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Best practices for implementing data-driven content marketing

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When brands use data to personalize content and ensure its relevancy, that content resonates with target audiences. One recent example is when the NFL customized its content to increase football fandom.

Representatives from the league found customers associated with professional sports organizations are more likely than those connected to other industries to actively show their support and interact with brands.

In an April podcast for SearchCRM, Aaron Jones, director of fan-centric marketing for the NFL, described how the organization uses Adobe’s data management platform to filter information about its customers and serve up customized content for interested individuals that align with specific teams.

Jones reported the worth of a data-driven strategy was immediately apparent, allowing the NFL to deliver specialized content that was highly likely to be appreciated by people who can’t get enough of their beloved teams and players.

With that, here are four things to consider if you want to use data-driven content to achieve similar results.

Use specialized tools

The increased popularity of data-driven content marketing has urged many technology providers to build tools to help marketers use data well.

For example, Cision lets brands track what’s being talked about on social media, and Google Analytics has a wealth of demographic information about the people who access a brand’s website.

UPMC Pinnacle, which is part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system, is one brand that leverages tools to plan its content marketing strategy. “How users find existing content and how they’re engaging with the website can give valuable clues as to what they are finding important and what might be a concern to them,” said Shelley Marshall, digital marketing director for UPMC.

Effective ways to personalize data

In a 2016 study by Marketing Dive, 70% of respondents said personalization was their primary goal in data-driven marketing campaigns. However, it’s crucial to not over-personalize the content and miss out on other worthy groups that fall outside the brand’s primary demographic.

Emerging personalization strategies focus on behaviors, emotions, and moments for audience targeting. They depend on demographic data to remove outliers, looking instead at whether behaviors indicate interest in products, feelings suggest increased agreement with brand messages, or whether things such as weather or live events have suddenly made the material more relevant.

Employing a results-oriented mindset

While data may indeed motivate and shape content strategy, also make sure to figure out how data will inform the concepts that lead to the overarching results the brand wants to achieve.

Consider working backward and coming up with the preferred result first. Then, think about which data could help reach that point and how content creators can come up with material that fits the overall strategy.

The value of keyword research

When initially exploring data-driven content marketing, many companies mistakenly think they must solely focus on the newest, most advanced kinds of data.

However, keyword research is still one of the most effective ways to move forward with a data-driven strategy. Brands can find out what its audience searches for and how to craft content that mirrors those queries.

Regardless of the kind of business data available and the ultimate goals, use the tips above to gain traction while coming up with the best ways to use data to the brand’s advantage.

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