How to Use Data for Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is based on the idea that by creating valuable, quality content, you can pull people towards your company and product.  The most effective content for inbound marketing is also unique (why would you bother reading an article if you’ve already read five just like it?).  Here's how to create unique content by using your data for inbound marketing.

Identify Your Target Audience

This first step to create effective inbound marketing content is to define your target audience.  Who do you want to attract with this content?  The more well-defined your audience is, the more effectively you can create content that appeals directly to them.

Investigate Your Data

To find insights in your data for inbound marketing, there are two strategies you can take:

1. Start with the Question

The first way to surface insights is to start with a specific question (the topic of your content).  For example, if you’re a dating website you might want to write a blog post on the differences between dating in San Francisco and New York.  From there, you would look for things in your data that differ between those two cities.

2. Start with the Data

On the other hand, if you don’t have a topic in mind, you can go “data first” and look through your data for interesting statistics or correlations.  This strategy can reveal unique insights you never would have thought of, and these can be marketing gold.  Using this approach, OkCupid famously found that the best way to predict whether someone would have sex on a first date was whether or not they liked the taste of beer:

OkCupid Data for Inbound Marketing

Format Your Content

Once you’ve found your insights, the next step is to decide how to present them.  Depending on your marketing goals, this might be a blog post, an infographic, or a whitepaper.  Regardless of the format, always make sure to create images to use in your social publishing.

Optimize Your Content

The last step is to optimize your content for success.  Use SEO best practices so that your content is easy to discover and showcase it to the world by publishing it on social media channels.

Want to learn more ways to use your data? Here are 5 ways startups can leverage big data.