The 9 Elements of a Data-Driven Digital Marketing Strategy

The 9 Elements of a Data-Driven Digital Marketing Strategy

Data-driven marketing is needed due to the changing expectations and progressive needs of customers. Know how to develop a data-driven digital marketing strategy for your business.

In the world of digital marketing, there is always a new trend being touted as the silver bullet businesses have been waiting for. It's often not long thereafter before marketers and business leaders recognize it for what it is: a passing fad. 

Yet, in the midst of these trends, certain marketing principles are timeless. While there is never guaranteed success with any form of digital marketing, you can dramatically shore up your chances of success by adopting a scientific, fact-based approach. 

Over the years, using a data-driven digital marketing strategy has proven particularly effective at getting businesses onto a high sales growth and conversion trajectory. So much so that agencies such as  have hinged their entire approach to digital marketing, SEO and website management on data analytics.

Read on: Digital Marketing Insights for Businesses During a Crisis

Your marketing decisions should be based on quantifiable data and analytics. By evaluating past data, you can significantly improve the return on investment (ROI) on your SEO budget. So how do you develop a data-driven digital marketing strategy? Ideally, it should comprise the following elements, at the minimum.

1. Identify the Right Data

Data is, in itself, not a panacea for all your digital marketing challenges. Running a data-driven SEO campaign will not realize the requisite marketing goals unless it is underpinned by the right data. Using the wrong data will only increase your speed and efficiency of moving in the wrong direction! 

In fact, wrong or superfluous data is the greatest risk facing a data-driven SEO strategy. So before you do anything else, identify the correct data from the outset. One of the best ways to do that is to begin with what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are, and then work backwards to define the data you need to take to achieve these KPIs. 

The digital marketing KPIs are a tangible measure of your marketing objectives. Examples of crucial digital marketing KPIs you should look at include website registrations, newsletter signups, landing page visitors, website visitors and clicks-to-call.

2. Understand Audience and Channels

One of the most important outcomes of leveraging the right data is that you can accurately identify who you should be targeting and talking to in your digital marketing campaigns. 

By keeping an eye on the type of person who visits your site, you can craft the typical persona of the average visitor. With this information, you can then target users with similar characteristics as your average visitor and/or your existing customer base. Use this information to know what aspects of your website and marketing campaigns your visitors interact with most. 

A key element of determining target audience and channels is understanding user intent. This is critical to content decisions such as deciding what type of blog posts are most fitting for your audience.

For instance, pay attention to the segmentation of traffic by source device. Different demographics will be more likely to use certain channels and devices. For example, older people are more likely to visit your page via a desktop computer. Tailoring your digital marketing campaigns to these devices and channels can have a significant positive impact.

3. Know Your Keywords

Find out what your audience searches for when they are looking for your product or when they land on your page. With that, you can target these keywords in your SEO strategy and harness their ability to drive traffic to your website. 

The good news is you can get this data for free using Google Keyword Planner. Use it to see which keywords the competition is targeting, which keywords are worth bidding on and which keywords are untapped or missing. 

Other than on blog content and guest posts, insert the keywords you identify in your landing pages, social media posts, white papers and other places users come into contact with you. 

Finding and embedding keywords is not where it ends, however. Continuously monitor and analyze results so you can continually optimize your digital marketing strategy as your needs evolve.

4. Competitor Analysis

By identifying your major competitors, you can craft a digital marketing strategy that counters or outperforms those of your market rivals. 

Stay current on their latest marketing moves as well as their position relative to you and the rest of the industry. Check out their choices of advertising and media placement platforms. Identify their top marketing campaigns and most popular offers. Break down their SEO campaigns and peek into the component layers.

Note that competitor analysis is not a one-off process. You need to keep tabs on rival moves regularly so you can adjust your marketing campaign accordingly. Remember, once you start to gain significant market share or once the competition realizes their approach is no longer as effective as it was, they may change it. 

Also, they too may be running a competitive analysis on your company and your products. If you do not change with the times, you are bound to fall behind and lose any advantages you have earned.

5. Sentiment Analysis

Find out what consumers think about your brand. That may entail analyzing search queries, reviews and social media posts for negative, positive or neutral sentiments. 

Some of the more sophisticated sentiment analysis tools can discern more detailed emotions such as happiness, sadness, skepticism, indifference, anger and more. There may also be a means of scaling sentiment such as distinguishing between mildly positive opinion and an overly enthusiastic one. 

Performing sentiment analysis entails scouring for public opinions and then scanning them for particular keywords. You may need to tap into artificial intelligence techniques such as natural language processing and machine learning. 

The widespread use of social media means it's the largest and most telling source of consumer sentiment. As your business grows, you can expect a growing number of social comments on you and your product. 

That being said, you should still keep an eye on other sources of consumer sentiment such as press releases, blogs and product reviews.

6. Predictive Analysis

Predictive analysis provides foresight in support of decision making. It incorporates data mining, machine learning and statistical modeling to give businesses insights on consumers and overall operations. 

In digital marketing, predictive analytics allows you to stay a step ahead of emerging trends and future shifts in consumer behavior. You can thereafter develop or tweak your marketing strategies to align with these expected developments. Predictive analytics models are often either cluster models, propensity models and/or recommendation filtering. 

Cluster models use past engagement, purchase and demographic data for audience segmentation. Propensity models determine a consumer’s likelihood of taking an action, such as convert, act or disengage. Recommendation filtering looks at past purchases as a pointer to future sales opportunities. 

With predictive analytics, marketers can come up with more dynamic, effective digital marketing plans that enhance consumer ROI and experience.

7. Prescriptive Analysis

While predictive analytics forecasts what might happen in future, prescriptive analytics suggest a range of actions and the potential outcomes if each action occurs. 

Prescriptive analytics takes predictive analytics a step further by allowing guided marketing in line with how consumers research, explore and purchase products in a non-linear fashion. It helps you to guide buyers with minimal human intervention. With that focus on high quality leads, you can deliver the right content at the exact right moment. 

One essential capability of prescriptive analytics is developing a clear view of who qualifies as a buyer and when they are most likely to join the buying cycle. You can use intent scoring techniques to identify high probability prospects in real time as they search for your product. 

Recommendations may become outdated as the prospect behavior evolves. Therefore, it is vital that prescriptive analytics is dynamic in order to reclassify and reroute buyers, as and when needed.

8. Track ROI

You want to know where and how your marketing cash is working for you. To calculate your digital marketing ROI, take the total revenue derived from digital marketing, subtract your digital marketing costs then divide the result by your digital marketing costs. 

Data can show you how your budget is assigned and the impact it has on your revenue and profit. The more granular the data set, the better. Every actionable item, from click-to-call to form filling, has to be accounted for in its contribution to driving traffic to your website. 

To accurately measure ROI, you may need to add traffic tracking parameters to URLs. If you have listed phone numbers on your website, you will need to find a way to track interactions through a call logging or customer service system.

9. Optimize Campaigns

In digital marketing, past data is a fairly reliable barometer of future results. By analyzing the performance and pain points of past campaigns, you can zero in on what worked while weeding out what didn’t. 

For example, if your Google ads are outperforming Facebook ads in ROI, it might be prudent to allocate more ad money to your Google ads

Furthermore, you can optimize to different demographics and personas for the different products and services you offer. The target audience of your different products is not necessarily the same, so using the same persona for all may be an inefficient use of your marketing resources. 

Create Value. Enhance ROI.

You are always better off making business decisions based on fact and not anecdotal observations. Effective deployment of data can help you make objective digital marketing decisions. 

Data and data analytics can better guide your digital marketing goals in a way that improves your ability to engage and retain customers. Use data insights to create tangible customer value while enhancing marketing ROI.

This post was submitted by a TNS experts. Check out our Contributor page for details about how you can share your ideas on digital marketing, SEO, social media, growth hacking and content marketing with our audience.

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