Big data encompasses the large volume of data that inundate businesses and agencies on a daily basis. It is both structured and unstructured and is gathered from a huge variety of sources. Some of these sources include social media platforms, business transactions and even machine-to-machine information.

What is important about big data is how you use it, not how much you have. You can take data from any number of sources and analyse it to create content that consumers will enjoy.

Gathering data is nothing new, but the way it is being used has changed dramatically over the years, especially in terms of content marketing and creation. Below are just some of the ways in which big data is affecting content marketing.

Big data is changing the type of content being created

All of the top marketing companies know that content is never fixed and static. It changes with the times, and it changes according to what data is collected and analysed. Previously, content was developed by using limited insights from surveys and subscription numbers.

Big data will affect the type of content that is created because you will now have access to information directly from your audience and consumers. You will know their browsing and purchasing history, which will allow you to create personalised content geared around this. You will also have insight into what type of content your audience reacts to and will be able to continue creating more of it, building your brand in the process.

Content is now more consumer-centric content

In the past, marketing and content marketing was geared towards the hard sell. A salesperson would come to knock on your door, product pamphlet in hand and try to sell you something that you (probably) don't really need. But today, thanks to the world becoming more digital, this has changed.

Big data now means that you can, and should, be creating content that is more consumer-centric. You now have access to important data and demographics from your audience and can use these to create content that they will find relevant.

For example, you can create a blog post about how to prepare for Black Friday in South Africa by looking at the data gathered about your audience. Consumers will find this entertaining and helpful and will enjoy it more than reading a sales pitch about your new products. Good user experience is always a positive for online marketing agencies.

Content creation is more focused

By using big data, content creators will no longer have to use their imagination alone to come up with ideas. And, while imagination in a content creator is always a good thing, this artistic element is bolstered by big data, allowing content creators to craft articles, videos and advertisements that are focused and tailored.

Content marketers now have entire teams behind them, such as a search engine optimisation team using keyword research to tell them what types of content to create, what themes and topics to follow and which styles work best for which audiences.

This means that your creators can make content that performs better than anything your competitors put out there. Why? Because they will be paying attention to important demographics and not just creating general content that will get lost on the Internet.

It can help your marketing strategy

Analysing data can help you to understand future trends and harness them before your competition. For example, you might think that Facebook is the way to go when engaging with your audience but if you look at your data, it will show that more people are leaving this platform and spending time on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

You will be able to create a tailored marketing strategy that will reach the widest possible audience and that is relevant to the trends. If you are a multinational agency, knowing the trends in the countries you are based in will help immensely in crafting a marketing strategy based on the demographical data you gather. Staying on top of the latest trends is a sure-fire way to beat the competition and garner high rankings on search engines.

Big data is a big deal

To sum up, content marketers no longer need to rely solely on their own imagination or sit for hours in front of a computer screen, tearing their hair out because of a lack of ideas. They can use big data to generate meaningful, helpful and relevant content for their audiences and for their clients.

Big data will change the type of content that is created, but this is a good thing (after all, change is as good as a holiday). Content will become more consumer-centric and the creation process will be more focused. Big data is a big deal, and you should not miss out on this massive trend.

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