Modern blog writing is about so much more than just sitting down and typing until your fingers go numb creating an article of writing. Sure, there is definitely something to be said for putting your digital pen to paper and getting something out there on the web, but the truth of the matter is that if you really want to garner an audience that makes your site “must read” content, you need to focus these efforts and address the issues and ideas that matter most to these viewers.
The best way to do this? Ensuring that your brand has a meaningful and vibrant relationship with consumer data. To help you evaluate where your brand stands on this front now – and give you the tips and guidance needed to take this relationship to the next level – let’s spend a few minutes talking about the best ways to fit data into your article of writing and content marketing practices.
Does Data Really Matter?
“A more data-driven approach is key for reaching consumers and moving the industry to the next generation of content marketing.” – Steve Sachs, iMedia Connection
Of course, for those of you out there that are already doing okay with your article of writing endeavors, all while not putting much effort into accumulating and utilizing data, the idea of pushing further into this portion of the content marketing world probably doesn’t hold much appeal. Unfortunately, as Steve Sachs of iMedia Connection and many other industry voices explain, this is a dangerous line of thinking.
Having reliable consumer data – and a solid plan for utilizing this information – is vital to the success of your brand moving forward. Even if you’re getting by now without an actionable approach to optimizing your content, it won’t be long before the more progressive competitors you face on the web surge ahead via stronger viewer interaction, thus leaving your posts behind in the virtual Stone Age.
If this nightmare scenario doesn’t offer up enough motivation, Liz Morrell of Marketing Tech News points out that a survey of the members of the Content Marketing Association (CMA) shows that the best and brightest brands can’t get enough data. With 92 percent of these organizations reporting that they use data to refine and optimize their content, and an additional 83 percent within this group planning to use data even more in the future, the message is clear; getting the most out of your content marketing strategy means working hand-in-hand with consumer data.
Laying the Foundation for Data-Driven Success
Now that you understand the need for data, it’s time to dig into the particulars of instituting this approach in your current blog writing and content marketing methodology. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s Ben Harper, it all starts with evaluating the pillars of your current content environment. The areas worth studying and examining include:
- Website Content – How does your current content test with target audiences? Are any systems in place for gathering or extracting data and feedback from these posts?
- The Competition’s Content – While metrics might be hard to come by on this front, there’s plenty of benefits to be had by keeping an eye out for what’s working and what’s not on the other side of the marketplace.
- Guest Post and External Content – Applying the same lines of thought illustrated in the points above to your external content strategy can unveil vital information and guidance regarding fringe or newly acquired segments of your growing consumer audience.
- Social Media Interaction – In terms of sheer volume, no source on the list compares to the information offered by social media. Tracking likes, favorites, retweets, community interaction on specific posts, and the plethora of other social activities can give you an eagle’s eye view of the topics and trends that truly resonate with your target demographics.
Naturally, there’s more sources and points of data allocation that deserve a place in the discussion (as you’ll see shortly.) However, utilizing Harper’s list and evaluating the foundation of your data inflow is a great way to start revamping and enhancing your relationship with this guiding information.
Going Beyond the Foundation
In terms of taking the next step toward a deeper and more meaningful relationship with data, Mathew Sweezey of ClickZ suggests delving into the outreach side of this practice. Specifically, Sweezey pinpoints surveys and other tactical methods that elicit a response from your audience as prime tools in your data-driven blog writing arsenal.
Essentially, the premise behind this approach centers around the notion that observable data – page views, social likes, etc. – is a strong foundation for every article of writing. However, the best brands go a step farther by harvesting information via surveys and other feedback requests. By doing this, your brand will have a repository of first-party data that helps shape and mold your future content endeavors.
A Data Relationship for All Brands
Finally, no guide focused on enhancing your relationship with data would be complete without addressing the concerns surrounding the cost of this process – specifically as it pertains to small businesses. Thankfully, Marketing Land’s Chris Marentis and other industry thought leaders help erase these concerns by noting that with the right approach, there’s no reason why your content marketing and blog writing strategies can’t rely upon data; regardless of your budget.
“Use this power wisely to make the most efficient use of your limited time.” – Chris Marentis, Marketing Land
By embodying the mindset of making the most out of limited time and other resources, there’s no reason why even the smallest brands can’t generate just as much impact as the industry heavyweights.
Should you find that you don’t want to walk this path alone, John Rampton of Forbes magazine suggests working with a team of content experts who know how to use data to its full potential. With only 18 percent of those polled by Rampton utilizing data properly in each article of writing, it’s clear that finding the right expert does take some time and effort. However, if you’re willing to find a group that knows how to foster a balanced and healthy relationship between data and blog writing, you’ll be putting your budget – and this newfound knowledge surrounding the importance of data – to good use.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.