Research

How collecting data is the foundation of great content

Steffen Bilde

Steffen Bilde

5 minutes read

Just like the right scheduling tool and online resources help you before you’ve posted anything, collecting data on what you publish on social media is just as important.

From zero to infinity!

Did people watch the video? Did they click on the link? Did they take part in the competition? If you can’t answer these questions, then how do you know if you’re getting the most out of your posts? To put it another way, collecting and analysing data on your social content is the best way for you to see what worked and what didn’t. And the knowledge you gain from collecting data can make a big difference in the quality of your work in the future and can make it a lot more satisfying to work with social media.

Collecting and analysing data is the best way to find the patterns and specs that set great posts apart from mediocre posts.

Maybe the thought of doing data collection send chills down your spine. But before you give up on the idea, remember that there are services that can do some of the dirty work for you.

You might also argue that collecting data isn't really necessary to see if a post was successful – you can simply take a look at the engagement numbers. Well, I agree. You can easily make a note of the details for a specific post that you created yourself. But often the situation is that there’s a team of people working together to make content for several social platforms.

Think about doing systematic data collection on ten different organic Facebook posts, six slightly different dark posts and four boosted ads with various audience settings, while also remembering the text and goals of this month’s 23 Instagram posts. Not to forget the banner ads, the YouTube commercial and the adverts you placed in four different magazines. Well, that’s not an easy job! Sure, some people can do it, but most of us will have to look into what the options are for tracking and analysing the performance of our marketing efforts.

Having goals in themselves isn’t a route to success

There’s a difference between putting tactics and goals down on paper and what happens in the real world of the office, where deadlines and a lack of resources can take

neatly made strategies and tactics and put them to the ground. A task like tracking every single piece of content on several parameters will tend to be down prioritized. But in the same way as scheduling programs have become an essential for many businesses for optimizing their social content operations, a service that gives you the “results” of your efforts can help you understand how to create better content in the future.

Here are the benefits of collecting and analysing data on your content:

  1. You can stop repeating mistakes and start building a deeper understanding of what connects with your audience.

  2. You’ll have a track record to prove you’re improving content over time (that is, assuming that you use the knowledge about what connects with your audience to improve your content).

  3. Collecting data enables you to see if you reach your overall goals or if they need to be altered. It also enables you to see if you need to move resources from one field to another, according to what the key elements are of a great post.

Trial and error as well as doing something with what you’ve learnt is part of the process

This short blog post is not meant to end with another list of everything that’s great about data without mentioning the effort it takes.

First off, to get enough data, you need to go through a phase of trial and error, of applying tactics in the sense of certain styles of text and visuals, and at least a few months of continuous content. Luckily most companies have already been “out there” trying to make the best of social media for years, and you’ll have data from previous years to look at.

Secondly, when you finally manage to find the right solution for analysing the data about all those successful and not so successful campaigns and initiatives, you’ll still need to take responsibility for using the knowledge and the benefits you gain.

Services that help you collect and analyse data are only useful if you do something with the lessons learned. In other words, you’re still responsible for improvements.

It’s not enough to simply collect and analyse data. You and your team will need to convert the descriptive knowledge you gain into actionable tasks and criteria for future content.

About the author

Steffen Bilde
Steffen Bilde
COO & Co-founder

As a rare natural talent, top-graduate and commercial thinker, Steffen is an early adopter of machine learning and AI. Having a similar flair for great CX, he knows Zenbu's users like the back of his hand - mostly because he has been involved in every facet of the business since the beginning.

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