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BizTrends 2018

Data: the content marketing silver bullet

Smartphones, tablets, PDAs - almost everyone, everywhere, has access to online content. Besides by-the-minute status updates, this access also means data - lots of it. Data that reveals exactly what people love, hate, love to hate and the channels they use to feed their entertainment. In 2012, 2 million searches were posted on Google, 48 hours of video content was posted onto YouTube, and 100,000 tweets were sent every second. That's not even the shocking part - this amount of data doubles every two years. This makes it a potential goldmine for content marketers who can translate the numbers into insights about their audience.
So why should content marketers use data?

1. Improve market segmentation

The data may not be lacking, but the shortage of effective data analysis makes it difficult to make better decisions about the products and services that companies offer. Modern marketers can slice and dice consumer data into meaningful and relevant segments by using Big Data to create useable, relevant groups of consumers that they can target specifically. Because the data reveals exactly who you're targeting, marketing campaigns can be better targeted and therefore be more effective.

Not all customers are created equal. Brands can use data to target and reach influencers - those who have clout in their social circles, or the smaller but lucrative markets. Marketers can target sub-groups of their customers - or specific individuals - by combining data from different online sources. For instance, data from social media platforms about consumers' interests and preferences can be combined with data from a mailing list. This can show the geographical location of consumers and how many potential customers there are within a specific area, or in which regions marketers should target their campaigns.

2. Make mass customisation a reality

Taking Big Data and breaking it down into sizable chunks helps content marketers make 1:1 marketing a reality. Tools such as Flipboard are getting consumers to customise the way they consume products. With personalised filters, users can create and edit their own magazines out of user-generated content or content that is published by different brands. By studying behavioural patterns, brands can begin to see what type of content is most appealing to consumers. Brands can then use this to inform the types of content they create - the media format and even the mobile platform that they deliver it through.

[ Packagr]] is a great tool to repackage content and make it available and customised for any of the multitudes of devices that people use to consume content online. This helps brands achieve a high level of coordination across their online channels when creating content strategies. Combine this tool with a data analysis tool, and you'll know a lot about how your content is consumed, which can inform your content marketing strategies going forward.

3. Get insight into consumers' future behaviour

The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. By collecting data over periods of time, marketers can pick up on popular topics or themes and create consumer driven content. Tools like People Pattern enable marketers to do just that. People Pattern allows for the creation of content based on themes emerging from audience conversations. This means creating content marketing material based on what people are already talking about, rather than trying to win them over with what your brand is talking about.

Knowing you consumer is everything in successful marketing. Data analysis tools are opening up new opportunities for content marketers to understand their audience at a deeper level. Following the data trail means a better understanding of consumers, an improvement in the content seen by consumers, and ultimately a better ROI on content marketing activities.

Want to know more about Content Marketing? Take a look at the UCT Content Marketing short course or visit to view our portfolio of over 45 online short courses.

GetSmarter's press office

GetSmarter is a premier online education company that partners with prestigious universities and leading organisations to offer continuing education short courses to working professionals throughout South Africa.
Justin Belmont
Great pointers! Tracking consumer behavior seems especially important, so that you can always be sure that your content marketing strategy is effective. Comment sections are great for getting feedback as well; that's something that Prose Media uses a lot!
Posted on 26 May 2014 05:08