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Why big data and content marketing go together

Most of you are aware that James Mathewson and I have a new book out, Outside-In Marketing, which helps content marketers to use big data to improve their results. James and I have been gratified by the reception the book has received, including this article from Paul Gillin including a podcast with me.

You probably are familiar with both content marketing and big data as concepts, but maybe you haven’t considered how they work together. Content marketing’s goal is to attract people to your product, but without data, you are shooting in the dark.

Too many marketers are treating content marketing as a popularity contest. They judge their content marketing based on whether they are getting eyeballs–whether it goes viral. But we need instead to focus on content that is attracting the people who are most likely to buy from you, whether that is the majority of folks or not. Usually, it is not. Usually you are selling to just a subset of the population exposed to your content marketing.

The way to identify these people is by employing analytics. You need to focus on understanding who the audience is (using social media listening, search keyword analysis, and other techniques), which content those people are looking at (using social analytics and web analytics), and which content is actually creating new customers (through online and offline conversion data).

Don’t putter along randomly creating content and hoping for the best. Use the data at your disposal to target your content at the people who really matter.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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