In our December #PINGstudio, it was all about data.
As an independent Slush side event, the morning event brought about 140 marketing-decision makers and creators together at Sofia Future Farm, to discuss the meaning of data in content marketing. Using data in your strategy is nothing new and not a fresh buzzword either, but for us, it was important to build a context for the numbers in marketing, especially in relation to creativity. With Slush focussing heavily on the tech aspects, our aim was to complete the picture with our contribution.
You still need the humans to really use the data.
At PING Helsinki, we rely on the marriage of ethics and data. Our work is based upon the transparency and value created by the PING Ethics code, which is an essential part of our strategy. We stand for fairness and cooperation, which is the base of our work with both content creators and businesses, protecting both sides of the content marketing parts. In a world relying to heavily on numbers, it is important to remember the people behind them as well, because all data still needs humans behind them. PING Metrics is the result of a study that was conducted this year in close collaboration with our partner Dagmar, who also opened the day’s keynote with a deep dive into value-driven marketing.
We believe that numbers are not much without the people behind it.
Regardless of how much the data is worth, in our day and age we still need the people power behind them to use and analyse said data, in order to make sense and properly use them in our strategy. Sami Aittovaara and Julia Isoniemi presented the way that value-driven marketing can create true results – by outlining the importance of how the insight into content, combined with the use of analytics and technology, such as through automation. Value-driven marketing provides the best result for the customer: searching for the right data, setting the right goals and metrics to deliver business KPIs, creating insightful content and delivering it correctly. Measuring the results, in the end, will give you the answer, did you provide value?
Using data every step of the campaign journey
With this theoretical approach in mind, we looked at companies who already went the right way. Meltwater has a reporting tool, that can deliver the data and results to the customer that give the insight that is needed to determine the success and impact of campaigns. Senni Niemi from Meltwater helped us understand how the social influencer tool can help brands to build a strategy that is measurable and tangible from start to finish: taking us along all the way from selecting the right content creators to work for, by really understanding the target demographic and comparing options to analysing measurable results from reach to engagement, to sentiment.
Analysing data is great, but you still need to take action
Mynewsdesk who provide digital marketers with a tool to unite their communications and PR in one solution gave us some insight into recent learnings. Esa Turta helped us identify some important steps that lead towards successful use of data: define what matters to you.
Numbers are great, but it is imperative to focus on collecting and using the data that are relevant – because you can easily be overwhelmed.
Finding a balance between long and short-term data collection, and stick to an established way of measuring your results to define your audience and your goals more precisely along the way. For example, data shows that against popular belief, Wednesday is a pretty bad day to send out press releases, and much more content is consumed during the early hours of the morning commute. Use the data you have to build something towards a substantial takeaway.
Processes are important to visualise your success – and to stay relevant
Showing us the importance of a process in data-driven marketing, The F Company gave us a glimpse of their recent case with Praecom. Using experiments in their campaigns which focus on growth, they try to get behind the symptoms of the issues of their clients. Recognizing the impact on results by really looking at the core of their data, enabled David Blinov and the team to generate 13 times more leads for Praecom. The learning:
Following a process is important to create a deeper understanding of the data at hand.
Comparing these and letting the data guide you in your practice will keep you relevant in a competitive market.
Know your audience and don’t be afraid of the numbers.
Our Q&A to close the event focused on the creative side of content marketing, and sparked a vivid discussion on how data is an important part of developing a story. Experts from different sides of the field helped us to understand the importance of numbers, how and where from we can use them – specifically looking at influencer marketing. Every story starts with a data, said Salla Erkkilä from Dagmar, and for them as a digital marketing agency, there is no customer journey without evaluating the corresponding data first. Digital strategist Bonnie Murphy has a strong background in consumer research and agreed that it is essential to any brand or influencer to look the numbers, which can be the key to understanding how your target audience react and adjusting your strategies.
In influencer marketing, it often seems like the creators rely on the brands to evaluate the data for them, but it is just as important for themselves to understand their own data in order to create valuable content,
said Jennifer Sandström. From the numbers of page views to reach and engagement, numbers are omnipresent in the daily work for any creator, and it’s interesting to see how few influencers take ownership of that in their own pitching. A media kit and a professional presentation of the value you can provide for brands you want to work with is a great tool, and all creators should be working hard in contributing to a stronger professionalisation of this part of the industry. For many, the work starts with a story and the passion for what they do, but in today’s performance-driven marketing environment it’s also a part of the deal.