One of the biggest perks of the digital marketing era is its ability to provide useful data. The effectiveness of any campaign, from a Facebook ad to an ebook with lead-gen features, can be monitored, tweaked, and evaluated. While stacks of stats are useful, spending in this arena has slowed. This post explores what to consider in data collection for content marketing.
Take a look at the chart below. Marketing data spending has increased yearly since 2020, spurred by a digital marketing shift during the pandemic. However, the spending rate started to slow in 2022 and is expected to continue its sluggish growth through 2024, according to Insider Intelligence.
Planning to invest in data collection this year? Consider these tips
While spending may not be at its pandemic-induced peak, data collection is still a solid investment. That’s not to say that brands aren’t faced with challenges. A potential economic slowdown could create budget restraints; consumers are continually worried about sharing private details; and some data collection tools offer too many or too few metrics.
To help make a well-research choice, consider these tips before investing in or altering your data collection tools:
Know how you plan to use data
If you’re planning a marketing campaign, you start by identifying a goal. The same can be said for purchasing or utilizing a new data collection tool. What do you want to do with the data? Are you trying to increase conversions on social media ads? Are you looking for software to collect and store customer contacts? When you have a goal, you can identify the type of tool you need.
Pick a point person
Figure out who’s going to manage the data. If someone does not mind the store, so to speak, data is wasted. It’s not enough to collect information; you need someone to review and leverage it to your brand’s advantage.
If your brand has limited resources, that should weigh into your decision too. You might want to identify tools for small teams with low-entry barriers.
Be selective with the data you collect
The amount of data you can pull in from a campaign is impressive, but too much data can be a problem. It takes time to review metrics and figure out how to apply them to specific situations. As a result, it’s best to narrow down the data you need to collect.
Data points might include:
- Contact or demographic information: Name, phone number, address, social profiles, hometown
- Firmographic data: Company-specific data like company size, revenue, and competitors
- Intent or behavioral data: page visits, social activity, actions taken online
Privacy concerns might push you towards 1st party data
Privacy concerns are a growing issue for consumers and brands, making headlines for the last few years. Data privacy legislation has passed, and brands like Google eliminated the use of third-party cookies that track consumer actions online.
As a result, buying data from a third party, like buying an email list of prospective customers, for example, is becoming less effective and now carries a breach-of-trust stigma.
Rather than relying on another company to provide data, brands should collect their own metrics. Why? Brands have more control over how the data is gathered, stored, and used.
If your brand plans to invest in data-gathering platforms, look for options that help your brand collect its own data in a cohesive, useful way.
Be transparent with customers
With heightened privacy concerns, brands need to be transparent about their data intentions. Yes, you could create a traditional, text-heavy privacy agreement for customers, or you can use your marketing skills to come up with something a bit more engaging.
No matter what format you choose, be honest with your customers.
Integrations are important
Many brands already use a handful of tools to reach customers and collect information about them. While each tool has its use, usually, the tools don’t talk to each other, which 35% of marketers consider a top frustration.
For example, a CRM might collect and keep customer data, but it might not integrate well (or at all) with the social platforms you use to run ads. Marketers are left bouncing between dashboards trying to make sense of the missing pieces.
What’s the lesson here? Understand how a new platform or tool will integrate with the ones you already rely on.
Data collection remains important to content marketing teams who are looking to maximize their outreach and connect with customers in a meaningful way. As you research different tools, weigh the pros and cons, consider the tips above, and choose the best for your brand.