What’s the one vital element to any businesses marketing strategy?

If you lack this one element, you’ll be lucky to get traffic to your site or social media attention. More importantly, your competition probably has figured out the key to the profit puzzle and is generating earnings you wished you had.

What is this marketing strategy I’m talking about?

It’s content. If you haven’t already heard, content is king and social media is queen. What you provide can have a profound effect on the success of your business.

You might think you know what your audience wants in terms of content needs, but that’s the furthest from the truth. What marketers and businesses tend to forget is that content marketing isn’t about you, it’s about putting your customers first.

And don’t fall victim to creating content that’s aimed to sell. Your audience is savvy – they know when you’re selling to them. So, opt to provide audience-focused content that educates, rather than sells.

How Do You Tailor Your Content to Your Audience’s Needs?

You tailor it with a data-driven approach where you collect information on what your audience is reading, sharing, liking and downloading. You then analyze this data and use it to create content that works.

The information you gather from your audience can provide a wealth of data for your businesses marketing strategy.

From knowing what form to deliver content in (info-graphics, blog posts, eBooks or reports), to understanding how your competition is profiting from it, can give you an upper edge to how far your content can reach customers.

Want to know how to extend your content reach so that you can attract new customers?

Here are nine data-driven approaches to help you maximize your content’s reach.

1. Study Your Competitor’s Content Data

When it comes to a data-driven approach to content marketing, one of the most important resources when gathering data is what your competitor’s content data shows. There’s no better way to find out, than to keep a close eye on them.

There are 3 types of your competitor’s data that’s important to helping you maximize your content reach:

  • Your competition’s content. Is their content being searched in search engines and shared across social media?
  • Keyword analysis. What keywords are your competitors being ranked for? Use this analysis to strategically market your content to reach more customers.
  • Social data in the form of social signals, recommendations from users, and social listening, whereby you listen to the social media attention that surrounds your competitors.

Content Data Driven Approach - H&M Content

By using a data-driven approach, you will paint a clear picture of what your competitors are doing right or wrong. Once you see what’s working for your competition, you can improve your content and keyword strategy, and drive traffic to your site and away from your competitors.

2. Analyze Your Own Social Media Content

Not only must you analyze your competitor’s content, but you must also put a microscope to your own social media content.

Look at whether your social marketing strategy is effective. Are you getting enough Likes, +1’s, tweets and retweets? Are people commenting on your site? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time for a content analysis.

When you begin this process, you can include the following:

How Your Content is Viewed on Social Media

What does your audience see when they look at your content? Is there an image to look at? Is it optimized for a particular social media platform? Do you have meta- descriptions on each of your pages and posts?

Ask these questions and find the answers to them for a better picture of your content reach.

How Readily Available Social Sharing is on Your Website

A great way to propel your content to reach a broader audience is to make sure you have social buttons easily available on your site. If you make it easy to Like, tweet and +1, it’s more likely you’ll have a greater reach.

Studying the Impact of Your Social Media Activity

A measurable indicator of engagement with your audience is with quality comments and social shares. When your blog has both comments and social shares on it, this essentially tells your viewers you have relevant and important information. Having one without the other weakens your ability to convince viewers you have engaging content.

3. Analyze Your Industry’s Social Media and Popular Website Content

Want to know how your competition is doing on social media and popular websites? Or, if their content marketing strategy is working for them, can there be room for your content to outshine their content?

In-depth analysis of this nature requires social media analytics. While not every social media platform has developed analytic tools, Facebook and Twitter have several.

Content Data Driven Approach - H&M Twitter

Using a social media analytic tool will help you learn how well your competition’s content is being received on social media. With this data you can tailor your content marketing strategy to outperform your competition.

4. Identify Influencers In Your Vertical and Analyze Their Content

Engaging with an influencer in your industry can put your brand on the map. Simply tweeting one of their status updates can lead to social mentions, product reviews and much more.

But how do you find an influencer in your vertical? While you can pull up your sleeves and hunt them down on social media yourself, there’s an easier and quicker way to spot key experts in your field.

Social media monitoring tools can pull data from your target interest. If you want all your social data in one easy to analyze graph, Twtrland’s analytic tool offers just that.

In one place, you can discover who the top influencers are on Twitter. With the data in hand, you can strategically promote your brand in hopes of gaining the attention of influencers in your vertical.

5. Find the Right Guest Bloggers and Reach Out to Them

Influencers aren’t the only people you should be reaching out to. Popular bloggers who are in your industry can help your content reach a bigger audience.

The best part is, when you have an admired guest blogger providing content on your site, you can piggyback on their success and turn new viewers into customers.

Content Data Driven Approach - H&M Influencers in California

How do you reach out to big bloggers? The key to social media marketing is reciprocity. When you do small things for others, they will feel obligated to return the favor. So, when we’re talking about reaching out to a prolific blogger in your field, engage with them. Some techniques include:

  • Retweeting or tweeting their status updates
  • Tweeting their blog posts, making sure to include a @username on Twitter or using tags in Facebook and Google+
  • Connect with them in similar networks and forums related to your industry
  • Leave quality comments on their blog posts to provoke a conversation

6. Find the Right Days and Times to Post Your Content on Your Website and Social Media Profiles

Another data-driven resource you can use to give your content a greater reach is to use social timing.

In the social media world, timing is everything. Not only do you have to make your content eye-catching, engaging and interesting for sharing, but you also have to know when to market it for peak engagement.

So, when is the best time to post your content on Twitter or Google+? Here are the top four social platforms’ scheduling times you need to mark down:

  1. Facebook: Best time to post is in the afternoon between 1-4pm, with 3 pm being peak time every day. The worst times to share content is on the weekends, before 8 am and after 8 pm.
  2. Twitter: To reach a bigger audience with your content, post updates Mon.-Thurs. between 1-3 pm. The peak time is around lunchtime, or noon. The worst times are everyday after 8 pm and Friday after 3 pm.
  3. LinkedIn: The most engagement occurs midweek, or Tue. -Thurs. around noon and again between 5-6 pm.
  4. Google+: Highest engagement is first thing in the morning with peak time on Wednesday at 9 am. The worst time to post on Google+ is in the evenings.

And what about posting on your businesses blog? When is the optimal day and time to reach a large audience? Generally, people read blogs in the morning, with a peak time at 11 am. Monday gets the highest views, but Saturday gets the most comments.

For a more in-depth analysis, Twtrland offers suggested times to tweet based on your brand’s skills. This has the advantage of directly sharing content to those that would read, share and comment the most. Just take a look:

Content Data Driven Approach - Beauty Best Time to Tweet

7. Design Your Content to Appeal to Larger Audiences

Appealing to a larger audience is often a big challenge when it comes to creating content for your business. You need to be assured that your content appropriately speaks to the right audience.

When your content is too broad, your overall message becomes watered-down. A diluted message doesn’t sit well with viewers. To design your content for a larger audience you will have to employ some market segmentation.

Segmenting your website will cater to all your audiences’ types. For example, your business might cater to customers, investors, job seekers and employees. By compartmentalizing your website, you create microsites dedicated to a specific audience type.

When you are able to tailor your brand to different audience types, you open the door to a larger audience base, without diluting your message.

8. Analyze Your Network: Find Gender, Topics of Interests, And More

After gathering data on your competition and on your own social media presence, and seeking influencers and guest bloggers to help elevate your brand, the nuts and bolts of your efforts heavily rely on tailoring your content to your audience.

While there are countless analytic tools available, you can opt to invest your time in seeking out the information yourself by using Twtrland’s network feature.

One of the best places to find information about your viewers is their social profile. Simply reading your viewer’s Twitter bio can supply your business with enough information to deliver the correct content.

Think of it as their digital real estate.

As an example, if most of your viewers are women who spend their time on Pinterest and who also read YA (Young Adult) novels, you know that they value impressive imagery and storytelling. Provide content with breathtaking images and then weave in a story that will spark an engagement.

As stated earlier, knowing when your viewers are on social media can also help propel your content further, especially when paired with relevant hashtags.

And if you still can’t figure out what your viewers like to read, share and tweet, give them a survey to fill out. Having them tell you what websites they frequent can make providing relevant content to them that much easier.

9. Improve Your Distribution By Finding Who and Where Your Audience Is

You want to reach as many people as you can with your content. So, naturally you market your content to every one of your followers.

Instead of casting a wide net with your content marketing and hoping to reach some relevant people who could be interested, why not market your content to groups of people already interested?

Your audience frequent social media groups and you can market your content directly to them.

Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn have different groups or communities dedicated to a specific niche. Having your business presence in these communities can prove to have a positive impact in your content reach.

Before joining all relevant groups, here are some tips to consider:

  1. Introduce yourself when you first join
  2. Join in the conversation before marketing your own content
  3. Don’t join a group with the intention of flooding it with your content marketing. This equates to spamming.
  4. Build relationships as a way to earn their trust.

Stop Using Guesswork and Start Using Data Driven Approach

Implementing these 9 data-driven methods will not only boost your traffic, but they will assist you in creating and delivering the right content to the right audience. This essentially makes your content a lead generation tool to for converting your audience into customers.

What to Take Away

When beginning a data-driven approach, it’s best to focus on key elements to your content marketing plan. Here are 4 key elements:

  • Knowing when and what time your audience reads or shares your content
  • Knowing what is or isn’t working for your competition
  • Gaining trust with influencers and guest bloggers in your industry
  • Understanding how your business fares in social media

When it’s all laid out, you have no excuse than to maximize your content reach. Therefore, it’s time to take the guesswork out the equation and look at the numbers before you market your content.

Wondering how maximize your content reach with a social media analytics suite and increase your ROI with smarter usage of social media? Check out Twtrland 14-day free trial of social intelligence that helps you stay ahead.

Elna Cain

Elna Cain (@ecainwrites) is a Canadian based freelance writer and blogger. Her specializations include social media, career, parenting and health advice. You can learn more about her at Innovative Ink.

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