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Content marketing one part art and one part science. You need art to be able to come up with creative content ideas — whether you’re making funny videos, helpful how-to’s, or informative infographics. But you also need science to help you determine how your content is performing. Using data to inform the content creation process is the basis of data-driven content marketing.

Data tells you exactly where you can make changes or adjustments to help your content perform better. While art can be subjective, science, or data, is completely objective. You can’t really argue with numbers. If the data tells you that no one’s engaging with your content, it’s up to you to analyze that information and figure out what to do differently to improve your marketing.

What is Data-Driven Content Marketing?

In short, data-driven content marketing uses numbers and details to help you through the content creation and distribution process. You can use data to determine which writers or video creators to hire to produce your brand’s content. Data can also help determine who your audience is and what they are into. You can also use data to figure out what type of content to create.

What Can Data-Driven Content Marketing Reveal About Your Content’s Performance

Data-driven content marketing can help you determine the who, what, where, and how of your content. You can then use that information to change up your tactics or keep on doing what you’re doing (if it’s working for you).

The numbers can reveal who’s reading or interacting with your content.

Data-driven content marketing can reveal audience age, income levels, what they are interested in, where they work or what they do for a living. Data can also tell you where your audience is coming from (web searches or social, for example), how they interact with content (do they “like” or comment on it), and  what they want from your content.

Data can help you figure out what type of content to create.

Certain stories might be trending on week, for example, and might be worth turning into a blog post or video that connects to your brand. You might notice that some examples of data-driven content marketing perform better than others — that can be a sign that you want to make more of that content and less of certain other types.

Data can help you figure out where to share your content and where it should live.

Having a blog on your brand’s website might help improve traffic, but have you considered syndicating that content on a site like Medium? The same is true for videos. You might get some traffic if you host videos on your website. But posting them on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo might lead to more views.

How are you sharing your content or how should you share your content?

How should you go about creating data-driven content marketing? Data can illuminate the methods that get the most clicks and attention on your content or can help you choose the best ways to go about producing content.

How to Use Data-Driven Content Marketing to Make Smart Decisions

Analytics and data can help you make better decisions when it comes to your content marketing.

For example, you might take all that information you’ve compiled about your audience and create buyer personas. Those buyer personas give you a clearer picture of who you’re talking to, what he or she wants, and the type of content you can produce to help solve his or her problems.

Data can also guide you when it comes to figuring out what topics to produce content about.

You can use keyword planners to get a sense of what keywords are performing well and then use those keywords are the basis for new content.

Data can also let you see what your competitors are doing.

What can do to push past them in the search ranking? Produce better performing content than they are. You can analyze how your competitors’ blog posts or websites perform, who’s following them and how frequently they get new followers, and which types of content get the most engagement or attention.

How Much Data Do You Need?

Is it possible to have too much data? Some would say yes. Having too much data can bog you down. Having more data than you know what to do with distracts you from your goals.

It’s important to have an idea of what you’ll do with the data you collect. How it will help you reach your goals? Knowing who your existing audience is, for example, will help you craft content that appeals to them. Knowing your audience can also help you avoid creating content that appeals to some people but not potential customers. You don’t want to try to engage people who have no real interest in your brand and who never will, no matter how great your content is.

Numbers and data can guide your content marketing and help you make better decisions. Just keep in mind that data doesn’t get the final word when it comes to your brand’s content marketing strategy.