Data and Decision-making: How the Numbers can Help Content Makers

December 2, 2021

Over the past few years, data has become an integral part of planning, creating, executing, and reviewing content. Many companies have had analytics teams for years, but more recently, these teams are handing over analytics tools to content makers to make decisions based on insights.

In our webinar Content, Data, and Decision Making, panelists Rob Jones, Managing Editor at BT Sport; Sydney Friedkin, Director of Consumer Insights & Performance Analytics at Bleacher Report; and Tara Van Skiver, Technical Solutions Manager at Conviva, discuss tips for using data to inform content decisions. Here are some of the highlights.

Increase the cadence of data-centric meetings and “focused creativity.”

Consider weekly or even daily standups where you look at the numbers from the week or day before to see what content has worked and what hasn’t. This information can drive your creative sessions, helping to focus them. Using these data points helps you better understand your audience and the viewer journey, allowing your team to deliver more relevant content.

Still, even if your organization eats, sleeps, and breathes data, be sure to leave room for the gut feeling that a piece of content is going to work — even if the data doesn’t quite align. The goal is to arm your teams with the right tools to make an informed decision, while understanding that there’s an art to it as well.

“All our teams now, whether they be product owners, whether they be product designers, whether they be editors, the journalists, everyone has dashboards available to them. They may have general ones for the team, or they may have specific ones that they’ve manipulated for the KPIs and the stuff that they’re looking at. They’re looking at them on a daily, hourly basis, and are making those decisions.” — Rob Jones, Managing Editor at BT Sport

Understand the audience journey and what drives them.

Where does your audience turn for new or different content? And once your audience consumes something, where are they going next?

Understanding a viewer’s journey in its completeness can help you avoid being a broken record. Audiences are smart, and if you over-serve them or promote things they don’t want to see, they’re much more likely to tune out, mute you, or hit unfollow on social media. Use data to understand the person that you’re trying to reach and take some risks but be able to pivot quickly if it’s not working.

“You might be surprised about a different piece of content that resonates, but you’re going to be able to see that in real-time if you take a risk and then you have some safety nets. It all comes back to knowing your audience and really understanding your brand profile on social to see if that’s going to drive there.” — Tara Van Skiver, Technical Solutions Manager at Conviva

Focus on the three P’s: platform, purpose, and pivot.

Do you post the same content across all channels? That could be why your engagement is falling flat.
Bleacher Report was one of the first companies to give each platform its own editorial voice, look, and feel reflective of that platform’s audience. Focusing on the data ensures they’re posting the right content on the right platform, whether it’s long form, short form, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.

If you’re looking at a certain audience for a certain sponsor, data can help you pivot throughout a campaign. This shows not only confidence to the partner but also the ability and flexibility within social to deliver metrics about how much engagement the content is getting.

“It’s the combination of the two in tandem with our sales and strategy team that really helps us tell that overarching story of implementing this campaign, the value that we delivered, and hopefully, to work with those clients again and again.” — Sydney Friedkin, Director of Consumer Insights & Performance Analytics at Bleacher Report

Improve engagement with quality over quantity.

The age of vanity metrics is dead. Gone are the days of posting constantly or throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. The new economy is engagement, and the key to this is quality content.

Focus on growing an active, passionate, and involved audience that interacts genuinely on your platforms. Likes, comments, and shares on social media illustrate that engagement and can help you understand what content to create to drive conversation, connection, and community.

“We’ve had this push for the last two years where it is quality versus quantity. The way that you can track that is how your audience is responding to that content in their feed. The fact that they’ll stop and tap or like or share is a win when you have all of this noise within your feeds.” — Tara Van Skiver, Technical Solutions Manager at Conviva

To learn more about how data can drive your decision-making, watch the Content, Data, and Decision Making webinar.