Companies need to provide value to customers with their messaging. However, data-driven content marketing is changing the way they do that.
Instead of scattershot messaging that goes to every customer, data-driven content marketing is providing a more efficient, personalized customer journey.
Your target audience is the group of customers you hope to reach with a piece of content marketing. Any customer-based, data-driven content marketing effort begins with target audience.
To understand what content you should be providing, you need to understand the audience for which you’re creating the content.
You need to identify your customer, understand his or her pain points and address those pain points with your content marketing.
Obviously, most companies have more than one type of customer, so they need to develop a few customer profiles.
A company selling books, for example, will have customers that like a certain genre and customers that enjoy a variety of genres. The company will also have customers with varied needs and purchasing habits.
Your average individual consumer will have vastly different needs and purchasing requirements and habits than an organization like a school, for example. Furthermore, an elementary school will have different requirements than a university.
Focused content creation and targeted dissemination lie at the heart of data-driven content marketing.
The tenets of good content marketing remain the same: provide valuable content to your customers. However, the content one customer wants to read or see isn’t necessarily what another wants to read or see. Therefore, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to send all types of content out to every customer.
We’re moving away from the days of creating large-scale marketing campaigns that we blast out to the public at large and hope that it generates leads.
Why? That type of approach doesn’t suit the world in which we live now. We live in an internet world now with vast amount of data at our fingertips.
Every day, customers can access an overwhelming amount of information via the internet. If they open themselves up to social media, that information will come find them. A dizzying amount of information travels over ever-increasing and varying communication mediums all the time.
How do you reach customers with blanket marketing campaigns in this kind of environment? It’s very difficult. Instead, you need to focus your company’s marketing efforts on targeting audiences with content that is valuable to those audiences.
How do you connect with customers? Through focused content. How do you reach them? By using data and automation.
The term “automated marketing” sounds about as far from focused marketing that you can get. It probably brings to mind email blasts people get with their name wrong in the introduction. That’s not what we’re talking about here.
Marketing automation is making it possible for companies to better reach their customers with the content that is valuable for them.
You ever get advertisements in your browser sidebar for sites you’ve visited before? Ever get advertisement for specific products you’ve looked at?
That tailored experience begins with data collection and customer relationship management (CRM).
What is CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.
CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels—or points of contact between the customer and the company—which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media…CRM software consolidates customer information and documents into a single CRM database so business users can more easily access and manage it.
Data-Driven Content Marketing Ecosystem
The goal of marketing automation is to create an ecosystem whereby the messaging you offer customers depends on their interactions with your company.
Blasting customers with random advertising and marketing content doesn’t work. More often than not, that kind of messaging gets lost in the weeds, doesn’t interest customers or even turns them off. It’s an inefficient and ineffective way to conduct marketing efforts in today’s world.
Marketing automation enables companies to streamline their marketing efforts and, much more importantly, tailor the customer experience through every phase of the customer journey. Companies can provide a better overall customer experience and establish genuine relationships that provide value to their customers.
—Beth Stephenson, Avitus Group Marketing Manager
Entry points vary. A customer may discover your brand on social media. They may see content you publish online (if it’s valuable and authoritative enough to rank highly). They may get to you via paid advertising.
The important thing is that they find you. And that they’re serious enough about whatever products or services your company offers to provide you with an email address at least.
Once a customer provides contact information, their personalized customer journey begins. Every piece of marketing messaging that customer gets derives from interactions with your company.
If a customer identifies a certain service as interesting when they provide their contact information, they’ll receive messaging related to that service. If he or she visits the page for a certain product, they’ll receive messaging related to that product.
What they won’t receive is a bunch of random communications that have nothing to do with what interests them.
Some General Benefits of Marketing Automation
These are some of the reasons why a company will adopt marketing automation:
- Save time—Multiple campaigns can be scheduled way ahead of time and released as per your own settings; therefore, working hours can be utilized for other activities.
- Efficiency—It provides a streamlined automatic alternative to traditionally manual processes. Time and labor can be reduced; therefore, costs can be reduced too.
- CRM integration—It can help to make sure that leads don’t disappear off the radar after a couple of unsuccessful contacts.
- Data collection—Automatic marketing offers a touch-point to clients or customers that isn’t necessarily sales-driven. It can help provide better insight and be used to collect specific data to improve future campaigns or communication.
- Multichannel management—Whereas it was possibly easy enough to manage a single email channel, now thanks to the multiple channels that consumers can be found on, it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of them all. Marketing automation can help you keep tabs on any channel.
- Consistency—Incorporating all your marketing efforts in one process can help keep a unified brand tone-of-voice.
- Personalisation—Automation helps tailor the experience to the user, creating a unique and more inviting experience that’s entirely relevant and will more likely lead to conversion.
Data-Driven Content Marketing
Data-driven content marketing is both art and science. Providing focused, valuable content is art. Disseminating that content to customers throughout the customer journey is science.
Customers have an unlimited amount of data at their fingertips and receive an unprecedented amount of messaging every day. The only way to reach them is to cut through all that. Data-driven content marketing is one way to do it.