All informed marketers know one thing moving into 2016: consumers don't respond to irrelevant messaging. But how do you know what content is "relevant" when the definition is so broad and audience perception is always changing?
You need the right data and the right tools.
The fact is - it can be hard to define something that has a different perception from person to person. When trying to decode what makes content "relevant," it is always better to look at how content performs both at-a-glance and with broader scope to specify how to craft content that drives action from individual audience segments.
Getting right to the point: in order to properly analyze return on content, the right data and tools must work together to define what is "relevant" to your customers. With the right combination, you should know the results of your content before you hit publish.
From a strategic standpoint, one of the most reliable estimates is right in front of you - content marketing depends on how keywords capture attention and clicks. But the data for how to earn that engagement can be overwhelming and hard to discern - how do you know if the numbers you're looking at are "relevant" to your content?
What defines the right data?
What separates good brands from great brands is what they do with their data - do they replicate it or analyze trends to find new opportunities?
Context changes the answer - it depends on the goals and expectations of the content. Was your video meant to earn clicks and reach an audience looking to learn? Was this blog post meant to bring traffic back to your site and boost consumer purchases? Tailor measurable metrics to your goals and monitor data closely to discover new obstacles and opportunities in user trends.
Segmented data analysis is an important tool that every marketer, brand, and content creator should to have in his or her arsenal. Simply put, it provides a way to track the effectiveness of content by identifying demand in simple metrics: awareness, engagement and conversions.
Demand is the tie that binds audiences to the content - and what makes it relevant. Relevant messaging is only possible when you know the demand of your content and how it relates to customers.
Learning how consumers interact with different digital mediums means that future content will be shaped by what has been proven to work, backed by past successes. All content you create has an added bonus of further developing audience insights to trends in behavior and engagement.
This means that any data you monitor must be up-to-date, comprehensive, and precise. Google's Keyword Planner provides enough information about search volume to give you an idea of how many people you are reaching with each word you type. When paired with Google Analytics, it can be easy to track content performance based on keyword inclusion.
But remember that this data must go beyond just visitors because it does nothing without a smart marketer behind the screen. This data can be successfully used to create customers personas based on demographics, lifestyles, attitudes and, most importantly, buying patterns.
What makes the right tool?
All the best tools will take your data and make it more powerful. This means you can spend less time monitoring how your present content is performing and more time optimizing future content. Industry leading tools to optimize your content development:
- SEMRush to discover content gaps
- AuthorityLabs to watch where competitors rank for keywords
- Ahrefs to measure link performance over time
When analyzed and strung together, each data point found in Google Analytics and any of the tools listed above creates a clearer picture of audience expectations, behaviors and interests that marketers can use to tailor content for relevancy and engagement.
ZOG Digital takes this data a step further by using a variety of industry-leading tools to forecast keyword revenue and quantify the keyword-to-content value of SEO and search traffic. Recently certified by Forrester, this tool projects what brands can achieve across SEO campaigns and sets clear expectations for content marketing ROI.
Forecasting ensures every marketer can clearly evaluate the worth of each keyword and set expectations for their keyword research into next year. This means that they are able to prioritize keyword choices and content ideas based on performance moving into 2016.
Identifying opportunities in search is the key to creating relevant content. By knowing how the content will perform and monitoring its performance to know that it stays on track, it's easy to see how to boost the performance of anything published.