The word “data-driven” has been tossed around so many times as an aspiration for companies and organizations to gravitate to. The truth is that many companies, especially those heavily involved in marketing, are having trouble making use of their data.
What does this phrase truly mean in practical, tangible, and measurable terms?
Know Your Data and What to Do with It
According to a recent survey, 39 percent of business domain experts admit they do not completely understand what it means to be data-driven in their organization. Moreover, 46 percent of data experts admit their lack of domain expertise hinders their goal of delivering the most accurate or relevant data models and reports.
The same survey revealed that companies who have already migrated towards being data-driven have also struggled when it comes to best practices for data-driven organizations.
For instance, 76 percent of data experts say that almost half their time is spent on preparing ad-hoc reports for their teams. Also, one in four business experts admit to having given up in getting much-needed answers because the data analysis took so long.
Here’s how you can make efficient use of your data. Get the lowdown on what metrics to measure, what these metrics mean, and why they’re important.
Here are five kinds of data-driven analytical insights that are vital to content marketing success:
Marketing Metrics: What They Are and Why They’re Important
1. Industry Trend Projections
Industry trend projections allow marketers to forecast trends and the emergence of new distribution channels within industries and seasonal variations, among others.
This type of metric is under the umbrella of what they call “time series” data. It tracks data points over a fixed period. In doing so, it can provide you with insights into long-term user behavior. This, in turn, allows you to make detailed projections. Time series metrics require large volumes of data.
Specific metrics that give insights on industry trends include traffic, keyword search volumes, and retention rates. Let’s look at these three in particular.
- Traffic metrics are vital because it helps your team know what areas are doing well in your website and what areas need to be improved upon. It also helps you understand your clients’ behavior as well as how potential customers interact with your website, a post or tweet, or a video that you recently uploaded.
- Keyword search volume, on the other hand, is one of the most ubiquitous metrics out there. It helps you know the popularity of various keywords, and to forecast the traffic that you can get by using specific keywords.
- Finally, retention rates provide you with a quantitative metric by which customer loyalty may be gauged and compared. Of course, many marketers know that loyal customers are blue chips in their customer base and tracking their behavior is extremely vital.
2. Audience Engagement
Audience engagement is very pertinent in setting the direction of your content choices and editorial strategies. An engaged audience contributes highly to your company’s marketing success. Optimizing your website to make loading time faster, making it mobile friendly, and designing an effective landing page with clear calls to action are just some of the strategies used by companies to maximize audience engagement.
As for metrics, bounce rate, time on page, ROI, and conversions all provide great insights on audience engagement.
- Bounce rate measures how engaging your content is. A high bounce rate means that your audience is not finding your content to be relevant, or they may also be having a difficult time accessing your content.
- Analyzing time on page, on the other hand, gives you insights on the kind of audience that your site is attracting. For instance, a low time on page data can mean either your content is not interesting for your target audience, or you are attracting the wrong audience as the information they find on your site is not what they are looking for.
- ROI, or return of investment, allows you to evaluate how efficient your investment is in relation to the investment cost. It gives you great insight on shaping your marketing strategy in the future.
- Finally, the conversion rate is a straightforward metric that allows you to measure if your business is indeed achieving its goals.
3. On-site Behavior
Metrics pertaining to on-site behavior provide you with immediate insight on how effective your content, format, and channels are.
This also allows content marketers to visualize the whole customer journey from initial search up to purchase or conversion. You can track customer experience and see the low points in the customer journey where you tend to lose potential customers. You can also see the aspects in the customer journey with the strongest potential for conversion.
For instance, does the customer journey entail long waiting times? This could be a low point and must be remedied or mitigated immediately. Does the customer journey include opportunities to upscale by offering bundles or packaged services which causes your customers to convert or purchase right after the offer was made? If yes, then this should be done more often.
Common examples of metrics that provide insights into customer on-site behavior include shares, engagement, and qualitative feedback.
4. Customer Segmentation
Where are your customers located? What time do they usually engage with you? What are their interests and preferences? How many times do they make purchases, and how often?
Customer segmentation refers to the metric that incorporates data from users such as their location, the time of their visit, frequency of purchase, interests, and other important attributes.
Delving into user segmentation allows you to gain insights that will help create tailored and very specific content that can maximize engagement and conversions. This is made possible because you are able to delve into user profiles and preferences—factors that are crucial in predicting future behavior of your customers.
5. Search Engine Performance
The success of your search engine performance and rankings don’t only rely on keywords. More and more experts are finding topics as a more holistic approach compared to keyword research.
This is because a topic may comprise a number of relevant terms and queries that also fall under different areas of the customer journey.
You need to be very strategic by researching competitors, being deliberate with the queries you create content around, and by ensuring that you always have a logical structure in your content and on your site.
Do all these and watch your organic traffic as well as your search engine ranking positions rise.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER WITH ALLIED INSIGHT
Migrating to a data-driven world is clearly not a walk in the park. Understanding and leveraging on all these metrics to make them useful take time. By getting the right people and partners who will focus on delving into these metrics to make them truly beneficial for your organization, you will surely be several steps ahead towards making your data work for your organization as well as for your customers.
Allied Insight is a full-stack marketing agency that delivers strategic marketing innovation by utilizing your unique values, processes, and market differentiators to improve your marketing routine and obtain consistent quality results. Reach out today, share your goals, and work with Allied Insight towards achieving all these, and more!