If data doesn’t curl your marketing toes, you’re probably not using it as well as you could be. The best B2B strategies are continually evolving to deliver value every time customers and prospects visit your website or engage with your content in any number of channels. To make that happen, you need data—good data that supports your ability to send the right message to the right buyers at the right time.
Data-driven marketing strategies help you develop better content—and that’s just the beginning. They can also help you make content distribution decisions and gather more accurate metrics. Follow data best practices to ensure you’re putting trusted data in the driver’s seat.
Data That Pinpoints Your Audience
You can’t create effective marketing without understanding who it’s for. Period. And the more you know, the better you can be. When you guess at buyer personas, you could be betting your entire marketing budget on faulty data.
Use what you know about your audiences to determine what type of content you’ll produce this quarter, what topics to focus on and which channels will offer the best distribution options to prioritize.
Research and data take the guesswork out of the personas you’re targeting, the buying committees you’re appealing to, what types of content they prefer and which channels they frequent when they’re looking for information. This kind of data-driven targeting makes every marketing dollar stretch as far as possible—and attracts leads sooner in the buying process.
Data That Defines Your Web Visits
Your own website offers incredibly valuable information if you’re tracking carefully. Ensure your marketing teams, including SEO gurus and web teams, are sharing information so that the content creators understand which topics are drawing the most traffic from new users and key targets.
There’s a bounty of data in that web traffic. Track content downloads, webinar attendees, blog readers, podcast listeners and newsletter subscribers. Study what they click, read and share. Use your intelligence to improve existing content and every asset you produce this year.
Data That Illuminates Trends
It’s not enough to keep tabs on prospects after they find you. Find them by keeping your finger on the pulse of emerging trends in your industry and theirs. Which blogs are they reading? What articles caught their eyes? What are your competitors doing (and not doing)?
When you crunch the data on the topics that are ranking in your solution area, you’ll discover why particular topics or content types are outperforming others. The answers can instruct you on how to give those top-ranking assets a run for their money.
Put SEO strategies in line with the rest of your marketing efforts so that SEO research drives your marketing plans and content successes, in turn, inform SEO strategies for upcoming topics.
Data That Determines Distribution Channels
A lonely library full of dense whitepapers gets you nowhere. Learn from your data how to publish your audience’s favorite asset types. That might be podcasts, video and infographics or blog posts, E-books and webinars—only your data can tell you, because it differs based on a variety of factors, including industry and buying persona, as well as by buyer’s journey stage.
And once you’re armed with an array of the right formats, you can’t pop them onto your resources page and call it a day. You need to get them into the channels your buyers are visiting when they’re researching a solution like yours.
Use every bit of audience demographic data at your disposal to uncover where they go and when so that they discover your mid-funnel content when they’re researching and your late-stage content when they’re ready to buy.
Data That Describes Performance
When you’re assessing the effectiveness of your content, you’ll probably have multitudes of data to crunch. You can start with the obvious metrics like bounce rates, new users and repeat visitors. And then dig deeper to identify larger trends you can extract from business trends and social media engagement patterns that point to changing expectations and evolving consumption habits.
Data That Drives Their Decisions (And Yours)
Without data, you’re all but guaranteed to be wasting a significant percentage of your marketing budget. You’re probably not creating the content your buyers really want right now, and you’re certainly not equipped to predict what they want next quarter.
Marketing fundamentals don’t change from one month to the next. When you combine them with the power of data, you’ll be ready to evolve your content to meet the changing needs of your buyers.
Intent data is helping marketers do an even better job of illuminating who’s in the market for a product or service and what stage of the journey they’re in. I’m excited to welcome a panel of intent data experts and power users in our panel discussion this Friday, July 23. Save your seat now for Why Intent Data Signals May Be the Missing Ingredient in Your Content Strategy to hear expert advice from Jon Russo, CMO & Founder, B2B Fusion Group; Latané Conant, CMO, 6sense; and Nirosha Methananda, VP of Marketing, Influ2.
Read The Content + Data Connection: 10 Top Marketing Executives Explore the Rewards of Integrating Intent Data into Content Strategies for perspective on the role intent data will play in the future of your content.
Holly Celeste Fisk is an accomplished marketing pro with 20+ years of experience in B2B and B2C. She’s responsible for Content4Demand’s internal marketing efforts, managing everything from content creation and email marketing to events and sponsorships, blog publishing, website management and social media presence. When she’s not working, you’ll find her sliding into third at softball, buried in a book or practicing her Italian.