. Make friends with influencers. Find ways to work with them. They are a trusted source for most consumers. Use popular influencer marketing and discovery platforms that can locate influencers for you.

5.  
Your headlines are your first
impression, and they count!

Your headline
is why you got that first click.

Your content
can be incredible, groundbreaking, and breathtaking all in one. However, if
your headline does not invite the audience to click, no one is going to read
it.

Think of your
headline as the window in a store. It needs to be inviting and alluring so that
it ignites the curiosity in the passer-by to walk in.

If you have
trouble thinking of a headline, you can use one of the many headline generators
out there such as the Kickass
Headline Generator
.

How to Improve Conversions with a Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy-headline

Some general
guidelines that work well for headlines:

  1. Mention a number
  2. Use an emotion
  3. Use the secret formula of eight words or 62 characters or
    81-100 characters
  4. Create a sense of usefulness
  5. Negative spins do well (unfortunately)
  6. Make it a question (when possible)
  7. Never lie

BuzzSumo
studied over 100,000 headlines and below is a chart showcasing the results on
social media click-through rates:

How to Improve Conversions with a Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy-top-headline

6.  
Update existing content

Take inventory
of the content you already have stored away or published. You need to know what
you have and where you can use it.

For older
posts, go back and make sure you update
them
to reflect the latest statistics and trends. Otherwise, what is
the point of anyone reading blog posts from years ago?

You can even
explore other ways to reuse older content, including:

  1. Create an infographic from a previous post
  2. Re-promote it on social media
  3. Use it to create video tutorials
  4. Turn it into a presentation
  5. Use it for a throw-back campaign
  6. Turn it into modular content
  7. Use it to create email content

Final
ideas and the way forward

Content is
alive, evolving, and changing with every second. In a sense, it is a reflection
of what humans want to know about.

But for
content to drive traffic, engagement, and conversions it needs to be
data-driven.

Publishing an
article without the tools to go back and understand how it performed is futile
and impractical.

The first step
for any marketer working with content is to set up the analytics tools of their
choice. The second step is to set their KPIs. Once all of that is sorted, set
your goals, develop content, and begin measuring its effectiveness.

A very important key to remember is that content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.

Holiday Marketing Toolkit 2020

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