Last week, I attended the Inbound 2015 conference session, “Using Analytics to Create Content.”
Jeremy Goldman had a a lot of of interesting things to say about using analytics to predict what types of content will interest or be popular with audiences.
A number of people I spoke with later in the conference were interested in the session as well. [Shout out to Ben and Andreas!] Therefore, I’d like to present an overview of the key methods Jeremy outlined for finding insights to inform content development and make the you create exceptionally relevant for your audience.
Lead Forensics uses reverse IP lookup to help you understand your audience. Similar to the prospects tool in Hubspot, Lead Forensics shows you which companies are viewing your site, how often, and how many pages were viewed. This allows you to see what types of companies in which industries are interested in your services/products, allowing you to create super-targeted content specifically for these verticals.
Even though Google Analytics doesn’t give you the keyword data that it used to, you can look at which pages of your site are doing well and generating the most interest. From there, you can create new content and downloadables based upon similar subject matter.
You can also look at demographics. Using age and gender information, you can create content written for the age group mostly likely to view your site or the gender interested in your product/service.
Jeremy brought up an interesting case during the session: He said a beauty brand had previously targeted content specifically to women. However, analytics showed that they had 12% male visitors. Understanding this allowed the company to create “grooming tips for men” content to attract male users.
Another element of Google Analytics that can be helpful are referral URLs which can aid in discovering the interests of visitors based on what sites they came from. However, sometimes, it’s hard to to figure out where a user came from due to URL shorteners.
Knowing which bitlinks belong to which sites can help. Jeremy pointed out that t.co is for Twitter and recommended using Google to find the tweet that drove traffic to the site, uncovering the topic that was of interest and building new content for a similar topic.
We also recommend looking at the categories and segments of your audience in Google Analytics. Knowing specific affinities can help you write targeted content for each segment.
Google Trends is a great way of uncovering what topics people are interested in right now and developing content around those topics.
That doesn’t mean you need to write specifically about the top topics. Instead, look for a twist or alternative angle you can take that would be of interest to your audience.
When Jeremy was preparing his presentation, Burning Man was trending. He suggested that as an Inbound Marketer, the audience might not write about the art or music of Burning Man but might instead write about “What a Social Media Marketer Should Bring to Burning Man.”
One fantastic tip from the presentation: Create widgets in Google Trends that can be embedded on a website.This probably shouldn’t be a public page, but it gives you an opportunity to create a Google Trends dashboard that is easily accessible from your own website, versus logging into Google to review it. The more accessible this information is, the more likely you are to utilize it.
Similar to Google Trends, Jeremy recommended Rad URLs, “for when Google Trends isn’t real-time enough.” Rad URLs lists the trending URLs on social networks and is updated every 15 minutes.
Feedly helps you identify what’s being shared most so you can create your content accordingly.
YouTube allows you to search for trending videos using the YouTube Trends dashboard.Set a location, age group and other demographic information to uncover the most viewed or most shared videos relevant to your audience.
Facebook offers a list of trending stories in the right column of your newsfeed. The links will display a set of posts based on the trending topic. This is another great place to find what’s popular right now and to create content that is affiliated with it.
Other places to look
A number of websites offer tools to help users gauge what’s hot right now:
- Bing Trends
- Job Trends
- Yelp Trends
Real time content creation
Not only is it important to discover what is relevant to your audience and what is resonating in general, it is important to know when to “zig and zag,” according to Jeremy. Sometimes you can take more time developing content, such as when you are writing for demographics or industries specific to your website analytics. But when writing about trending topics, you should be a little quicker.
Jeremy suggested the following guidelines:
- Don’t over think it.
- Limit your time to write.
- Be relevant to your audience. Don’t jump on an irrelevant topic just to grow the vanity metrics.
- Don’t plagiarize. Grow your network by citing people.