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Why You Should Use Data to Enhance Your Content Marketing

By Nick Price

If 2016 has shown us anything, it is that people are finally realizing that they need to make use of all the data that they have at their disposal and use it to create insights on their audience that was previously unavailable. In fact, seventy-eight percent of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing and this is in large part due to the newly gained insights into buying audiences.
Why Data?
According to a recent survey conducted by predictive intelligence platform 6Sense, 43% of respondents used predictive analytics to get insights about where prospects are in the sales funnel. Furthermore, Forbes Insights reported that 26% of marketing executives in North America said that a benefit of predictive marketing was better funnel conversions. Data is the driving force behind these insights. With data you can peak behind the curtain and gain visibility that was previously not possible and was left up to crafty guesswork.
So why should you use data to enhance your content marketing strategy? Data allows you to analyze in a smaller framework the topics that are of biggest interest to your audience in order for you to create content that is desired by your audience and that you know will have some resonance in the marketplace. In fact, the Harvard Business Review called data-driven storytelling the future of B2B content marketing, for all the right reasons.
With the right mix of data, you can see what topics your known and unknown audience are interested in, but also what devices they are accessing this content from. This will allow you to gain better insights into where your prospects are in their buying cycle, but also shows why you should have a wide range of content for your outreach strategy. Data has helped in this aspect, as it has proven that B2B buyers all interact differently with the content that is spread throughout the marketing ecosystem and for that reason, a variety of content options must be available to reach your full audience.
How to Position Your Content
B2B marketers are building out content strategies for many different reasons, ranging from brand awareness and lead generation/demand generation purposes all the way down to training and onboarding clients. Furthermore, 79% of these B2B marketers are using analytical tools to help building out their content marketing strategies. For these reasons, marketers need to use the data at their disposal or the data that their content marketing partners have at their disposal to help build a more agile strategy.
Content varies at every stage of the buying journey. However, it is important to note that some content may or may not resonate with certain buyers and for that reason, it is important to build content for all the different types of buyers that are out there. To segment your content strategy to just white papers, leaves out a large percentage of buyers who do not have time to read weighty content and would rather watch a two to three-minute video or gain insights into your organization through a properly organized infographic. There is a plethora of content types available to B2B marketers, but just because you make it, it doesn’t mean it will be effective in the marketplace.
Each buyer is different and because of that, their needs are different. However, what remains true for all B2B buyers today in the highly competitive digital landscape is that they want answers to their problems and not sales pitches. Google reports that as a result of this competitive landscape, B2B buyers are about eighty percent of the way through their purchase decision before they ever pick up a phone. This is why good content starts by understanding the industry’s needs before focusing on your business’ sales pitch.
No one wants to read a piece of content that solely praises the provider of that content. Those articles typically impart no knowledge that a decision maker can take back to their buying team. Instead, content that provides in-depth knowledge into the most common answers in the industry will show that your organization has its pulse on the problems that B2B marketers are facing and if done correctly, they will realize that you also have the answers they need.
Now isn’t that all that B2B marketers really want?

To learn more about how data can help to drive your content marketing strategy, please contact

Nick Price

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