The evolution of Content Marketing: from guesswork to data

Content Marketing
January 21, 2022

Although many may not believe it, Content Marketing is nothing new. On the contrary, its beginnings date back to 1895, when the magazine The Furrow, owned by John Deere, a company specializing in agricultural machinery, decided to offer its readers – mostly farmers – useful and practical recommendations on how to increase productivity on their farms, something they could do if they bought John Deere machines.

Since then, several companies have decided to use this strategy to position their brands in the minds of their customers – current and potential – through valuable content, instead of offering promotional and self-referential messages in newspapers and magazines, as was the custom at the time.

However, since the Internet boom, global brands and companies began to develop Content Marketing strategies on a continuous basis, thanks to the enormous advantages that this digital tool gave them to better connect with their audiences.

However, just as the Internet opened the doors of Content Marketing to millions of companies around the world, it also generated fierce competition among them, due to the excess of information that currently exists on the web and that is available at the click of a button.

Cognizant of this situation, at Castleberry Media, we developed an innovative tool that allows brands to design and execute successful Content Marketing strategies, based on data and Artificial Intelligence. This tool allows companies to have a thorough understanding of the real interests and needs of their target audience. Contrary to what many people think, Content Marketing, far from being a literary exercise, is a scientific activity that requires real data in order to provide the content that is most relevant and sought after by a specific audience.

How does this tool work and how did we create it?

Guesswork to data

Content Marketing: the start of a great adventure

In 1996, when Bill Gates first coined the phrase “content is king” to explain the future that awaited marketers and business in the Internet age, few of us understood the meaning of that statement. Contrary to what many people thought, the key was not going to be in producing massive amounts of content based on the interests of the brand, but in creating value for the audiences through relevant and attractive content, which would not only be able to stand out among thousands of options but would also help strengthen the communication and image of the company.

That’s why we founded Castleberry Media, because we believed that Content Marketing was the future that awaited companies in the 21st century. And the truth is that we weren’t wrong.

According to statistics from HubSpot, 70% of corporate decision-makers today invest in Content Marketing strategies, knowing that most people prefer to learn about a product through valuable content, rather than through advertising. Likewise, a study carried out by the Content Marketing Institute, revealed that at least 72% of the companies surveyed consider that strong content marketing strategies improve the level of engagement with their customers, while 72% say they are ideal for lead generation.

Intuition: a recurring problem

However, it did not take long to detect a recurring pattern within the editorial teams of various companies, who instead of designing and executing Content Marketing strategies based on real facts and data, often resort to guesswork or intuition to develop the content that they believe is the one that best suits the interests and needs of their audience.

Under the best of circumstances, editorial teams resort to keywords or traditional marketing research to intuit what content is most popular and/or consumed by their customers or leads. However, according to our own experience, these tools not only fall short when it comes to understanding the real interests of each audience on an in-depth level, but they are also not sustainable over time, generating an unnecessary waste of resources and failing to achieve the objectives proposed in Content Marketing.

Contrary to the early years of the Internet, where the objective of brands was to create content at all costs, the success of Content Marketing today is based on generating the most relevant, attractive, and useful content possible, to achieve the highest engagement with audiences.

But how can brands achieve this? The answer for us was very simple: through data.

Intuition no, data

Data: a step in the right direction

If it is no longer enough to simply create content, now we must create the best possible content for each type of audience, and we must begin by getting to know them in depth in order to have more detailed and accurate information about their interests and preferences. To achieve this, it was clear that the only possible way was through data.

To do so, we analyzed different tools, starting with Neuromarketing and ending with Artificial Intelligence, accompanied in that initial exploration stage by Santiago Martinez from Índices. With his experience analyzing data to understand the behavior of customers and customer service personnel in the sales and post-sales processes, Martinez helped us to better understand how to apply Artificial Intelligence in the context of Content Marketing.

Through the research and testing of different models, we developed a tool that allows brands to collect as much data as possible about the content consumed by their target audience, in order to analyze it and develop the content that is most likely to engage their audience.

As a result, our content decisions (such as the selection of topics, targeting, format, and keywords) began to be informed by data, instead of intuition or guesses, which allowed us to become the strategic ally for brands that seek to generate value for their audiences through the production and distribution of useful, valuable and relevant content.

True Content: the immediate future of Content Marketing

Once we established the information gap that companies experience when making decisions about the most relevant topics for their audiences in a given period, and what they can do with data to solve it, we began to think about the most convenient way to make this knowledge available to all companies that currently have or want to implement Content Marketing strategies.

For this reason, we created True Content®, a tool based on data analysis and Artificial Intelligence, which allows B2B companies to discover what their audiences read, talk about, and what topics they consume, to build content that their target audience finds relevant, thus transforming Content Marketing into an analytical and scientific process based on data.

With True Content®, B2B companies can:

  • Know your audiences as you’ve never known them before through the content they consume. Know clearly what they read and talk about, and the information they are interested in.
  • Know what topics of conversation and content are engaging the decision-makers of your leads and/or customers.
  • Understand which of their services could solve a real need or interest.
  • Make decisions on which topics to address in the content they produce.
  • Know what topics they can cover in the next communication with their audiences.
  • Keep track of what their competition is doing, including which topics and keywords they are using to communicate with their audience, in order to highlight and differentiate their own content strategies over the rest.
  • Know prior to publishing if the content they produced has the tone, sentiment, and keywords needed to engage the audience.
  • Understand the saturation of topics in the industry.

Our main goal is to ensure that brand content does not get lost in cyberspace, but, on the contrary, stands out among the thousands of options that revolve around their desired audience. That’s why we created a tool that, based on data and Artificial Intelligence, allows B2B companies to identify, select and create content that is truly relevant to their audiences.

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