Data is everywhere in today’s online world. As marketers, we have countless tools and methods of gathering information on just about any aspect of our business. The problem is not a lack of information, but rather an overload of it. Properly leveraging this data is keys to giving your marketing that recipe for success.
Join us as we look at the power of data in today’s digital marketing world, and how you can apply that data to give your marketing the boost it needs to be successful.
5 Ways Data Gives Your Marketing a Competitive Edge
When we say data, we’re talking about countless different analytics. From demographic information, to bounce rate, to clicks, and everything in between. It can be daunting to try and make sense of it all, which is why you need to focus your efforts and apply it with purpose.
Here are five ways you can utilize the data at your fingertips to give your marketing that competitive edge it needs:
1. Spy on Your Competition
With the right tools, you can obtain data that allows you to casually “spy” on your competition by peeking behind the curtain and seeing the tactics that are working for them so you can adapt your own methods.
For example, tools like Majestic offer a way to see which backlinks your competitors have earned, and provide you with data on how you can earn links from these sites as well. You can also use a tool like this to see which keywords they are ranking for and adopt these into your own content.
2. Stay within Budget
Marketing managers have to juggle the budget, while also providing the targeted return on investment, or ROI. It’s not easy to maintain, which is why data is needed to make the most efficient decisions.
Let’s consider an example. Say that your social media marketing team is trying to maximize the budget for maximum ROI, but you’re struggling with the approach to take. You can look at the analytics tools provided with today’s social media platforms, to see which type of content is performing the best already. If videos are outperforming visual content, then you can focus your budget accordingly.
Without this data, you would have to simply choose and hope for the best. That’s never a good approach in marketing. Instead, leverage the data given to you by built in analytics platforms to make informed decisions.
3. Create Useful Content
Tools like BuzzSumo or other can show you which topics are performing best on your competitor’s websites. Leveraging technology like this can give you a unique look at how other website in your niche are finding success and better inform your own strategies for content and marketing.
The goal here is to provide content that your users want or need. Beyond the tool mentioned above, keyword research tools like Keyword.io can help you see what people are asking when they perform searches. This data can give you topics that will resonate with your readers and improve your SEO as a whole.
When you’re starting a new blog for your business, you need data to make crucial decisions for your marketing. Content creation takes time and money, so you should be absolutely confident in the topics you’re covering. Using these tools will give you data to back up your decision.
4. Creating Accurate Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are profiles that you create which represent your ideal customers. They are used to inform decisions in all aspects of your marketing. To create them, you need data that you can use to build an idea of what your average customers are like.
Here are some ways to gather that data:
- Look at your contacts and leads. Seek out patterns or trends in how your customers behave
- When you’re using lead capture forms, expand them to include data you could utilize like their location or which product of yours they prefer. Just remember not to ask for a huge amount of information as this can scare them off
- Listen to feedback from customers and from your sales team. Ask them what they have inferred about your customer’s desires and behaviors
- Finally, interview customers who are willing to chat with you and offer them an incentive in return like a discount or coupon
Take all of this information, and combine it with data you receive from analytics platforms on both social media, and third-party options like Google Analytics. All of this will help you paint a picture of who your average customers are and what they want from your brand.
This will be the basis for your personas. Here’s an example of what one would look like. Let’s say you sell culinary equipment:
Buyer persona name: “Jill Matthews”
Occupation: stay-at-home mom
Challenges: maintaining a household of three while also preparing healthy and interesting dishes
Goals: to find both the equipment to make a variety of dishes, and the knowledge to prepare them
What can we do: offer her the tools she needs and knowledge to use them through our blog posts.
5. Understand the User Experience
The user experience is at the heart of everything you do as a marketer. If people have a poor experience with your brand, it makes everything else fall apart. This is especially true if they reach your website and run into errors, frustrations, or a lack of direction.
Here are some quick and easy ways to improve the experience for your users:
- Look for, and fix any 404 errors using tools like Screaming Frog to scan your site for these cracks in the user experience
- Try gathering data from a heatmap tool, which will show how people navigate your pages. If you’re call-to-action is being neglected, for example, you’ll know to make some design changes
- Using your analytics platform of choice, look at the time users spend on pages, and the bounce rate. Poor performance in these metrics could point to something on the page hurting the user experience
Finally, you can understand your users better by putting yourself in their shoes. Follow the path you want them to take in your marketing and re-enact the steps yourself to look for any flaws in the process. This will help you understand the experience, and the data will reinforce the decisions you make.
Data is the key to successful marketing. It informs everything we do, and thankfully, there are plenty of tools for gathering it. The best approach is to find these tools and look for ways to maximize their potential for your marketing.
How do you gather and utilize data in your marketing? Let us know in the comments!
Olivier Payet is a marketing mastermind with over a decade of experience applying data to decision-making. Follow his posts for insightful information on the world of marketing!