While analytics can be the key to understanding different types of customers, it is ultimately people in the business – the human element – who need to act upon these insights in order to unlock business value.
Content marketing strategies can help companies engage audiences and generate data on customer preferences and behaviour.
But it’s not enough to simply start marketing with content and accruing data from Google Analytics – any business needs to analyse the information it gathers from content marketing, assess what works and what doesn’t, and use these insights to refine their processes.
In recent years, many companies have increased their capacity to produce analytics-driven insights. However, most companies are still not acting on these insights and are failing to see a return on investment. A business can only realise value when employees apply the human touch and convert the insights gleaned into positive business outcomes.
Embracing change and demonstrating ROI
Companies still have some way to go to act on their analytics capabilities, according to the recent EY/Forbes report Analytics: Don’t Forget the Human Element. A total of 89 per cent of all organisations surveyed said that change management is a barrier to realising the value of analytics.
To some extent, the same is true of content marketing. Businesses can be reluctant to embrace new trends such as content marketing without understanding how it offers value. If a business needs to demonstrate ROI on a content marketing initiative, it’s essential to review campaign data regularly and use the resulting insights to refine future content and ideas.
Enterprises are beginning to recognise the importance of change management in their marketing initiatives. Traditional ways of marketing and advertising are becoming less effective in an increasingly digital and data-driven world. When enterprises embrace change and develop an analytics-driven culture that is supported by a clear strategy, they can potentially evolve into leaders within their sectors.
The best way for a company to do this is with a pilot – focus on a certain product or objective, create a focused campaign and track the data. Rather than simply observing and continuing to do the same thing, the business needs to review and interpret the data coming out of the campaign to improve it and demonstrate success.
This is how a marketing department can demonstrate ROI on content marketing and prompt other parts of the business to support the idea.
Stimulating innovation through data
The EY/Forbes report says that the winning formula for achieving analytics success is a combination of strategy, leadership, production and consumption. But you can’t do analytics if your employees don’t understand how to set up analytics, establish and track goals and correctly interpret metrics such as unique visits or time on page. So you need to equip your workers to understand analytics at a basic level, and then act on the collated data to stimulate a response in the business.
This is where the human element – the analytics-based decisions and business processes of end users – comes into play. Company leaders need to make sure marketing teams are fully equipped with analytics insights to support new ideas and inform decisions.
These insights can help position content so that it strikes an emotional chord with the audience, building awareness and engagement at the top of the sales funnel. This fusion of art and science can then provide impetus for organisations to take their content marketing in new and more innovative directions.