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No Royalty Here. Data and Content are Your Pilots.

This is a guest post by Ifdy Perez, community manager for AddThis, the largest social sharing and data platform that personalizes the web with easy-to-use social engagement tools and services. Keep in touch by following @ifdyperez and @AddThis.

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There’s been a lot of talk about who’s king: data or content? “Content is king,” some say. But where does that leave data? If data is king, then content must be queen. Right?

This analogy is misleading. Both content and data drive your strategy––they’re not mutually exclusive. They work together, like pilots flying a plane, taking your site––and business––where you want to go.

“This is Data and Content. We’ll be your pilots this evening.”

Just because you fly a lot doesn’t necessarily make you a good pilot––better leave that to the experts. So in the case of your site, surrendering your strategy to data could be just what it needs to soar.

To create a data-driven content strategy, you start the process by asking the right questions. “What page was most visited this week/month/quarter?” “What links were clicked the most?” “Which social networks was this page shared to the most?” You should even ask, “Does this prove me wrong in my current strategy?”

You may realize the content you’ve been generating for the last week hasn’t done as well as you expected. Hopefully, you’ll realize this sooner rather than later so you can change your strategy, and avoid wasted time. Like any good pilot, data won’t let you fly blindly.

Content is also in the cockpit. Like a good co-pilot, it follows data. Let your editorial meetings be driven by what your data says.

“Be sure to fasten your Analytics. It’ll be a bumpy ride.”

There’s no way to guarantee a smooth ride, but there are ways you can minimize the turbulence with analytics. Understanding exactly what happens on your site, and getting to know your audience more and more, will let you make the most educated guesses in your strategy meetings. So take time to set up your dashboard with the right metrics. Hold fast to your analytics. It won’t let you fall.

“Our Smart Layers will be able to give you what you need.”

Social tools are like flight attendants: some can be amazing, and give you what you need in a moment’s notice. But others, can be total tools (pun intended). A sharing button shouldn’t be “just a sharing button” for your site; you should expect more.

Which is why I can’t stop talking about how great our latest product Smart Layers is. It puts the right social tools and content in the right place for every visitor to your site. It works by showing personalized social networks, and the best content for each of your users. This means, for example, if you have a visitor that’s more of a Redditor than a Twitterer, they’d see Reddit as one of the top social networks when they visit your site. On the other hand, a frequent Facebooker will see that network on the top of their list. And stats show that simple difference can make a big difference in your share rates.

Each user has a unique and personalized experience on your site––and Smart Layers can be responsive so your visitors will have a great experience no matter what device they use to visit your site. Heck, just think: if your content strategy is driven by data, why shouldn’t your social tools work the same?

“Sit back, and enjoy the ride.”

There’s still work to be done. Analyzing, and refining your content strategy is an ongoing process. But once you get going, the ride becomes easier as the engagement around your brand flows under your wings, and lifts you higher.

Now that you’ve taken the tour, here are some questions to get you started. Where’s your content headed headed? How did you decide to go there? What routes are you taking? Would you take that route again or change it up a bit? It is possible for you to optimize on anything to help you do it bigger, better? Can you grow?

 

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(photo credit)

 

 

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