Data sets today are so big that they end up confusing everyone, so content marketers are not alone in feeling a bit lost. Today, you recieve data from everywhere, it flows your way, more and more by the second. How do you organize it? How do you make a distinction between data you could really use and data that's there just to make a clutter? How do you use it, anyway?
It's a hard lesson to learn, that's for sure. But we may claim one thing for a fact: Big data is changing content marketing, big time. And when you get a hold of it, it's an incredibly valuable resource for developing a successful content marketing campaign.
Let's take a look at how content marketing is changing under the influence of big data.
First of all, big data becomes a major resource for content marketers
Big data is not something new. We witnessed its power during Obama’s presidential campaign back in 2012:
I don’t want to get lost in the excitement of everything that will happen tomorrow, so I wanted to take a moment, right now, to say two simple words that I cannot say enough to all of you who have traveled this journey with us: Thank you.
That’s an email that Michelle Obama sent a day before the elections. Of course, it's based on software, but it's still highly personal and kind of brilliant. The campaign managers went to a great deal of A/B testing to find the subject lines that worked and generated donations. They gathered and analyzed tons of data to tailor a campaign that yielded great results.
So most of all, big data changes the way content marketers get their resources. They still observe social media and industry trends, but they get most of their hints out of big data.
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It changes the type of content that brands create
Based on the data that Obama's team generated, they were able to craft a highly personalized content marketing campaign.
During the beginnings of content marketing, brands developed online content in a vacuum. Sure, they were getting some indicators - the number of email subscribers, for example. However, they didn't have detailed insights into the effectiveness of each piece of content.
Now, all companies collect information from their audience. They know their browsing and spending habits. A brand like Assignment Masters, for example, knows when students need to buy papers and launches promotional offers during those periods. They know what type of content their audience reacts to, so they keep developing it. That's why we see infographics, videos, and blog posts that are heavy on the visuals.
For example, when you realize that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads and a 54% increase in brand awareness, you'll focus on developing that kind of content. When you develop that kind of content, analyze your own data and figure out that it's driving 50% more conversions, you'll keep doing it. It's as simple as that!
Content marketing is no longer art. It's science!
Content marketing used to be an art. It was mostly dependent on a writer's talent to convey the brand's spirit into words. Now, that artistic element is still somewhat present in content marketing. But in essence, this type of marketing was turned into a science thanks to big data.
The writers no longer rely solely on their creativity when developing content for promotional purposes. They have entire teams behind them, analyzing big data and suggesting types of content, themes, topics, and stylistic variations that would work better.
This is a good thing. With such great support behind them, the writers can produce content that works better than ever. They can still express their creativity in unique ways, they just do it within the framework that big data sets. They address the right kind of audience, paying attention to demographics, likes, wants, issues, and other data.
Content marketing is more complex than ever
There was a time when you just picked your topics, developed content and published it. No complications there. Sometimes the content would get you tons of traffic, other times it wouldn't be that successful. Now that we have big data, we're focused on success. We don't want to waste money, effort, and time into developing content that doesn’t work.
Big data drives us towards strategies that require more focus and commitment. For example, in order to improve the effectiveness of a Facebook marketing campaign, you'll need to look into the company's specific Facebook insights. You'll analyze the types of content the audience reacted to, and you'll compare the popularity of previous posts. You'll also pay attention to the times of publication. You'll consider the demographics of the people who reacted. To put it simply – big data is big work.
But if you analyze it well, it eventually pays off.
Bottom line, big data is a great resource. But will you use it well? When you adjust your promotional campaign thanks to the insights you get from big data, you'll unlock the true power of content marketing.