Much has changed in Kenya’s content development space over the last six years. Keywords, for one, have lost their value what with search engines becoming more intelligent. For example, with the launch of the RankBrain algorithm, Google no longer relies solely on keywords to filter results, instead the system analyzes vague, ambiguous queries and matches them with the most relevant results. Also, with more websites online, more businesses are competing for the same keywords to pull traffic. The new battlefield is therefore engagement. The content that empowers, educates or entertains your target audience wins the day.
But how do search engines like Google and platforms like Facebook expect you to know the content that will engage with their users?
Well, that’s why they give you data. Data about who is following you, data about who comes to your website and what pages they visit. After all, data is what you need to know which content to produce and which to steer away from. And at the end of the day, Facebook, Google and Twitter want their users to have the best experience on their platforms, even if it means showing you the direction.
So How Do You Use Website Data To Create Content That Wins?
Instead of creating ten blogs a week and hoping one of them goes viral, you should start by identifying your goal. Creating content without a goal in mind is like shouting at the market, no one pays attention.
Types of Content Marketing Goals
1. Brand Awareness
3. Customer Loyalty and retention
4. Lead generation
5. Customer conversion and sales
6. Website Performance
An Example of How To Use Website Data to Create Engaging Content
Step 1. Set your goal:
Our goal is to prove improve brand awareness.
Step 2. Make sure your goals is a SMART goal
Our goal is to boost brand awareness in 2018 by increasing number of influencers reposting our content on their websites from 3-10.
Metrics to measure:
⦁ Profile Visits
⦁ Website visitors
Step 3. Create your Tactics
Audit Your Content
If you have an existing blog or website, start off by carrying out an audit of existing content. How many blogs do you have? Which audience is your content addressing? Is it strangers or visitors? What format is your content in? Most importantly, which are the most popular blogs? This will help you know which kind of content your audience is already engaging with so you can produce more of it. Alternatively, if you are starting from scratch and do not have a blog to audit, consider using sites like Quora to understand the commonly asked questions. Chances are, you audience is also searching for the same answers.
Social Media Audit
Once you know what your blog readers are engaging with, go further and check what your social media community finds engaging. Also, check what time they are most active so you can reach them conveniently.
Create a content calendar
Now that you know what content is popular and how your audience behaves on social media, create a content calendar to help you stay organized. The calendar should be your compass, pointing you to the right direction even when you are having a writer’s block. The calendar will also help you know who is doing what if you are working as a team. In the case that outside influencers are involved, the calendar will ensure your activities are synched despite geographical differences.
Track and Collect The Data
Using data to create engaging content means that you always have to be testing, tracking, analyzing and optimizing. Therefore, as you publish and promote your content, be sure to keep an eye on your social media analytics as well as website analytics. Which content is getting a lot of engagement? Can we expound or repurpose the content?
What Do You Do With The Website Data Once Collected?
⦁ Process it to map out patterns and Predict The Next Best Move
At the end of year or quarter, you should revisit the goal you had set for increasing brand awareness. Did your tactics work? Would this be a viable strategy for boosting brand awareness in 2019? Which content was most popular among the reposted content? You can use the data to map out patterns and predict what kind of content to create next.
⦁ Share The Data
Most importantly, use the data to tell a story that informs and educates the Kenyan Digital industry. The thing about data is that it is only valuable or helpful when shared or aggregated. Imagine if you had access to hundreds of reports on previous brand awareness campaigns carried out over the last ten years. You can use the aggregated data to tell what works and what to avoid. But if you were to view a single campaign report, you cannot deduce much from it, there’s no pattern except that it was successful or not. As we continue to make data-driven content marketing decisions, it is important to share our data, this is the only way we will accelerate our growth and realize our full potential as Kenyan content developers.
From where I stand, marketing is evolving into a data-intense activity that requires humans to communicate with algorithms and web-platforms. As the digital space evolves, it is only in our interest as digital marketers to sharpen our data skills or risk losing our effectiveness.