September 10, 2021 admin

How to Remove Guesswork from Your Content Strategy

The fundamental purpose of content, whether you’re a marketing director at a Fortune 500 company or a creator paving the way on TikTok, is to deliver better business results: more views, higher engagement, growing website traffic, increased quality leads, and ultimately more conversions. But to make your metrics soar, you need more than just content; you need effective content.

The primary prerequisite to effective content is a strong strategy. (It’s no wonder that strategy is the most in-demand content-marketing skill for positions in the US, according to an analysis by Statista). Most content strategies set a calendar, establish goals, and dictate the topics that will, theoretically, increase sales and provide a high ROI. Whether or not these topics are the very best choices is usually unknown at the time. And after the content has been deployed and the costs have been calculated, the numbers often don’t add up to success.

Of course, most strategists will claim their plans are based on objective data; however, the line from a data input to a content output is nearly impossible to trace as it winds its way through the strategy department. More often than not, strategists derive their content pillars, buyer personas, content plans and editorial calendars on educated guesses and aesthetic preferences, rather than hard numbers. Despite living in the era of big data, they approach strategy as poets, when they should be engineers.

That’s because, until recently, no one had really cracked the code on how to seamlessly combine data analysis with actionable recommendations that improve content quality and results. 

The Content Creation and Data Analysis Disconnect

As professionals in this constantly evolving industry, we all know we should use a modern strategy to guide content creation. So it makes sense that 77% of marketers said their company had a defined content marketing strategy. Yet, of B2B marketers polled by the Content Marketing Institute, only 53% said content marketing successfully generated sales and revenue, and only 35% believed their strategy helped measure ROI. Similarly, results from a CMO Survey found that 65% of marketers in the US and UK can’t quantitatively show the impact of their marketing. 

Which makes us wonder: If the majority of content marketers are creating content for marketing and sales teams from robust content strategies, then why isn’t the success of our content – and content strategies – much stronger? 

65% of marketers in the US and UK can’t quantitatively show the impact of their marketing.

The reality is that there’s usually a huge disconnect between the inputs and the expected outputs. Many marketers make creative guesses about which topics to cover and how to cover them, and then they hope for mathematically optimal results. But you can’t put poetry in and then expect math to come out. So, we created a data-led platform – Contrend – to ensure data analysis drives every aspect of content creation. 

The Data-Driven Content Marketing Solution You’ve Been Waiting For

Contrend is a SaaS platform that uses advanced capabilities of AI and machine learning to accurately classify data, predict future content trends, and make smarter, actionable content recommendations. 

Unlike other content planning MarTech, Contrend doesn’t just measure SEO, keywords, and social listening metrics. Contrend harvests and classifies data from over 20 data sources, including search, social, audio, and mobile, and in any format including text, video, imagery, and podcasts. And while SEO, keywords, and social metrics are analyzed, each is appropriately weighted to account for the huge amounts of other types of data and data sources being consumed daily. 

Plus, Contrend isn’t market-, language-, or industry-specific, which means it can analyze any content landscape and audience preference. Contrend customizes these parameters for every client based on the subjects and data sets they want.

Contrend also has predictive capabilities, so it doesn’t just leave you on your own to make sense of endless data reports and content performance metrics. By analyzing the wider content landscape beyond what your and your competitors are making, Contrend is able to forecast which topics your target audience will care about months in the future… and what content formats and tones will resonate the most with them. This allows you to build a content strategy atop a solid foundation, not just hopeful on speculation.

Create Content on Topics Your Audience Wants

Before you can create effective content, you have to know what topics matter most to your audience. In a Statista survey, just over half of global marketers said their greatest challenges in content marketing were creating content that generates quality leads and attracts more traffic, developing relevant content (45%), and improving its SEO performance (44%). 

Brainstorming the most relevant topics is often a fruitless endeavor without solid insights into what your ideal customer is currently reading and wants to read more of. And even if you are using data to determine what your audience cares about, the data most likely doesn’t give you a view of the whole picture.

People don’t just consume content by browsing social media feeds and blog posts. Take, for example, one of today’s hottest content mediums—podcasts. According to Nielsen, the number of podcasts in 2021 surpassed 1.7 million. And Statista shows that 57% of US consumers listen to audio podcasts, up from 55% in 2020. So if you’re only getting content ideas based on what your audience likes on social platforms, you’re missing out on entire segments of the content they love and topics they care about. 

The Contrend platform analyzes humongous sets of diverse data to accurately identify the range of topics your audience is truly interested in across different media, platforms, and even other industries. And Contrend looks at other industries in relation to yours. So it quickly identifies topic gaps in your content marketing that you can plug to attract even more of the right people to your business.  

Publish Content in Styles that Get You Noticed

Knowing which topics to cover is a step in the right direction. The next step is knowing how to present that content (its format and tone): Is a listicle more effective than a whitepaper? Will a humorous angle resonate more than an instructional tone? The way you present a topic will differ depending on your audience.

Effective content comes in a variety of formats, not just 1,000-word blog posts or 140-character-long captions. For example, we know that visual content will reach more people than words alone. Some statistics show that high-quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles. This is likely because 40% of people respond better to visual information than text.

Contrend tells you exactly which kinds of formats and what tones will likely perform better with different audience segments. If that sounds like a content marketing game changer, that’s because it is. 

Elevate Your Content Strategy

A content strategy shouldn’t just be a complex marketing document you occasionally reference during stakeholder meetings. It should be a beacon guiding you into the future of content marketing, backed by digestible data that allows you to make effective, profitable content without extinguishing creativity. 

With Contrend’s highly accessible and personalized data, you can revolutionize your content strategy to deliver content your audience will clamor to consume and results that prove your team is a proactive, essential part of your business’ success.

Chat with a Contrend expert today to learn more about how you can level up your content strategy and your entire content marketing game.