Data is a Content Marketer's Secret Weapon by Sarah Malcolm

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The secret might be getting out. A recent report from Salesforce shows content marketers are using data tools more than ever before. The push to prove content marketing’s value means we have adopted a number of tools to optimize our work. The smart content marketers use data to drive decision-making.

What data do content marketers use?

According to Salesforce, content marketers are heavily using CRM-based data (94%), online data (90%), and demographic data (95%). The trend continues into the next fiscal year. Advertisers use CRM-based data such as email addresses, phone numbers, and other brand interactions the majority of the time (94%) in their campaigns.

How data benefits content marketers

Social media platforms provide incredible levels of detail on our consumers, like personal data, demographics, and interests. We use this information to reach targets we otherwise know nothing about.

Reaching people based on their consumer profiles allows us to optimize our marketing budgets. We’re not blanketing a neighborhood and hoping for a callback. Content marketers target real prospects, companies that might need your multifamily work management solution, or commercial tenants ready to lease up.

The data paints a picture of what practices work best for each company. One brand might kill it on LinkedIn, but the numbers show the audience simply isn’t there for a different company. We’re optimizing the platforms we choose to use, how we use them, and what we’re creating.

Taken together, these practices create better bang for your valuable marketing bucks.

How can content marketers use data better?

Lately the content marketing industry is witnessing an increased push in accountability. This is a good thing! We can better track how our efforts lead to sales. Content marketing is justifying its value in hard cents.

As content marketers, we need to become better at data analysis. It’s not enough to just run a campaign and figure out its open rate or impressions. The point of marketing is to drive sales. We need to track the pipeline to see how our efforts create revenue for the company.

Content programs always need tweaking. Pulling metrics from a program like Facebook Insights informs us which posts perform the best, our reach, and engagement rates. These real-time metrics mean content marketers can tweak campaigns during the event. Don’t wait until after to make changes. If a social promotion isn’t working as planned, figure out why. Start testing. Get results.

Content marketing is not a fixed industry. A plus B doesn’t equal C for everyone. Experimentation and play are important, and so is a sound understanding of data and metrics. Smart content marketers don’t create their posts, images, and videos in a vacuum. Armed with data that informs a content marketing strategy, we create purposeful content to drive real results.

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