The wave of digital transformation is sweeping through every industry and guess who’s riding the wave? Everybody. Right from the traditional fast food companies to the new startups, everyone is focusing on their digital initiatives. Amazon had recently surprised us with its takeover of Whole Foods beating Walmart to it. There’s Netflix whose ability to adapt to the digital transition brought down BlockBuster. What with McDonald’s taking big steps towards digital transformation with their new purchasing screens and appointing a CDO (Chief Digital Officer). It’s clearer than ever that all industries are steering towards this new age.
So, what does it mean to be digitally transformed? Simply put, digital transformation is the integration of technology with all aspects of a business, be it in operations, sales, or customer support. It also means that companies are undergoing a cultural change and getting comfortable with experimenting. In this post, we will discuss how digital transformation has affected content marketing.
DIGITAL (MARKETING) TRANSFORMATION
Over the last few years, marketing has begun to encompass customer delight, internal operations, products, sales, just to name a few. Though digital transformation affects all aspects of how a business operates and delivers, it is the customer experience that leads the dance.
Now, to keep a business afloat, you need to have a steady inflow of new customers and ready ways to retain existing ones through the below mentioned ways.
Getting New Customers
- Brand awareness
- Research that aids buying
- Getting sales leads
- Establishing thought leadership
Retaining Existing Customers
- Delivering wow moments
- Best practices
- Customer support
DIGITAL (CONTENT) TRANSFORMATION
Businesses should be able to reach customers through content in the digital wave. A survey conducted by Forrester showed that of 115 companies, 68% prioritized personalized content experiences with solutions invested in
- Web Content Management (60%)
- Email Marketing (53%)
- Tag Management (51%)
And as far as software elements are concerned, their investment priority goes something like this
- Customer Analytics (58%)
- Web Content Management Systems (38%)
- Customer Data Management and Marketing Automation (36%)
As a content marketer, I spend most of my time creating content that will help my company build business and become a thought leader in social media management. These are not old-school pamphlets or handouts but content written for the web because customers and businesses are going digital. As a content marketer, I also know that the future of content is now. It is even estimated to grow exponentially to a $300 million industry by 2019.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Alright, so we know that content is a major player in digital or online marketing with a lot of content being created and published every day. With over 130 trillion pages indexed by Google, the internet has become a popular place for finding new information. To thrive in this digital age, you need to create content guided by in-depth analysis.
As the age of digital transformation intensifies, website data and analytics are becoming paramount in all aspects of content marketing. Even social channels are taking to this trend. There is no social channel that does not have analytics as part of its service offering.
WHAT IS CONTENT ANALYSIS ANYWAY?
It is essentially the first step in creating a content marketing strategy. It helps you understand the state of your content, be it digital or social. There are two types of in-depth content analysis—
- Qualitative content analysis
- Quantitative content analysis
Running one of the two types of in-depth content analysis can primarily involve
- Content audits
- Creating content inventory
- Running competitive analysis
This would include examining various aspects of content such as
- Content landscape helps you define the type of content your business has.
- Content quality helps you benchmark the quality of the content.
- Findability shows you how easy it is for readers to find your brand or your content.
- Performance that shows you whether or not readers are engaging with the content.
- Customer requirements tell you about your customers and whether your content answers their needs.
- Goals and objectives will help you reflect on whether the content is helping you achieve the marketing goals.
- Competition landscape shows you what your competitors are doing differently.
(All this is a time-consuming process if we need in-depth data and analysis of your content. But worry not. This has also gone digital.)
AND, WHY IS IN-DEPTH CONTENT ANALYSIS IMPORTANT?
In a nutshell, in-depth content analysis helps you find the gaps in your content—what is it that you have and what is it that you need. But that’s not it. Here are five important reasons that highlight the importance of in-depth content analysis.
Let’s Know Better! It’s Not Just About the Data.
Data has become so big a part of marketing that be it targeting your niche or creating content it needs to be driven by data. This is partly true. Data is important. But, if you do not understand or know how to make some good use (analysis) of it, then it’s of no use to you or your marketing strategies. You need to not just break down the data you get from different tools but also glean from it.
It Helps Businesses Stand Out and Stay Visible.
As mentioned earlier, there are millions of pages being indexed and crawled every year. With search engines emphasizing on quality over quantity, it is necessary that the content you ship out on your website or social channel is value-providing and of high-quality. To know whether or not your content has served its purpose on the web or to tailor it based on user demographics and interests you need advanced content analysis.
It Aids in Agile Marketing and Clever Segmentation.
Digital transformation is constantly picking speed and it is necessary that your marketing efforts are on par with it. With digitalization of content analysis, niche segmentation can happen easily. With instant updates on the spikes in content performance, you have the advantage of making necessary changes to make it work for your business.
Aim and Achieve Those Marketing Goals With a Little Help.
Every kind of marketing, be it social or online, begins with a set of goals or objectives. A good strategy may help you get there, but a strategy backed with data and analysis will help you achieve them. Advanced analysis tells you precisely what you need to do and how you need to create your content. This is not based on some mumbo-jumbo but on real data and analysis. If your strategy is falling apart then you can quickly get it back on track with a little help from your data storehouse.
It’s Important to Know Your Competition and Do Better Than Them.
It’s isn’t just the customers but also your competitors you need to know well about. There is information aplenty that you can learn from how they are handling their content marketing. If something is working for them, use that information to leverage your own marketing tactics. If something has gone down badly for them, then avoid making those mistakes yourself. This will save you not just time but tons of money and embarrassing work meetings.
A NOTE ON ANALYTIC TOOLS
As mentioned earlier, doing an in-depth content analysis the traditional way will be time-consuming. However, most of it can be automated or done using highly advanced tools. Businesses usually rely on Google Analytics to get the information and it does a pretty good job at that. If you are deciding to do a content analysis using Google Analytics, then this detailed guide from Moz can help you get started. Almost every company or business has a social presence and wants to know how their content and competition are performing on social as well. I’d suggest a good social media analytics software to help you integrate Google Analytics and provide advanced social analytics.
However, if you want to invest in an advanced content analytics tool, here’s a quick list for you to consider.
The content marketing industry is always going to remain amidst the digital transformation. It will evolve with the ever changing needs of the customers and readers. It is necessary to stay on top of data if you want to be successful in reaching your audience with content. You need to be proactive and implement new strategies and changes depending on the changing customer demands.