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Howard Wilmot
Howard Wilmot 24 July 2020

How to Apply Data-Driven Content Marketing

Data-driven content marketing is increasingly the norm, delivering relevant materials on websites and social media alike. However, it can also be used to generate insight for more traditional media too. Find out the types of data available and examples of how it can be applied, here in regard to the luxury automotive consumer.

Digital content creators can use a number of sources to understand and evaluate search and social content. Tools like Ubersuggest and AnswerThePublic add real value in understanding consumer online behaviour and help generate content strategies, particularly relating to the acquisition of customers through search.  

Social media listening tools such as Pulsar and Brandwatch bring another level in understanding how consumers are talking about certain subjects – and on which channels. 

What’s really exciting about a social media listening tool is that it can offer a much deeper insight into audience profiles and behaviour. “It allows brands and agencies to use the ‘who’ as much as the ‘what’,” explains Jamie Watson, former COO from Pulsar. 

With social listening, you can zoom in on who people really are, getting another indication of behavioural information that can inform your communication strategy, allowing you to chime with their needs and feelings. 

Take the automotive industry for example: social listening can help you discover if having a large boot really is important for your customers, whether comfort is as key as practicality and if luxury mod-cons will complement their lifestyle. Then you can target your content to address these points, across whichever platform is most relevant for your consumer. 

When you look at the landscape as a whole, you can see there are five key messages that drive audiences’ interests when buying cars; price, safety, fun, technology and the environment.

Knowing an audience can also be helpful for deciding prosaic things, such as what is the best time to send marketing messages to consumers. This can help brands to tailor their marketing to key moments on a consumer’s discovery and purchase journey.

For instance, Pulsar found that a Saturday morning was the best time to engage people in the ‘exploration’ phase of buying a new car. However, it was a Tuesday lunchtime that proved to be the key moment for booking test drives. Targeting these crucial moments could be instrumental for driving sales.

Says Jamie: “From a consumer’s perspective, you should never be guessing anymore. There’s enough data out there that you should never be clueless about the campaign you are running or the product you are launching.”

Social media listening can give an indication of behaviour and intention online, but when you add in a tool like GlobalWebIndex, you’re able to look at things from another perspective and understand what consumers actually want. Its survey-based research from 700k consumers across 46 markets. It delivers the level of understanding that can give you huge insight when creating content for the various audiences with different consumer needs.

Can data be useful when creating print magazines? 

As print is a more traditional communication medium, using data to create a brand magazine isn’t always considered an essential first step – but it should be. 

While data insight can fuel content and its distribution in the digital space, it can also inspire powerful and relevant print content too. And data can even help you to make the decision as to whether you should even be producing a print product in the first place. 

For instance, research by Two Sides in 2019 showed that consumers prefer to read the printed version of books (72%), magazines (72%) and newspapers/news (55%) over digital options. 

In 2020, there’s still a role for print as a marketing and advertising channel. During the first phases of the corona virus pandemic, UK magazine publishers reported a triple-digit surge in new print (and digital) subscriptions: insight from magazine.co.uk, the leading magazine subscription website in the UK, and pocketmags.com, the fast-growing international digital newsstand, revealed that the first week of lockdown due to coronavirus saw a huge increase in print magazine subscription page views, peaking at the end of March 2020. 

Creating content for brand communities

At Dialogue we’ve long known the importance of print and how it supports retention and delivers brand loyalty. 

We know from our work with Harley-Davidson that the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) magazine plays a key role in engendering community as well as creating a platform for further sales: yet more data has shown us the value of print content in creating community and ultimately driving brand advocacy. Our research showed that 62% of H.O.G members are inspired to attend an event, 26% inspired to test a new model and 35% are inspired to engage with the brand. 

We were able to use a different dataset to create content thanks to our 2019 Brand Communities report, in which we discovered that brand communities are of vital importance to Generation Z, who have come of age with social media and use it instinctively. Already, 50% of this 16- to 24-year-old demographic say they are members of at least one brand community. This allowed us to identify the Generation Z audience and target content in print and online accordingly – which all feeds into positive brand community feedback. 

How else can you use data to create content? 

So, we know data is vital when deciding on which platform you should be communicating and when, but how can data help you to create relevant content? 

Using data insight and working in collaboration with global audience intelligence consultancy entSight, we evaluated the behaviour of 50,000 global luxury automotive consumers around print formats. The resulting report, Driving Success: The Value of Print to the Luxury Automotive Industry, shows that using data to create a brand magazine is important to engage and convert the luxury consumer, particularly in the automotive sector. 

The report showed that:

• Automotive luxury consumers value print

• Print plays a significant role in brand discovery

• Print is the most effective way to engage customers in subjects that most matter to them from entrepreneurship to charity

The insight covered both men and women of all age groups who self-identified as being in the top two wealth tiers and as car consumers, either owning or planning to own a car in the next 12 months.

Print’s role in brand discovery

The Dialogue-entSight research has provided a wealth of highly valuable insight from brand and behaviour to desired content, but what was especially exciting is the fact that automotive luxury consumers value print and that it plays a prominent role in their lives – no matter the age group. 

The Dialogue report with entSight also reveals how print plays a role in brand discovery and the significant regional differences in luxury consumers’ behaviour. It also explores their motivations and the subjects that most matter to them, supplying everything you need to produce through print to appeal to the luxury car buyer to make them feel valued, pique their interest and ultimately contribute to brand loyalty. We discovered that the luxury automotive consumer audience was interested in entrepreneurship, adventure and extreme sports and charitable initiatives. 

This information allows us to work with clients to ensure they are communicating in the optimum formats with their consumers, and that the content is appealing. Targeted content, whether in print, online or via video, is always going to be more effective than casting a net wide. 

And although the Dialogue-entSight report specifically refers to the luxury automotive world, many of its key learnings apply to broader content strategies.

Of course, it’s still important to excite and delight readers with creative design and quality writing, but using data to create a print magazine or plan relevant online content is key to creating the kind of materials and assets that you can guarantee engage your customers, starting them on the purchasing journey or reinforcing their interest in any brand.

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