How many times have you struggled with creating marketing content? This is a common problem for marketers. In the mad dash to create content, marketers often end up publishing content that doesn’t generate desired results. So it’s time to make a change. The solution is to create marketing content based on data.

Here we’ll explore 3 different ways you can create data-driven content and show you how to get started using data for your own content marketing.


What is Data-driven content marketing?

When we say data-driven content marketing, we’re referring to the use of intelligence and insights derived from data to craft content and publishing strategies tailored around specific audiences. Far from haphazard, spur of the moment content creation, data-driven marketing relies on data analytics to create email marketing that boost conversions, blogging to improve search engine rankings, and using data for higher engagements.


How does it work?

Let’s say you just finished sending out a bunch of emails. You’re now looking at your email analytics and it shows that recipients opened and clicked emails that had coupons in them. Although there are other factors to consider, this simple piece of data should already tell you that emails with coupons perform well and that it’s a good idea to send more emails with coupons.

Similarly, if your social media data show that your audience responds better to videos or memes compared to other types of content, this could already be a basis for you in creating and churning similar types of content for your audience. 

There are lots of useful ways data can improve the results of your content marketing apart from these simple examples. The point is, data should guide your content creation.


#1 Set data-driven objectives

What do you want to achieve?  It’s not really enough that you just want to post something because everybody else is doing it. You need to know what exactly you want to get out of your content. Having a clear objective helps you set up a benchmark for analyzing and evaluating your efforts as opposed to just giving everything a subjective thumbs-up or down. More importantly, having clearly defined goals will help you focus your efforts and align your actions with what you want to happen.

How can you make this data driven?: Be as specific as possible when enumerating your content marketing goals and objectives. One way to hone in on what you want to achieve is to establish SMART goals — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. By outlining SMART goals, you’re making it easier to measure your progress and know if you’re hitting your marks or if you’re going nowhere.

Where to get data: past content, sourced industry benchmarks, competition


#2 Let data tell you what topics to engage

Assuming you already have a thorough audience profile / buyer persona — which we strongly recommend you have — and have outlined SMART objectives to follow, you’re now ready to brainstorm content. 

The key here is using data from the buyer personas you’ve created to create topics that appeal to them. This way, you wouldn’t have to waste time beating yourself up as you figure out what topics to talk about. While intuition can still go a long way in helping you identify topics worth talking about, backing intuition with information from data can increase your chances of coming up with hit contents that resonate, engage, and get shared.

How can you make this data driven?: We can already say that your topic brainstorming is data-driven when you know your audiences and their respective content preferences. But why stop here? The next thing you should do is to create topic buckets with which you can categorize and organize content based on what your audience wants to and needs to see.

Sorting your topics into buckets gives you additional data to work with later on. Be advised though, creating content buckets isn’t a one-off thing; you’ll need to revisit your buckets often to make sure they’re abreast to the latest trends and check for gaps that you need to fill.

Where to get data: buyer personas, social listening, comments, reviews, competitive analysis, web analytics


# 3 Let data tell you what, where, and how to publish your content

Great job! You’ve just created valuable, customer-centric content with the help of data in your hands. Now, you need to figure out the form and format for that content if you want it to make the impact you want it to make. As in many forms of communication, form is just as important as content so you’ll need to be sure that your message goes through the best channels. 

This will bring you back to your audience (again). You need to know where your audiences are and what they’re using to interact. Are they offline? Are they online? Do most of them consume content on YouTube? Who’s on Facebook? The key here is knowing what’s going to work best for different segments of your audience. If you’re clueless, you may need to test alternatives to your usual channels to find what works best for different topics, purpose, audience, and content.

How can you make this data driven?: Make sure you know the goings-on in your industry. Learn to spot trends and practices in relation to content creation and delivery. If you already have a substantial library of published content, it’s a good idea to go back to these materials and see how each performed against others based on where they were published and when.

Where to get data: buyer personas, the internet is an almighty provider of data on industry trends, your own analysis of your content’s performance.

Today’s successful brand content creators are fact-seekers who know that great content needs more than just intuition; it also needs hard data. So, if you’re creating content topics based on a gut feeling that isn’t based on any data, then you’re gambling with the success of your entire content marketing strategy. Use data to help develop a content strategy for email marketing, blog posts, and social media content. Consult the data before you plan content and you’ll greatly improve your chances of success.

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