Data-driven content marketing doesn’t always require a costly investment.
Of course, comprehensive research pieces and polls conducted by companies like YouGov, or interactive content pieces that use data to drive visitors towards direct and assisted conversions, involve a financial outlay.
But data-driven content marketing is achievable by companies of all shapes and sizes.
Here are seven potential sources of data for your next content marketing success:
NFL team Oakland Raiders were one of the first organisations to make an impact with Twitter polls.
First they used Twitter’s new tool to drive brand engagement, gathering more than 2,500 votes with a poll over a relatively small issue.
Raider Nation, you decide. Who do you want to go behind the scenes with at today's practice? Exclusive video later!
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) September 24, 2015
Then they used that data – gathered at no cost whatsoever – to drive their next piece of content marketing, knowing their audience was already engaged before the content was even launched.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) September 24, 2015
A well thought-out single question can, if executed well, lead to brand recognition, social interaction and backlink benefits for your business.
When scrap merchants Dronsfields commissioned a single-question Google Consumer Survey about television presenter Jeremy Clarkson, their costs were minimal.
But they turned the resulting data into a blog post and press release that went on to generate valuable backlinks and national media coverage.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOI) is legislation that gives you “the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations”.
It is completely free to make FOI requests and the resulting data has been used by many organisations to create content that has generated visibility and backlinks.
WhatDoTheyKnow will help you process your FOI request, and they claim to handle “around 15% to 20% of requests to UK Central Government”.
The Huffington Post used the FOI to strong effect in 2013, producing a story that resulted in more than 2,000 social interactions and inbound links from sites around the world.
Like Google Consumer Surveys, Toluna QuickSurveys offer an affordable way to conduct research – asking 1,000 people a single question is currently priced at US$350.
You can even see the data gathering process in real time, according to their FAQ page.
“Once the first respondent answers your survey, your report page will be visible. From that point forward, your survey results will populate in real time until your survey has reached its quota.”
Do you run email marketing campaigns? Maybe a company newsletter?
Mine the data in your email marketing service provider for insights into your audience that could shape your next piece of content.
Simply by checking open and clickthrough rates you’ll get an understanding of what content most drives engagement among your audience.
Another potential goldmine might already be in your possession: data about your existing customers.
Can you see any trends developing among your customer base? Take advantage of them with your next piece of content marketing.
Like Twitter polls, these can provide a valuable insight into the likes and interests of your audience – data that you can then use to your benefit by basing content production decisions on the findings.
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About the Author
A former journalist with experience in radio, TV and a decade in national newspapers, Neil now focuses on communications and results-driven copywriting.Visit Neil's Page
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