Inbound marketing is a powerful force across the marketing world. The reason for its continuing growth and popularity? Simply put, it’s an inexpensive way to drive more business to your doorstep, and it’s proven to be extremely successful.
As inbound marketing practices mature, marketers are looking for new ways to understand their audiences and gain deeper understanding about the content that will successfully engage them. Social listening – using social media data to analyze and understand social conversations and audiences – is now used by content marketers and inbound practitioners to drive more leads to their organizations.
In preparation of INBOUND 2014, here are Crimson Hexagon’s top 3 ways to use social listening as the secret weapon of inbound marketing:
1. Find out what your audience is passionate about.
People don’t click on links or articles that don’t hold interest for them. Audiences will read, click, and follow something they care about. The good news for inbound marketers is that consumers put out clear signals about what they are interested in, including what they say, who they follow, and what the people they follow are talking about, on social media.
2. Build your content library around topics that truly interest your audience.
Here at Crimson Hexagon, we turn to our segment insights to find out the topics, influencers, and popular posts that resonate with different interest groups and psychographic profiles. This is a quick and potent way to learn about audience interests without having to guess at the keywords people with various interests might be using. ForSight has already connected the dots for you.
A great example of a connection marketing research may have not picked up on is the connection between America’s Got Talent, the popular TV show and the Hip-Hop segment. This direct interest could shift the way AGT targets their audience with advertising and help them reach a new market or demographic of viewers.
3. Measure your success with social data.
How do you know whether your inbound methods targets leads efficiently, or generates desired results for your sales and marketing initiatives? Through metrics. The solution for a marketing qualified lead starts and ends with our ability to measure traffic and targeted audience growth. Tools like HubSpot allow marketers to measure the success of each piece of content we generate, and how audiences respond to it.
Social listening complements measurement of content with measurement of audiences. Have your inbound efforts moved the needle on engaging the audience segments that matter most to your business? Benchmarking and measuring social media audience characteristics over time gives you the insights you need to fuel inbound strategy.
For example, this monitor compares Chipotle’s affinities before and after their controversial gun policy for their restaurant. Before the controversy, the affinities were biased strongly towards a college age demographic with little political involvement.
The affinities and interests of people talking about Chipotle after the gun controversy leaned more towards liberal politics, with affinities such as “Liberal Politics” and “Affordable Care Act” as key affinities.
To learn more about how marketers use social listening to access understand audience segments and create compelling marketing content that makes target audiences listen and act, visit us at INBOUND 2014 in Boston September 15-18. See you there!