Let’s stop talking about “driving” leads for a second and talk about meeting people.
Marketing is exactly like online dating: we set up a profile and parameters for the people we’re looking for, then launch ourselves out to the universe to see who might be interested.
How cool would it be if dating sites required us to add content pieces to our profiles in order to build out more about who we are and allow us to discover more about others? If your first thought was “well that would be a lot of work,” then you’re absolutely right. But wouldn’t it make your search a whole lot easier?
As B2B marketers, we don’t have to be limited to simple firmographic or demographic data sets when it comes to generating demand. We are lucky enough to have the ability to create, promote, and utilize content to discover more about our target audience. The more content we create, the more data we receive, which gives us the power of perpetual demand generation.
Content Drives Data
We tend to think about data as the simple details we know about a person, such as job title and industry. The reality is that personas are far more than just where someone works. To build a great data set on someone, we need to know what content they consume, and how/when they consume it. Who we are is just as much about our interests as our demographics.
Content analytics give marketers the tools they need to actually succeed at content marketing. If you’re just creating content and dropping in on your website, you may never see a conversion from it. If you begin to use that content to drive campaigns, and then take the engagement metrics from these campaigns to add to your data warehouse, you’ll begin seeing a clear path towards marketing efficiency. Knowing what your prospects enjoy and what content doesn’t fly is key to saving time and money behind the scenes.
Data Drives Content
The other side of this wonderfully handy coin is that you’ll have better data with which to create more effective content.
Let’s go back to our dating app analogy. If you knew that your perfect “someone” loved puppies, what’s the first thing you’d do? Plaster your profile with puppy pictures! If your campaigns aren’t filled with metaphorical puppies, then you clearly need more data on your target personas. Find out what they like so that you can give them exactly that. It’s time to stop assuming we know what’s best for our audiences and let them tell us what they’re looking for.
Here’s an illustration showing the difference between one company’s content topic areas and the content that their targeted persona audience is engaging with:
There’s definitely a bit of crossover here, but you can see that the audience is interested in a wider, deeper, and more diverse content pool than the company is currently pushing out.
With the right data, this organization could be creating and curating more efficient content, and could also make better decisions about where and how to spend their marketing budget.
If you’re not confident that your content and data are constantly working together to drive marketing and build on each other perpetually, then it might be time to explore more in-depth options for your marketing. Don’t just drive leads; meet buyers.