Creating content that resonates with our buyers is hard. To develop relevant content, we need to have a detailed understanding of our target audience and know about their interests, priorities and the topics they care about.
At this point, most of us make content decisions based on our buyers’ historical engagement data with our content. We track which pieces of content have gotten the most views or downloads on our website and which emails have the highest click-through rates. A lot of us categorize our content into topical buckets and put our leads onto different nurture tracks based on the topic(s) they engage with.
While it’s great to use first-party behavioral data to inform your content marketing plan, savvy marketers are starting to tap into intent data outside of their owned digital channels to improve their content relevancy.
Some of our customers are starting to track online and social media behaviors on their target accounts and existing leads. For example, Lenovo North America is using third-party intent data to figure out what topics their leads and accounts care about the most, so they can build campaign tracks around these topics.
Here at Socedo, we’ve been tracking social media activities on our existing leads for the past eight months. Full disclosure, we use our own Lead Acceleration technology to push real-time social media activities into our marketing automation system.
Tracking social media activities at the individual contact level has given us a much broader view of our buyers and empowered us to:
- Figure out what topics are resonating with our audience
- Put leads into the right email nurture tracks and segment leads based on social media actions
- Engage a lot more leads in our database with real-time emails including cold leads who have not visited our website or opened our emails in the past few months.
At this point, we’re tracking social media activities including follows, mentions and retweets around hot topics, events, conferences, key technologies and competitors in our space.
On a weekly basis, we’re seeing anywhere between a few hundred to several thousands of activities on our tracked keywords. On average, each lead takes 6.5 social actions versus just 1.4 email clicks and 3.1 website visits (pages). Below is a snapshot taken from the past 30 days.
Below, we’ll show you what this data looks like and how we’re analyzing the data to inform our content and email marketing strategy. We’ll cover questions including:
- What do my leads care about? Who is influencing my leads?
- What topics are my leads researching the most?
- Which keywords are bringing me the most qualified leads and opportunities?
Social media keywords we are tracking
At this point, we’re tracking just over 40 signals including follows of branded Twitter handles and influencers, keywords and hashtags. Here is a snapshot of our data from a seven-day time period in January 2017.
Here is the trend of social media activities in our database in a two-week time period in January. This is the dataset we’re using for this analysis.
Which handles (brands and influencers) are our leads following the most?
This data gives us a good sense of the topics, brands and influencers our leads care about.
Some of this data isn’t surprising at all. We know that our target audience is B2B marketers, so it makes sense they would care about the MarTech Conference and follow influencers like Matt Heinz (@HeinzMarketing) and Sirius Decisions.
It makes sense that our audience cares about content marketing (many are following Content Marketing Institute’s Twitter handle @CMIContent) and keeping a pulse on B2B brands like Marketo and HubSpot.
However, some of this data is surprising. Prior to this analysis, we did not know that people in our database care about predictive analytics because we don’t have any blog posts, e-books, or webinars on the topic. It’s interesting to see that people are following some of the hot players in the predictive analytics space like @Leadspace, @6Sense, and @EverString.
This is an early sign that our audience is thinking about lead and account prioritization and how they can get higher quality leads through more targeted marketing efforts. This is a sign that we may want to talk more about predictive analytics ourselves.
What topics and hashtags do my leads care about the most?
[The chart on the left shows the number of users engaging with each hashtag or keyword. The right-side chart shows how many times each hashtag has been used]
It’s very clear that #contentmarketing and #SEO are used way more than any other keyword. These are good keywords to create campaigns around.
Since we have plenty of content around content marketing and SEO best practices, we could easily set up emails that share our best blog posts on these two topics and engage a lot of people through these emails.
For the past few months, we’ve been sending targeted emails out to leads who have engaged with these two hashtags. As soon as someone uses that hashtag, our marketing automation system knows it. We put the lead into a campaign and they receive a real-time email tailored to the hashtag they just used.
Here’s the #ContentMarketing Email:
This email averages a 38.8 % Open rate and a 4.8% click through rate. It performs twice as well as our typical nurture emails.
Do we call this a success though?
Well, it’s a qualified no.
It’s a good thing that a lot of recipients are engaging with the email and like the content. But we also need to see if these emails are converting our best prospects.
To look at lead quality, we can pull a report in Marketo to see Opportunity Creation rate for our keywords. In other words, this gives the conversion rate for leads who take each social action.
When we look at deeper funnel metrics, opportunity creation rate from “ContentMarketing” isn’t too good. It ranks significantly lower than brand keywords and the conference hashtag #INBOUND16.
In addition, out of the total opportunities created, we also want to look at the percentage opportunities by tiers. Our tiers are created based on criteria such as whether an organization has a marketing automation system in place, organization size, and industry. Categorizing our leads based on fit helps us make sure that our campaigns are engaging with the right people. After all, we want to make sure that the customers we bring in are the ones who will benefit the most from our product.
When we filtered the Opportunity creation rate by tiers, we found that the Opportunity Creation rate on “ContentMarketing” for the top tier of leads is significantly lower than average when we include all tiers.
This means that the ContentMarketing campaign is actually not the high performing campaign we initially thought it was based on email open and click through rates alone.
On the other hand, we’ve found that a much higher percentage of leads who engage with #INBOUND16 (the INBOUND Conference hashtag) turn into opportunities, and most of these opportunities are from the top two tiers. This tells us that we should continue to develop new content and campaigns for HubSpot users.
Identifying New Campaign Ideas Based on Keywords’ Lead Scores
Another way to identify new content and campaign ideas is to look at keyword usage alongside their behavioral lead scores.
Here at Socedo, we lead score behaviors such as website visits, email clicks and a few social actions (including followers of the Socedo handle and a few other handles).
Below, we’ve created a report that just looks at the social keywords we do not lead score. For each keyword, we’ve calculated the minimum lead score for the group that has engaged with the keyword. This is one way to identify the keywords that matter.
This data tells us that if someone engages with a particular keyword, they are also taking other actions such as visiting our website or opening our emails.
Looking at this data, we’re able to identify some new campaign ideas.
We’ve noticed that every lead who follows @InferInc is doing something on our website or engaging with our emails, since the minimum lead score for the group is 15 points. We may want to invest in content about Infer. For example, we could develop a case study about a customer who uses both Socedo and Infer in their marketing stack and share this case study with prospects who follow Infer’s Twitter handle.
We also see that leads who use the B2B Marketing Exchange hashtag #B2BMX had at least a lead score of 20. We chose not to sponsor #B2BMX in 2017. But if we continue to see engagement around this keyword, we may sponsor the conference next year.
Below, we’ve pulled lead score information alongside with keyword usage to give us more context for making decisions.
What types of leads are most engaged with [insert brand or influencer]?
With this data, we could also look at social media activities by job function or job title. This granular level of insights helps us figure out which leads should go into which campaign.
For example, a lot of people in our database are following @HeinzMarketing, and @HeinzMarketing followers are converting into Opportunities at a much higher rate than other keywords.
Why is this the case? We can see two things from the data. First, when we look at his followers by job title, almost all of them are senior decision makers in marketing organizations. They have the budget and authority and thus can make a purchasing decision faster than lower level marketing people. Second, there is a low diversity in terms of job function. This means that we could target these leads with one message and it’s likely to resonate.
On the other hand, when we look at a keyword like #ABM, we’re seeing a variety of job titles and role levels engaging with the keyword. Although all of these people are interested in ABM, their role in implementing an ABM program varies a lot, so we cannot send just one email blast with one message to all of these prospects.
By tracking the social media activities of our existing leads, we can easily identify patterns in people’s interests and figure out what topics are resonating with our target audience.
At this time, because we are getting a high enough volume around many of these keywords, it makes sense for us to build real-time emails centered around these keywords. On a weekly basis, we’re sending anywhere between 500 to 1000 real-time emails from these social media actions. This strategy has helped us engage with leads at a much higher rate than our typical nurture emails and pass a lot more marketing qualified leads to our SDR team.
If you want to see what your target prospects are talking about on Twitter and use this data to inform your content marketing strategy, reach out to us and we’ll be able to provide you this data.