Data’s not quite as sexy to talk about as SEO or Google updates, but data matters; data drives results.
In today’s hypercompetitive digital marketplace, decisions require more than just hypothesis or knowledge based on experience. While the two are essential, all business decisions should be backed by analytics and objective data.
Make more informed decisions that generate a better return on investment. And guide more effective strategies when leveraging the data you already have at your disposal.
Learn the importance of data within your digital marketing strategy and how to hone it for your business success.
Data Versus The Right Data
Your marketing channels produce a lot of data. Most organizations struggle with too much data to effectively wade through.
How do you know which data is important, and what should guide your business decision making? Too much data can impede smart business decision making.
Start with your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Your KPIs are values that are measurable and can give you an idea of a campaign’s performance. Every decision you make should have an end goal that lends itself to data collection.
Whether it is more registrations, email collections, or site visitors. No matter what your end goal is from a campaign, your KPIs should give you an idea of what data to use and how your business is achieving the objective.
Using Data to Identify Your Audience
Data can provide you with actionable insights – namely, the ability to know precisely who engages with your brand and who you should be targeting with your digital marketing efforts. Using data, you can:
- Track the visitors who come to your site and create buyer personas to reach others who are similar.
- Find out which kind of things your audience interacts with the most on your website. As well as in your email and social media marketing campaigns. This allows you to identify what products and services are the most popular. So that you can create a new product or service launches effectively.
- Determine the intent of your target audience to create KPIs.
Starbucks offers a great example of how this works. The famous coffee shop created a reward mobile app, which generated a lot of data; it showed when they were busiest, which types of drinks perform best at certain times of the day, and seasonal trends.
Knowing how they were performing allowed them to roll out promotions – such as half off after 3 pm days – to address lags in business and ultimately improve their sales.
Another way that data can be helpful is in the identification of your business channels. Knowing where your website traffic comes from is essential for making informed business decisions.
Consider, for example, that over half of all site visits came from mobile devices, which highlights the importance of optimizing your site for mobile search and navigation.
Knowing which methods are most important for your brand can help you spend your SEO dollars more efficiently.
Data and Keyword Research
Aside from identifying your target audience and most successful marketing channels, data can also help you make more informed decisions regarding keyword research.
Data helps your business determine what your audience looks for before landing on your product or service. From there, you can develop keywords that naturally drive more traffic to your website.
There are a few ways to do keyword research, but some of the most popular are through Google Ads and UberSuggest.
Together, you can use these tools to see what keywords your competitors are using, so you can see which are worth bidding on and which ones they are missing.
Keyword density is falling out of SEO favor, but keywords themselves can drive your brand forward. Use them in social posts, website content, and other digital marketing efforts.
Make sure to continually monitor your results so you can further refine your strategy for optimal ad ROI.
Use Data to Optimize Your Website
Data is more than a one-trick pony; it can also help you optimize your website and subsequent campaigns.
For example, you can use data generated from your website to see the performance of several key aspects like bounce rate, conversions, dwell time, load times, and more.
This can help you make informed decisions about tweaks you can make to improve your user experience.
Data also allows you to optimize your website and content for different segments of your audience.
For example, if you sell different kinds of products or services, you can use your data to target different things to your various buyer personas.
Capital One, for example, uses its data to determine the best times to advertise mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and more. This works to optimize spending budget better.
Data and Stakeholder Engagement
Having data-back answers is like bringing the receipts. Those receipts can justify ad, and digital marketing spends to stakeholders.
The C-Suite wants to know that the marketing budget is used for functional purposes. Else they will allocate it elsewhere.
Having the data to show digital marketing correlates to ROI can help save your marketing spend every quarter or even justify an increase.
How Small Businesses Can Leverage Big Data
Many small businesses hear the term “big data” and think it is not appropriate for their business model.
But they couldn’t be more wrong.
There are many different tools at your disposal that can allow you to track analytics, metrics, and make data-driven decisions.
Ignoring them means leaving money on the table. Use data to create customer personas, identify segments within your audience, track the success of your marketing campaigns, and spend your marketing dollars more effectively.
Data can also help you justify the investment and increase your online visibility to potential customers.
With an increased emphasis on personalization and individualization, data allows you to connect with every customer where they are at, delivering products and services customized to their interests.
Think of your data like a compass. Used effectively, it can help you pinpoint where you are at while providing direction for the path ahead. Never neglect the power of data for driving your small business forward.
If you still need a little convincing, here are a few more ways that leveraging big data can help your small business grow:
How BigData Helps
- It can provide you with insight into your target customer. Through a process called text mining, you can use natural language processing to turn unstructured text into data you can use. Text mining tools allow you to go through large amounts of information and identify trends and patterns in your customer activity so that you can make decisions regarding product launches or rollbacks with ease.
- You can analyze your social media efforts. Many small businesses (smartly!) leverage social media because it’s free, and it allows you to connect with your customer base. Using data from your social media accounts, you can send individualized offers and promos, scan for and respond to reviews, and even identify fans or intruders to your pages who could have malicious intent.
Data makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to make decisions with confidence. Businesses of all sizes can leverage data to boost their marketing strategy and increase their profits.
Never neglect the power of data in your business decision making. Take advantage of the host of free tools available from big names (i.e., Google, Facebook) to garner actionable insights for yourself. Data may not sound sexy, but the money it helps your business will be.