Every time I write an article I do research, analyze what I’ve found, and then I think about whether I should put this info on paper. This time I’ve set a task for myself to put some clearance on what the hack Big Data is, and how digital marketers can leverage that data in order to improve their marketing campaigns, perform a trend or product analysis, gain market share, etc.
I’d like to kick this off with a small remark. Digital marketers ain’t leveraging anything. Be it said in no offense to digital marketers. What these discoverers of the market do is that they use the existing set of tools and strategies to find the best ways to increase the online presence of a company and brand awareness which ideally should lead to a solid return on investment.
Big Data is just a silver bullet to all your problems
If you google “Big Data and marketing” you’ll see a whole lot of pointless articles about what the Big Data is and how it can be used by digital marketers. I bet you have already learned these “use cases” by heart. According to billions of articles on the web, a digital marketer can use Big Data to:
- Improve the effectiveness of your campaigns;
- Get insights about the customers and attract more of them;
- Forecast the future! (Well, analyze historical data to plan the future);
- Use Big Data to target consumer needs;
- Grab the Biggest piece of Data and analyze search data, social networks, neighbors, friends of friends and target everybody with effective marketing campaigns;
You might have guessed that everything is done automatically and in real-time, while you’re you eating, sleeping or catching butterflies with a net.
What’s Big Data? It’s a philosophical question, so let’s leave it to those people who have time to dream about what’s big and what’s small where a pile stops becoming a pile, etc.
Is 1 million keywords a big amount of info to analyze for you? It’s nearly 6 times more than there are words in an Oxford dictionary.
For me, it’s quite a big number of keywords to choose from to rank for. Each keyword contains certain parameters that are interesting to a digital marketer. These parameters are search volume, CPC and competition rate. Apart from these parameters, there are also countries, states, regions and languages, and every time you google a location-bound keyword those parameters will be different.
This is Big Data. 1 million keywords with a variety of parameters. So, this one million keywords is somewhere on the web. People create new keywords every day, they google different variations of words and create new combinations – keywords. From “buy iPhone 10” to “buy iPhone 10 because I’m sad and want a hug”.
A simple way to access Big Data
So, what? Why would digital marketers be interested in what people google overwhelmed with a touch of autumn sadness?
First, we need to identify the problem. The reason why digital marketers are hired is that a company wants to sell its products and it doesn’t have a clue who the clients are. The second reason why you need to hire a digital marketer is that only these ladies and gentlemen can determine patterns on the market and spot the breach where your company can very well fit into.
For example, if there is a growing demand for iPhones 10 in Minneapolis but you or your competitors are selling them in North Dakota, it’s high time you should rethink your marketing strategy and conquer the neighboring market.
How can you get this data (spot a demand)? You can buy a ticket to Minneapolis, find a hundred of volunteers and locate them all over the city to interview people whether or not they want to buy an iPhone 10. This is why dinosaurs died. They didn’t have search volume to forecast the meteorite, and they simply tested it the hard way.
In 2018, there are keyword databases which contain all the necessary information that you can use to win the market if you have a strategy.
There are two ways you can benefit from using databases, you can either buy them and then hire a couple of data scientists to process and organize this data, or you can buy an API and access the data in a database.
What on earth is API?
Some time ago I decided to create a website, personal blog to share ideas and just realize my dream of becoming a developer and designer in one face. The problem was that I had no clue how to code. If you’re building a website, there is an easy way to do it using WordPress themes.
I purchased a pre-built website, a theme, that I could customize to my own needs without jumping into 10 000 hours of coding, sleepless nights, pain and frustration. Buying a WordPress theme is a good solution for a small or middle size business. The functionality of a WordPress theme is limited, however, you can build a decent website with it and use it for whatever you want.
This friendly example may be a good introduction to API. An API is like a WordPress theme. It cuts off the development time and reduces cost when you want to achieve certain results. Usually, APIs are used by small or midsize businesses just like a WP theme.
For connecting an API to your platform though, you’ll still need a developer, however, it’s much quicker and easier than building your own web scraper or buying a database and then processing the data.
Through an API you can make calls to a database and extract the information that you need, in our case this is keyword data with search volume, CPC and competition rate.
Sometimes, digital marketing agencies are looking for top positions of their competitors because they what to see what keywords the competitors are ranking for and what’s their potential. Finding keywords, analyzing the keyword data and getting the rankings of the competitors is a good strategy to get some insights on the trends and opportunities for a particular niche.
When you know these sets of data, you can then start running more effective marketing campaigns, which are contextual ads, email marketing, and even forecast future or in other words perform a predictive analysis relying on the historical data. Knowing this data helps to determine seasonal demands, company’s ups and downs, and adjust the marketing strategies accordingly.
An API is a bridge between Big Data and digital marketing only when you have at least one developer who can connect it to your platform or if your API provider has clear guidelines which can make this process friendly for a digital marketer with no coding skills.
There are a lot of other ways Big Data can be used by digital marketers to, basically, generate more sales. However, I hope a few real-life cases from this article have given you some insights on how regular digital marketing agencies are using Big Data to provide better services to their clients.
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