Google’s new SGE, Twitter’s new CEO, TikTok’s new tools, and more feature in this month's list of search and social news.
In this day and age, when organizational decision-making is becoming increasingly influenced by data and analytics, there’s simply no excuse for being in the dark with regard to who your target audience is and what exactly they want.
Over the last decade, there has been an extraordinary growth of technology that empowers marketers to collect and then leverage troves of data across each of the varying stages of their buying cycle. The times of mass broadcasting and throwing a blanket over consumers have long since disappeared, with sophisticated tools paving the way for marketers to continue to reach a wide audience, yet now with pinpoint precision. Essentially, marketing leaders no longer have to guess the demographic make-up of their customers - instead, to build relevant strategies, they just need to follow the metaphorical bread crumbs found amongst the data at their disposal.
Of course, being data-driven is much trickier than it would first appear. Many companies naturally talk the talk about having data at the forefront of their decisions, partly because they know it makes sense and partly because it’s in fashion and embodies everything about what a modern marketer should be all about.
In reality, though, the majority of marketing departments fall short in this area because it’s hard to find the right people who are specialized in the fields of predictive analytics and amplification. It further rings true that running a marketing operation where data is coherent across the various internal departments is also challenging and eliminating the human touch can be daunting. Ultimately, only a small percentage of businesses have the conviction and organizational nous to really walk the walk when it comes to relying on statistical insights to drive the composition of their campaigns.
The question arising then, is how does one become truly data-driven?
Let’s begin with the actual gathering of data and the most direct place for that to come from. The very definition of data-driven marketing refers to the construction of strategies built on information prised from the analysis of big data that is compiled from consumer interactions and engagements online.
While there are a great many channels and opportunities in which marketers can reach consumers in the digital space and collate massive amounts of data as a byproduct, search engine marketing is undoubtedly the most effective source. Just consider that every search query that leads to a click on a paid ad and subsequent conversion has countless elements throughout that entire journey that can be tracked and reported on (assuming you have the right tools in place behind the scenes). Each piece of data garnered can be looked upon as a mini treasure chest of information that yields enormous potential to optimize your output, not just in terms of SEM, but across your whole marketing portfolio. Learnings and correlations that are surfaced can easily be transferred into other outlets for testing and experimentation. If certain messaging or themes drive clicks and conversions through paid search, why wouldn’t the same elements resonate with your consumers elsewhere?
That’s a hypothetical question.
The answer is that they will. Sitting in front of your data goldmine, you can start to dissect and extract actionable information about your consumers - their preferences, searching habits, pain points, backgrounds, and other intelligence. This wealth of knowledge can then be utilized to predict future behaviors and deliver omnichannel personalization at scale, which will ensure you cut through all the noise and clutter and stand out from your competition. The knock-on effect of delivering tailored marketing content specific to a consumer’s wants and needs is increased engagement and more actions that help you reach your business goals.
Here are a few areas in which paid search insights could be integrated seamlessly:
Retargeting is a critical component of any successful marketing operation. Since the practice itself is based upon the premise of reaching out to people who have previously purchased from you or exhibited interest in specific products or services, retargeting efforts will clearly be more powerful when you have access to a stockpile of data detailing precisely who is looking for what. When executed correctly, retargeting can elevate the consumer experience and meaningfully improve the quality of visitors to your website.
Social media marketing is an important outlet for all digital marketers, offering a conversational space for brands to increase awareness, drive heightened website traffic, and increase sales. It would seem fairly obvious that insights garnered from paid search concerning content and targeting tactics could easily be rotated into social for testing. You’d be surprised how many marketers are not doing this, though. If some creative ad copy is generating high click-through rates and conversions through SEM, why wouldn’t you replicate that social?
As you collect all sorts of demographic and behavioral data concerning your prospects, take a second to think about how powerful that can be when employed on an individual basis. Armed with relevant information, you can distribute emails with extremely personalized messaging, speaking to the prospect directly and creating a one-to-one connection. You can further leverage the technology available today to set up nurturing campaigns that automatically respond to consumers’ actions and help guide them through the sales funnel.
The comparisons here should be obvious. In a recent study conducted by Jumpshot, it was found that 54% of consumers now go directly to Amazon when looking for a specific product. In short, it’s vital that you’re just as visible on Amazon as you are on Google. While the two are not the same and require different strategies, learnings can be applied from your paid search efforts on Google. Again, consider the keywords that are successful; consider the messaging that is generating clicks. Feed this back into your Amazon ads and product pages to turn shoppers into buyers.
Claiming top spot in the organic segment of search engine results pages has never been more important for businesses. Gleaning findings from SEM data is the best way for SEO professionals to go about doing that. Armed with such valuable insights, it’s possible to filter specific themes and then estimate search volumes for select keywords or phrases. Having access to information that determines what content is appealing to specific demographics is incredibly important for those working with SEO.
In the end, consumers want to see content that’s useful to them. In an era when buying cycles are becoming increasingly comprised of micro-moments, it’s paramount that your business is there, with the right messaging, every step of the way, across multiple channels.
The way to do this is to run a well-oiled data-insight-execution machine. Continuously switching modes from data collection to driving wide, large-scale implementations will unquestionably be a challenge and require tight-knit co-ordination between your various internal marketing factions. The results, though, are undeniable. Consistent, coherent, and accurate messaging will be rewarded with enhanced engagement, brand trust, and brand perception. Over time, this will turn into increased purchases, advocacy, and importantly, loyalty.
The future of data-driven marketing remains bright. As predictive tools and machine learning-powered marketing continues to proliferate, a data-driven approach will be an essential component of marketing organizations.