How to Use Data to Build a Better Content Strategy

Competitive Analysis Content Marketing Data-Driven Marketing

No matter the type of content you’re whipping up for your social media platforms, listening and data analytics are the key ingredients.

Not only does it empower brands to hear what their customers want, but makes it possible to make data-driven decisions, predict future audience behaviors and analyze the big picture. When factored in, these insights powerfully impact brand content creation. At Rival IQ, we provide the monitoring and analysis tools required to ensure your strategy is on point.

don't just speak at your audience, have a conversation. It's about listening to what they have to say, too

Listen Up

If you’re treating your social media platforms like a broadcasting channel, you’re making the mistake of assuming you already know what your audience wants and needs. Not only is this approach reckless, but it can also be dangerous for your reputation. Just ask any brand who has inadvertently posted a thoughtless message (and survived to talk about it).

Social media is designed for brands to have active conversations with fans and influencers. If you want to talk at people, record a podcast. If you want a fantastic opportunity to hear what others are saying about you and your products or services, pay close attention to the conversations happening on and off your owned social platforms.

The main difference between simply monitoring social media conversations and actually listening is the analysis component that only a human can provide. Monitoring aggregates data for evaluation, but someone is then required to review it and decipher the impact to turn that information into actionable intelligence.

To put it simply, don’t operate in a vacuum. Listen.

How is your audience talking about you in the comments of your social posts?

Make Data-Driven Decisions

Any content strategist knows time is our most precious resource. The critics who scoff at writing editorial calendars (“so, you just tweet for a living?”) clearly don’t understand the significant time commitment involved when determining what to say and how to say it online. By first evaluating the data available with our dashboard, you can avoid wasting time creating content that won’t resonate with your target audience.

Rival IQ tools inform and guide the content creation process. Our insights provide content creators valuable information about:

We highlight the platforms where you receive the most engagement.

When to post on social media - know your top hour of the day to elicit more social conversation

create more of the content works best for you and your competitors

Predict Audience Behaviors and Response

Aside from individual channel performance, our tool specializes in evaluating the entire online landscape for your industry. Landscape evaluation includes a constant sweep of the accounts you deem relevant, such as competitors, partners or influencers, and revealing the top performing posts, media type, and social accounts.

Under our social listening tab, you’ll see an instant overview of the top conversations in your landscape. By filtering out unnecessary noise, you can evaluate relevant conversations that will help you understand what your audience is thinking and talking about most. By staying apprised of what is top of their minds, you avoid the risk of your content coming across as insensitive.

Content with the most comments

For example, if you are a nutritionist and have had great success in the past writing and sharing articles about calorie counting, you might be tempted to keep publishing more of the same (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… right?). However, if you evaluate the landscape and find that your target customers have switched their focus to talk about a new approach, such as subscribing to a non-restrictive, whole foods diet, they’re unlikely to respond as well to your articles as they may have in the past. It’s because of a shift in conversation, or trends, that it’s important to stay up on current events and opinions that directly pertain to your target customer and influence the topics you choose to focus on. You have to speak their language and to do that, you have to read what they’re talking about and consuming on a daily basis.

On a more direct basis, evaluating the landscape is also important for your sales department. Diligent review uncovers conversations that indicate when people have a problem your product or service can solve, or their intent to purchase what you (and your competitors) offer. This creates an organic window of opportunity to share resources or offer to lend a hand, which may be the start of a beautiful relationship. Within our dashboard, be sure to sign up for scheduled reports to have insights instantly delivered to your inbox.

social listening

Analyze the Big Picture

We all want to know where we stand relative to the competition. With over 500 million tweets sent per day, the harsh reality is you’re competing for voice share. It’s essential to review what your competition is doing and what’s working for them. Why? You likely share target audiences, which means you’re actively competing with them for your prospective customer’s attention. If they’re outperforming you, it’s worth taking a look at what they’re doing and consider ways to reframe your own content to earn your audience’s attention again. Our metrics provide insights on social audience sizes, activity, and engagement, including your most engaging cross-channel social posts.

The possibilities for spotting content patterns are endless with Rival IQ's new social post grid view

How do you plan to change your listening strategy and inform content creation? Remember, by really listening to what people have to say (even if you don’t like the response); you have a better chance of creating content that resonates and leads to customer conversions. Happy listening!

Katie McCall

Katie McCall is a strategic communications consultant, working with clients to establish trustworthy and engaging reputations, driving authentic communication with fans and influencers. She specializes in branding and positioning, storytelling and online advocacy networking. In addition, Katie is a lifestyle portrait photographer, serving clients in her community in Texas.

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