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Five Sure-Fire Big Data Sources You Need Right Now

Posted on the 18 December 2013 by Marketingtango @marketingtango

Sure, Big Data is all the rage now. But where should you go to find meaningful sources of data to glean insights about buyer intent, customer engagement, content marketing effectiveness and more?

Content marketer Amanda Maksymiw, a presenter at Content Marketing World 2013, says that integrated marketers can turn to some familiar sources to identify analytics without being bogged down by what she calls “data deluge.” She also recommends tapping some unlikely sources to guide your data-driven strategy.

Web Traffic Analytics

Chances are you’re already using Google Analytics or Omniture to measure your web traffic. But are you reviewing data from these tools to shape your content-marketing strategy?

“To inform my decisions about what content to create next, I will often review the content consumption statistics these tools offer,” Maksymiw suggests. “This shows which of our current topics have garnered the most page views and are, therefore, more likely to engage our audiences.”


What motivates buyers to seek out your brand? Don’t guess; turn to data to confirm buyer intent and influence your integrated marketing strategy. You can decipher a lot from search results. For example, look at both paid and organic keywords to learn which terms perform better and drive the best traffic.

“If you are interested in driving demand, you can take a look at which ads are generating the most conversions and build your editorial calendar around those topical ideas,” Maksymiw recommends.

In addition, get up to speed on how the new Google Hummingbird search algorithm reveals important clues about semantic search — the intent of conversational “who,” “what,” “when” and “where” type queries. Our post, “What Should Marketers Know About Google Hummingbird?” tells you more.

Social Media

You can learn what your social media communities want to know about your brand, but tracking statistics such as the number of followers, social mentions or shares, can be tedious. Ramp up your data-mining capabilities by using one of the free or low-costs applications available to integrated marketers. To get started, check out the list of 50 tools Social Media Today recently evaluated.


Backlinks are to SEO what followers are to social; they up your popularity.

“If you don’t have an existing tool to track backlinks, you can access this data for your site using — the free version will show your five most important backlinks (you can also sign up for a free trial to see a more complete list),” Maksymiw points out.

Marketing Automation

If you’re ready to step up to serious data mining and analysis, it may be time to consider investing in marketing automation software. Eloqua, HubSpot, Marketo and Salesforce are the dominant players in this space. These data tools can reveal important patterns, such as which content formats and topics are best to engage your target audiences.

At Lattice Engines, Maksymiw uses marketing automation technology to understand which content assets are driving the most conversions.

“We also review web traffic activity from our target prospect companies,” she explains.” In addition, tracking engagement metrics like open rates, click-through rates and total downloads through your marketing automation tool provides valuable information, as does an analysis of which pieces of content your sales team sends out most often.”

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