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Creating a Data Driven Content Strategy

7 min read

MarketMuse hosted another exciting webinar about creating a data driven content strategy that stands out. Host Jeff Coyle, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of MarketMuse, welcomed his guest Yasmin Davila, Head of Content Marketing at Two Octobers, to talk about the importance of putting out compelling and carefully-planned content. 

A truly inspiring conversation between the two experts explored the following: 

  • The importance of data driven marketing strategy in content creation. 
  • The foundation of great content marketing
  • One major mistake many content teams make
  • How to differentiate content from competitors
  • Strategies for quick wins and long-term success
  • Applying data driven marketing to different verticals and industries
  • Understanding your content goals and filling gaps

Show Notes

Content marketing strategy takes planning. Although it may seem like a simple concept, many marketers fail to do it right because they don’t think long-term. You can’t start planning for Black Friday the week before the event. The successful content strategy takes planning ahead and not in the final hour.

It may sound off, but a surprising number of people get to the last couple of weeks before they dig into a particular strategy. At that stage, you can only tweak some minor things to improve the conversion rate optimization, such as free shipping, promo codes, or enhanced offer. Contrarily, a data driven content strategy bases itself on a planning calendar and requires a patient play that will pay dividends over time.

The Foundation of Great Content Marketing

Data driven content marketing relies on a good content foundation. However, to create successful content, you need to:

Whether you are building a strategy for raising brand awareness, authority, or conversions, it all starts with a solid foundation – and your customers make the biggest part of it. 

One Major Mistake Many Content Teams Make

Data driven content is about making a stand from others, not replicating from competitors. Content marketers tend to focus too much on SEO and competitors. They look at their rivals more than the content itself, making a critical mistake. 

“This piece is ranking number one and this is what they did, so, I’ll just write that. And, basically, everyone is producing the exact same content,” said Yasmin Davila. 

Content replication doesn’t make a strategy like building it from scratch. “It’s about layering in that additional piece of consumer data versus just focusing on the keyword in search volume and replicating what the competition is doing,” stated Yasmin Davila. 

Sometimes, a content marketer gets too concentrated on the technical part of SEO and forgets about the essence of marketing. Think about the types of things people are searching for and what they are trying to accomplish. What’s your unique selling proposition? What makes you special?

“Don’t just write generic copy about everything,” Yasmin Davila said. “Focus more on what you bring to the table.” 

Another overlooked area in content creation is showing expertise. As Jeff Coyle said, content that illustrates your experience in specific niches can make a difference. Besides writing generalist content, niching down can really be a way to win.

Imagine you provide pipe fitting services. Instead of relevant information about pipe fitting, you can also give your customers more specifics. For instance, details about HVAC installation for breweries can help and attract that specific customer group. 

How to Differentiate Content From Competitors

Good content creation includes data driven marketing but also great storytelling to showcase your unique brand position. “I like to do a lot of general brand research,” Davila said. “We’ll look at how people are talking about a brand online. I’ll go look at reviews, blog posts, different forms, and see how they’re talking about competitors.”

Take as an example brand comparison. Can you spot the things customers are taking as a point of difference when deciding between companies? Can you identify patterns that give you a competitive advantage? Putting out the content that shows your brand uniqueness can mean a huge difference between your customers choosing you or your competitors. 

Strategies for Quick Wins and Long-Term Success

Starting with content production and strategy can feel overwhelming at times. How do you know which segment to prioritize and optimize?

“I like to break it down into buckets: quick wins and long-term,” explains Yasmin Davila. For the quick-win/short-term strategy, she loves using Google analytics to evaluate content performance. The tool allows for simple optimization of the already existing content. 

Here are a couple of useful tips Yasmin Davila shared during the webinar: 

  • Look at existing content that is getting a lot of impressions, but the click-through rate isn’t where you want it. Can you tweak the title and meta description?
  • Skim pages with a high click-through rate (CTR) that don’t convert. Do you need a stronger CTA?
  • Do you have content that’s on the cusp of the ranking? Maybe it’s on page two and only needs a little love. Can you refresh or update it to give it an extra push? Can you add some high-quality external links?

For long-term planning, one needs to go back to the customers and explore their needs and concerns. Is your team aligning the content creation with customers in mind? Are you putting out content that meets the goals of your target audience? Successful content strategy resolves these two essential questions and blends together topics, forms, and marketing. 

Yasmin Davila further recommended the Google search console and Google Trends to marketers who need ideas for a blog post or other content creation. In line with that,  MarketMuse features AI-power content research and writing tools to build data driven content marketing and content-driven customer journeys.

Applying Data Driven Marketing to Different Verticals and Industries

Yasmin Davila and Jeff Coyle also talked about how data driven content marketing applies to:

  • eCommerce
  • Hospitality and travel
  • B2B
  • Retail
  • Affinity brands

Watch the full episode to learn more about their expert insights into these areas. 

Understanding Your Content Goals and Filling Gaps

Finding the gaps in content creation and filling them is essential for providing customers with what they need. It all goes back to planning. Brands need to think about their position on the market and start building their strategies early on. 

What does your marketing calendar look like now? Are there product launches or specific events during the year? How are you going to support them? How can you start planning your content creation now to align with your marketing efforts?

Featured Guest 

Yasmin is the Head of Content at Two Octobers with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, specializing in SEO and content. Yasmin has led multi-channel digital marketing programs for large brands across industries, including retail, hospitality, finance, and telecom. 

You can find out more about Yasmin Davila on her  LinkedIn profile or Two Octobers  Twitter.

Takeaways

Here are the main takeaways of the webinar on data driven content strategy:

  • A data driven content marketing strategy is essential for positioning and differentiating your brand.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your content strategy.
  • Find out what makes your brand different and focus on your unique selling proposition.
  • Discover the gaps in your content creation.
  • Don’t forget to tell your story.
  • Build a solid foundation for your content marketing plan.

Resources

Follow the resources mentioned in the webinar on a data driven approach to the content creation process:

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