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Alexandra Karaoutsadis
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How Big Data is Shaping Content Marketing

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How Big Data is Shaping Content Marketing

Data is one of the key forms of information-gathering within business. Every day, time is allocated towards moving through the data received and drawing information over to find ways to improve operations across various levels of business. Big data essentially refers to the huge amounts of data that are created every minute worldwide. If you understand this data, it can be highly useful to enhancing the way you do business – starting with your content marketing strategy.

Big data comes directly from your customers and potential prospects, therefore providing you with valuable insight into what piques their attention and interests them most. By evaluating this data, you can effectively split up your findings using these four steps: data, information, knowledge, and narrative.

Data: Collected from online interactions, this is the term used to describe the original form of data and words gathered. From the outset, this can appear murky and quite difficult to interpret, which is why it’s important to carefully comb through it in order to ascertain what’s useful to you.

Information: Now it’s time to lay out your data, pick it apart and collect information. This is where the data gathered is given context and meaning. Through evaluation and categorisation, you can determine the importance of the information gathered.

Knowledge: This is what is gained by applying the information gathered to business practise. Knowledge is valuable in business, especially when it is gained from the interpreted data. This can effectively shape the way a business communicates with its target audience and drives results. It allows them to see what is working, and to ultimately apply these patterns to their advantage.

Narrative: Through the data gathered, information processed and knowledge gained, we can then form a narrative on how this can all be developed to aid business results. This carries the process of data-gathering home, and allows you to give meaning towards the value of data. As such, you can ultimately gain a stronger result from your target audience.

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Evidently, the process doesn’t just stop at data. You need to follow through the information presented, determine what knowledge can be gathered, and understand how a narrative can ultimately form and be conveyed. It is here that data can shape the content marketing process, which leads me to my next point…

Applying the Process

Turning data into understandable and valuable information is not out of limits for any business – or any level of business, for that matter. Content is basically a form of data-gathering which has been turned into an easily understandable narrative. This is especially true when we look at content marketing and evaluate the effectiveness of current methods used.

This needs to start with content development, where there is usually a pattern applied to creating content and generating conversions. Instead of just creating content that could catch on with your target audience, you can create successful content that has the backing to perform well and generate promising results.

When it comes to content, data can help you identify a range of beneficial factors including trends, topics, preferences and customer interests. Using data is entirely useless if you do not add meaning or narrative to it. Think of your data as something to build off when it comes to your content marketing strategy, and gain a clearer understanding of what helps your content thrive.

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Knowing What Your Audience Wants

The evaluation of data needs to be driven by the need to discover how to better a business process. With all of this, it is important to keep your target audience in mind. They are the ones who will be investing their money in your services and products, so it’s vital that you understand what is important to them. By looking at the way they interact with your content, you can understand what resonates with them, and thus better optimise your content towards their desires.

Planning Content and Networks

You content will be greatly influenced by the channels you use to publicise it. One of the best ways to determine which channel is best for your business is by uncovering the channels that your target audience are using. When are they engaging with that platform most, and what do they expect to see on those platforms?

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Your content structure greatly depends on the channel you are using, with the narrative you form dependent on the tone and nature of that given channel. It is also very dependent on the demographic, and what they expect from those platforms. For instance, a platform like Facebook is very video and picture-driven, with small bursts of content interspersed between the imagery. Conversely, LinkedIn is a professional platform mainly centred around articles and papers. Evaluate the networks that work best for your business, and tailor your content towards performing best on those given platforms.

What to Take Away

Creating a strong content marketing strategy is not something that can happen overnight. Data is constantly changing, and therefore the strategy you use will change too. You will need to find a pattern that works.

If you fall back to the four steps of evaluating data, you will be able to easily form a narrative that fits your content marketing. Using data to form your content marketing strategy is still highly underused, but is one of the most powerful resources. Not only are you able to get a closer look at your target audience’s interests, but you are able to pinpoint where your content marketing can perform higher while gaining a much more comprehensive understanding of your market and key audience.

In any case, big data is a game changer when used correctly in content marketing strategies. With the right interpretation of data and the correct narrative added, you can form high-performance content that is built to succeed.

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By Alexandra Karaoutsadis


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