Content is (Still) King, but Data is Using the Force, Luke

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So you’ve finally decided to take your small business or emerging brand to the next level. You’ve decided to overhaul your 10-year-old website and make it responsive. You’ve started to email newsletters to customers more regularly. You’ve got a Facebook page and you post something once a week. Maybe you’ve set up a blog and once every so often you post a hastily written article, because ove and over  you’ve heard “content is king”.

It’s true content is still king. But unless you’ve integrated your digital marketing platform and are regularly analyzing and refining your content based on data, it’s a tiny kingdom, and it’s probably shrinking.

Many times when I consult with small to medium-sized businesses who aren’t  well versed in current marketing methods and strategy, there’s some confusion around the difference between customers and audience. In a nutshell, if you aren’t actively putting sustained effort into building your audience, and looking at data to share the right kind of content with them, you are actively losing sales.

Here’s what I mean: No matter how loyal your customers are, they are a finite number. In order to grow sales, you must grow your audience through multiple channels. Converting your widening audience into customers then requires steady, reliable flow of varied content and engagement. Engagement is more than merely responding to facebook comments and emails—it requires looking at data to hone your message.

Small businesses frequently try the DIY approach to marketing, feeling the expense of hiring a marketing pro is out of reach, or that they can’t justify the expense because you can’t measure marketing success.

Both assumptions are wrong, and possibly dangerous. Wrong because there are more digital marketing resources available today than ever before. And dangerous because it’s practically a full-time job just staying on top of the constantly changing landscape, tools and best-practices to ensure greatest ROI. If you’re trying to “do marketing” in you spare time or evening hours and you aren’t consuming every single resource, article, white paper, and workshop out there (as marketing pros do) you simply won’t be hitting the (constantly) moving target.

How integrated and sharp is your DIY marketing effort? Digital Marketer has produced a wonderful 10-Minute Social Media Marketing Audit which is a wonderful education tool for any Do-It-Yourselfers who want to test their digital acumen.

Though it focuses on social media and not on integrated marketing, it’s a great resource to help you assess your own social media marketing strengths and weaknesses.

Click here to take Digital Marketer’s 10-Minute Social Media Audit and learn how to take your marketing from tiny kingdom to royal empire.