[VIDEO] Data Driven Marketing: Using Data to Inform Content Strategy

Data driven marketing is using data of all forms – web, social, audience or primary to inform content and other brand storytelling programs.

By: Michael Brito

Category: Analytics

What is data driven marketing?

Well, it’s the practice of extracting actionable insights from a valid data set; and then use these insights to inform a marketing program. This is the last video in the series and probably the most exciting one to record. And as stated, the last five videos have been a recap of the 2021 State of Digital Content report that was published in April by the Altimeter group.

The Altimeter Report asks the question about data driven marketing. They ask, “What sources of data do you use to create content?” And, the answers are varied:

  • 63% of the respondents use website analytics to inform content
  • 59% of the respondents are using social media metrics to inform content
  • 58% of the respondents use customer survey and/or primary research to inform content
  • 49% of the respondents use social customer service or call center records to inform content
  • 48% of the respondents use CRM systems to inform content
  • 23% of respondents use data from third-party providers to inform content

This data is interesting on so many levels when it comes to data  driven marketing. The fact that marketers are actually using data is a good sign of what’s to come in the future.  I am curious though how many marketers are learning how to measure content marketing performance using this same type of data.

Data Driven Marketing

Here’s a breakdown of what I learned from the report.

Website Analytics

Using Google Analytics or other website analytics platform like Adobe Experience Cloud is an excellent source of data to use for content marketing and building a content strategy for your brand. Google Analytics provides extremely valuable insights as it relates to user behavior, engagement on specific web properties and the basics of page view and monthly website visitors.

They also provide data around content consumption at the page level which provides insights into what type of data driven content web users prefer on the website. More importantly, they provide interest based insights based on users search behavior and the websites they have spent time on prior to being on yours.

Social Media Metrics

Pulling data from existing social media platforms is table stakes at this point in 2021. Using social analytics to understand your communities isn’t difficult at all. Even if you don’t have a publishing platform like Sprinklr, Sprout Social, or Khoros, you can still pull content performance and engagement data natively from the platforms.

Data driven marketing has never been this easy. By simply publishing content and tracking the post copy, creative, and audiences if you’re using paid, you can start to piece together what type of content, narrative, and story angles truly resonate with your audience. Social media platforms also provide actionable data insights (demographics and psychographics to an extent) of those who follow your brand online.

Primary Research

One of the benefits of using primary research is that you can ask very focused questions about an audience and/or their preferences.

For example, you can survey a panel of software developers to better understand what languages they are using when hey are writing code and/or which platforms they are building the code on. Based on their answers, you can build a digital content strategy tailored to their interests, preferences and characteristics. You can also combine primary research with social analytics and/or website analytics to validate those answers and provide additional insights for your data-driven marketing efforts.

Another example is surveying the same panel to see which types of content they prefer to consume when researching information. Do they prefer social media? Or, do they like to spend time in Reddit or Github forums or are they open to downloading white papers or e-books in order to access the information that they are looking for. These are actionable insights that you can use today.

Customer Service

Years ago, I had to figure out how to hard reset my iPhone 4. So I went to Google and I typed in “how to reset iPhone 4”. I found verbatim search results that linked me directly to Apple’s social community. I had the answer I was looking for within less than 30 seconds..

Imagine pulling up the transcripts from every customer who calls into customer support, asks a question in a community, or is interacting with a chat bot on the website. And then using those transcripts to create long-form content with that exact language on the blog, or a new thread in the customer support community. This is an example that is much bigger than just data driven marketing. This starts to hit on cost savings by decreasing calls to the call center and building visibility for your website in the search results. This is also a way to build brand advocacy with your customers. However, in order to make this happen, brands need to think about their content operations and building workflows to ensure that response times are handled efficiently.

Data from 3rd Party Databases

It’s unclear in the Altimeter study what they mean by third-party databases.

I would hope that they are referring to audience analytics platforms like Audiense, Affinio, Helix or Brandwatch alternatives. Sadly according to the Altimeter Study, only 23% are using social data of this type to inform content. As much as I am disappointed in the report, I look at it as an an opportunity. If you work in marketing, PR or other communications function, I would suggest spending time reading this post on audience analysis to understand how to use audience interests, characteristics and conversation to inform content.

Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel; and be sure to hit the notification button so you can be notified when new videos are uploaded. You can also connect on Michael Britos social channels if you like.


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