The art of digital marketing relies upon the science of data. By gathering key information about your sector and audience, you can arrive at informed decisions that can drive improved results.
But gathering that data is easier said than done. Where do you begin and how do you filter through the mounds of information to find insight that’s most relevant to you? We explore…
Define your goals
Before undertaking research, you need to understand what exactly you’re trying to achieve. Are you looking to drive awareness? Do you want to boost engagement? Is an increase in conversions your main aim?
By defining your goals you can add structure to your research, meaning you’re getting clear and concise data that’s truly relevant to you, rather than simply hoovering up whatever information you happen across.
It’s tempting to omit yourself when gathering data; after all, you already know everything there is to know about what you do. But it’s a critical part of the process to shine a light upon yourself.
Consider all your channels: from your website and your performance in organic search to social media and paid media. Draw up a list of strengths and weakness, and understand what they say about your current performance.
Find the right tools
Whether it’s ahrefs, Moz, SimilarWeb, Google Trends or some other tool, there are plenty of software packages out there that will help you get a handle on the landscape and understand your competitors in more detail.
Not all will be right for you, and not all will be within your budget. So research each prospective tool and get a handle on what they’ll do for you and if they’ll deliver the necessary value for money.
Don’t be afraid to dig deep. Yes, it’ll take a little more time, but the long-term benefits will be well worth the effort.
By getting into the nitty-gritty of your industry and competitor landscape, you can find surprising data that your competitors might miss. Even something as small as a single keyword can open up a world of opportunities.
Workshop your findings
This is the important bit – and, gladly, the fun bit. Once you’ve gathered your data, it’s important to understand what it all means and how it can be used. This can’t be done alone.
Bring your team together and analyse it as a group. By getting a number of different opinions, you’ll be able to understand in greater detail what the data means for you and how you can take advantage of it.
In a nutshell…
Data is a critical part of the modern marketing mix, but it’s important to gather it in the right way. By a following a clear process, your approach to data-driven marketing can be smooth, efficient and most of all highly effective.