Content marketing with data is one of the hottest trends in marketing today. If you have an online community of customers, the data that you get from your engagement efforts can provide the raw materials you need for content marketing.
But once you have your content ready, how do you find an audience for it? Just because you have compelling content doesn't mean prospects, customers and the general public will pay attention. That's why you need to have a plan to market your content if you'd like to get the maximum value from your data-driven content marketing projects.
Just because you have compelling content doesn't mean people will pay attention. You need to market your content. (CLICK TO TWEET)
Over the course of several major reports, we've developed the following 5-step approach to getting the maximum impact from data-driven content marketing:
Release your content.
The obvious first step is to release your content on your own website. Many companies choose to gate their content, meaning they release the content for free in exchange for the person's contact information. Gating your content works best if your main goal is to get leads and find prospects. But if your goal is mainly to build brand awareness, ungating your content will maximize reach and social sharing.
It's possible to take both approaches. For Sharing is the New Buying, a study we undertook with Jeremiah Owyang on the collaborative economy, we created a landing page where people could download the report (after filling out a form). But we didn't stop there: we also placed it on Slideshare for everyone to see. We especially like Slideshare because it makes it easy for bloggers and journalists to embed the report in their own stories. With a Slideshare Pro account, you also have the option of capturing leads.
Create and share key charts.
Infographics are hot because social media users find images highly engaging. They're easy to digest, and people love to share them on social. If your campaign is data-driven, creating an infographic based on your key findings is a natural way to share your key findings.
For our Sharing is the New Buying report, we created a featured infographic that we placed on Slideshare. The infographic showcased our study's top findings, but it also invited people to to check out the full report. Naturally, we also placed this infographic on Pinterest and Visual.ly.
Develop features building on your content.
In addition to having one main infographic, you also want to release the individual charts in your report one at a time. Doing so helps ensure that people don't slice up your documents to share individual charts themselves, removing your brand mentions and links in the process.
Posting your charts one at a time also gives you digestible content to share on social. Create a separate Pinterest board for each major project, and then tweet out a separate chart every day or two (linking back to your campaign landing page each and every time). You may also want to put these individual charts on Visual.ly, Flickr, Instagram and other image-driven social networks, so that they can spread within those networks, too.
Use your social channels to spread this content and build your social audience.
Once you have your content assets in a form you can work with, you can start spreading your story. Typically this means three things:
- Using your own blog or website
- Writing bylines that you can pitch to high-profile blogs and publications
- Reaching out to journalists and bloggers for earned media
On your blog, think about the multiple ways you can slice and dice your content. Consider producing a series of blog posts around your content instead of just one blog post. This approach supports your social media strategy by giving you fresh content to post to Twitter and LinkedIn. It also extends the life of your content since it allows you to focus on a specific point you've made in your report or infographic.
Maximize the reach of your content marketing by producing a series of blog posts instead of having just one post. (CLICK TO TWEET)
Measure your results.
Once you've released, shared and spread your data-driven content, you need to stop and assess your results. As with any social media measurement or marketing analytics, you should always measure your results against the specific goals for your campaign - typically some combination of media and social media mentions, inbound traffic and lead generation/conversion.
Measuring the results of your data-driven content marketing campaigns means not only assessing the overall success of campaign, but also assessing the impact of each social and media channel on the spread of your content and message. Using unique tracking URLs (or UTMs) for each place you share your content will help you see which forms of content get shared the most, and which generate the most inbound traffic and leads. That way you can continue to refine your data-driven content marketing tactics over subsequent campaigns.
Data-driven content marketing is a powerful way to build your audience and extend the reach of your message. Measuring the impact of these campaigns not only helps you demonstrate the ROI on your marketing effort - it also extends the ROI of the insight community that provides the rich insights you need to create compelling content.