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Unleashing the Power of Data-Driven Content

By David Beesley

Unleashing the Power of Data-Driven Content

Coming up with killer content for PR

We’ve all been there, scratching our heads, trying to figure out exactly what we should write about, but thanks to the dawn of marketing automation tools, analytics, and now generative AI - creating content that resonates with your audience should not be a guessing game.

Press officers, Marketers, Communications experts from across the globe are embracing  data-driven content, where insights and analytics reign supreme, helping to craft content that hits the mark every time.

Here we give you our two pennies worth to help you unleash the power of data driven content generation, and actually put it into practice…

What Is Data-Driven Content generation?

Data-driven content generation is an approach that uses data and analytics to guide your content creation and distribution strategies. 

It's all about using valuable insights, from content performance tracking tools, to tailor your content to the preferences, behaviours, and needs of your audience. 

This ensures that your efforts are more likely to earn the desired results, whether it's increased engagement, improved SEO rankings, higher conversion rates, more time spent on key website pages or improved brand loyalty.

The Benefits of Data-Driven Content

- Audience-Centric Content: 
By analysing data, you can better understand your audience's interests, pain points, and behaviours. This enables you to create relevant content and provides genuine value.

- Optimised Distribution: 
Data-driven insights help you identify the most effective channels and times to share your content. This ensures that you reach your audience when they're most engaged and receptive.

- Improved SEO: 
Data-driven approaches can guide your content creation to align with relevant keywords and trending topics, boosting your search engine rankings.

- Enhanced Personalisation: 
Through data, you can tailor content for different sectors of your audience, delivering a personalised experience that creates customer loyalty.

The Data-Driven Content Process

1. Find out what’s working for you
Ok, first things first - to craft a data-driven content strategy and map out your future content plan, your first task is to assess what's already creating results…

If you use the right analytical tools, such as Google Analytics and your website CMS (e.g. HubSpot), you're in a good position to analyse which content drives traffic and captivates your audience. The next step is to categorise your content by specific topics, as this will enable you to get a broad view of topic performance and how your audience engages with each of them.

Now, take a closer look at the frequency of posts within each topic. Why, you ask? Well, for example, suppose you've written a single blog post in the ‘SEO’ category and five blog posts in the ‘email marketing’ category. Both topics generate the same volume of traffic, yet the lone SEO blog proves to be five times more effective than its counterparts in the email marketing category.

This invaluable insight wouldn't be possible without the help of analytics. With this knowledge in hand, you can start shaping a data-driven content strategy focused more on SEO topics to better align with your audience's interests.

Regardless of the volume of content your business creates, it's essential to have a tool capable of monitoring and measuring your success. While the definition of "success" may vary depending on your business's specific communication objectives, it's crucial to track the metrics that directly reflect those goals!

2. Take note of your audience and their conversations online
Getting involved in discussions on social media channels relevant to your business’ audience is an incredibly easy way of finding out what content is engaging. It's key to regularly delve into the channels that are relevant to your business, both to understand what's gaining traction and what isn't. 

For instance, active participation in LinkedIn groups dedicated to B2B PR allows you to quickly pinpoint the most engaging topics. Similarly, on platforms like X, looking for content that has been shared and commented upon will help you to identify topics of interest to your audience.

With more traditional online media, scanning top publications, social platforms that align with your business's industry will serve as a valuable source for uncovering the topics that strike a chord with your target audience. This, in turn, will assist you in generating a wealth of fresh topic ideas.

3. Take advantage of Google’s ‘People also ask’ box 
You may have come across Google's 'People also ask' feature – an expandable grid box featuring a series of questions related to the search term you entered on Google. 

Each of these questions can be expanded by clicking the arrow next to them, revealing answers sourced from specific web pages.

It's worth noting that the 'People also ask' box doesn't appear for every search term. Typically, Google generates these boxes for more generic and highly popular search queries.

Nevertheless, this presents an excellent opportunity to expand upon the content you've already created in your initial blog post. For instance, if you've written a blog post on 'What is Digital PR?' and you input that search term into Google, you'll receive a suggestions containing similar questions like:

  • How does Digital PR work?
  • How do you do Digital PR?
  • What is meant by Digital PR?
These additional questions can serve as a source of valuable inspiration for creating content for your next blog topics and slowly build a library of content around a central pillar idea – a content cluster that deals with everything relating to Digital PR.

4. Ask your salespeople about your customers’ pain points
Better poised than most, your business’ salespeople talk with customers every day of the week, so they – arguably – have the best understanding of your audience’s actual needs and problems.

On that basis, it's actually very productive to harness the expertise of your sales team. They're well-acquainted with the issues that your potential and existing customers grapple with on a daily basis, making them an invaluable resource for content suggestions and recommendations aimed at problem-solving.

Think about setting up regular meetings with your sales team to delve into the conversations they engage in with prospects and customers. This collaborative approach ensures that your content strategy remains finely tuned to address the actual needs of your audience.

5. Your content matrix 
Let’s not forget that the content you create to connect with your potential customers and existing clients should be firmly rooted in the buyer personas you've meticulously developed to understand your target audiences. 

A definitive approach to achieving this is through the implementation of a content matrix that aligns these buyer personas with top, middle, and bottom-of-the-funnel content, relating to each of the products or services you provide. 

The result is a framework that ensures that you have enough content of differing types targeting different profiles (personas).

Tools and Resources for Data-Driven Content

To make the most of data-driven content, consider using these helpful tools:
  • Google Analytics: Provides detailed insights into your website traffic
  • Social Media Analytics: Platforms like Facebook Insights and X Analytics offer data on audience engagement
  • Email Marketing Software: Tools like Mailchimp or HubSpot help track email campaign success
  • SEO Tools: Options like SEMrush, Moz or SEO Surfer assist in keyword research and content optimization
  • Content Management Systems: Platforms like WordPress can assist in content creation and distribution

All in all, data-driven content creation is an essential tactic of an overarching communication strategy for businesses aiming to make a meaningful impact in the digital age. 

By harnessing the power of data and analytics, you can create content that not only resonates with your audience but also drives tangible results. 

So, go ahead, embrace the data-driven approach, and watch your content efforts reach new heights!

Tags: News, PR, Digital PR, ITPR