G.I. Joe told everyone that knowing is half the battle, but he didn’t cover the other half. Having behavior data easily accessible doesn’t do much good if marketers don’t respond to that data correctly or touch on other important points for engagement.
Marketers need to remember that there are real people inside the data.
It’s all too common that companies invest money in procuring behavior data to learn how their target markets perform, but simply possessing this data isn’t enough to make every content marketing strategy a successful one. Knowing how and when to reach out to the real-life people behind that data and accomplish this without losing their interest or pushing them to the point of disengagement is what helps marketers drive a strategy to complete success.
Behavior data doesn’t have superpowers that can suddenly change the content marketing game without any action on a marketer’s part. Marketing professionals have to start using that data alongside strategies like email segmentation and cross-channel marketing to obtain the reach and engagement they need. LinkedIn reported in 2014 that, according to survey responses, audience relevance, engaging/compelling storytelling and the ability to trigger action are what make content marketing effective according to 58 percent, 57 percent and 54 percent of responders, respectively. Knowing that content is relevant is merely the first step.
With the behavior data in hand, marketers need to translate it into interaction with consumers in their target market. If the data reveals that, for example, a blog’s readers interact most with posts that are primarily visual, the blog owner can capitalize on this by creating an Instagram account for the blog and start to incorporate targeted hashtags that boost exposure. An added bonus of using hashtags is that they humanize a brand, and consumers value feeling like they’re on the same wavelength as a trusted company.
What does the audience see when they engage with the content?
Beyond that, data doesn’t matter if the content it’s inspiring isn’t engaging, attractive, useful or relevant. Data alone can’t save too-busy infographics or text-only blog posts from appearing unappealing and thus turning away consumers from the start. The interactive experience a company provides needs to be holistic — it needs to look good, sound good and make consumers feel good.
It’s time for companies to take the time to invest in quality content. Without graphic designers, writers and editors in-house whose standards align with the brand’s message, a business can hire some of the thousands of talented freelancers plying their trade online. Content needs to be targeted, but if it’s already mundane when consumers view it, it’s going to miss the mark. Skilled creators know how to produce targeted, attractive content that gets straight to the point.
Marketers need to send out good content that hits the mark — all the data in the world can’t save them from low quality.
When an audience likes what they see, they want to know how to get more of what they like from the company that produced it on a consistent basis. Businesses must use the behavior data they’ve gathered and translate it into a revitalized content strategy to become habits for their audiences. Data alone won’t change anything overnight, but using it in a new way certainly can.