When planning your content marketing, should you rely on the data or go by gut feel?
The start of the month is ‘data day’ here at Bear Content, where we pull together and analyse stats from a variety of sources.
Using data, including Google Analytics, is a powerful way to understand what is and is not working with your content marketing.
Looking beyond website traffic, you can discover some valuable insights, including how people found your content, how long they stayed, and which page they left your website.
Add to the mix your analytics from the various social media platforms, podcast host and YouTube, and you can quickly start to understand what’s going well.
Using this content marketing data to categorise your content into three types – the stuff you will keep doing, the content you will stop creating, and the material you will do more of – keeps your content marketing strategy up to date and well optimised.
But what about gut feel? To what extent should you rely entirely on the data, and when should you trust your instincts?
I always lean towards intuition.
A finely tuned sense of what is likely to work has generally served me well throughout my career and given me the latitude to experiment with new ideas.
During a conversation with a client this morning, we discussed quantity versus quality when it comes to content marketing, and I explained that the advantage of being prolific in your output is an improved likelihood of stumbling on ‘winners’.
In the past few months, thinking about some of my content production, I’ve had one YouTube video picked up by the national press and turned into six separate articles. Another YouTube video resulted in commentary for several national publications.
In both cases, creating the videos was driven not by data or analytics but instead because I was interested in providing commentary on the subjects.
Had I relied on my YouTube analytics alone, I might never have created the two videos (among many others) that resulted in this massive amount of PR.
That’s not to say that I am dismissive of the data; it plays an instrumental role in any decision to create content.
As I review the Google Analytics today for one client, I’ve identified a blog post from several years ago that consistently performs well despite its age.
From this data finding, I can optimise the call to action on that specific blog post and create several new pieces of content (written, audio and video) around the same subject.
But rather than relying on data or gut feel as you develop your content marketing strategy, please consider using both.