Let the Data Drive: Using Insights To Tell Smarter Stories.

How understanding consumer trends and real-time insights can help you create more impactful content for your brand.
Julian Mitchell

What is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a critical tool for establishing deep-rooted connections with existing consumers, while further discovering and converting new audiences that share common ground with your brand.

Some of the most prominent CRM tools include:

  • Email management
  • Sales management
  • Subscription services
  • Direct-to-consumer communications

All of these tools provide small businesses with the necessary insight needed to make informed content marketing decisions.

As continual advancements in CRM technology have enabled entrepreneurs at every scale to better understand the habits and behaviors of key demographics, small business owners who master an ability to translate real consumer data and insights into impactful stories will inherit a true competitive advantage.

What we mean by “content.”

We live in a time where more content is created and consumed than ever before, making digital storytelling the most powerful communications tool in the world. Reaching billions of people globally, media is anchored in story, and story shapes what we value, what we discuss, and the causes we champion.

More specifically, media stands as the collective source of information, insight and human interest. When we wake up, we:

  • Check our phones,
  • Turn on the television
  • Read the paper
  • Post to our social platforms
  • Have conversations that reflect what we’ve experienced. 

The content audiences consume fuels the conversations they have, and in turn those conversations establish the cultural norms that influence consumer expectations and purchasing habits. 

How CRM can help you create better content.

As a marketing strategy, effective storytelling functions to empower audiences to engage with companies in a more informed and insightful way. This makes smarter storytelling—creating content guided by the insights about your audience that you get from CRM—an effective tool for brands.

For small business owners, it’s important to view content as a tool for:

Creating authentic connections that lead to useful engagement metrics that can: inspire better business models, inform brand positioning, and more effectively launch products into the market.

Understanding that consumers are real people before they become converted customers, using CRM tools stands as the best method for uncovering real-time insights, cultural trends and active consumer behaviors that help shape your brand narrative and successfully impact your target audience. 

Smarter stories represent a balanced combination of information, insight and instinct.

  • Having immediate access to market research provides the foundational information needed to establish the core values and interests of your audience.
  • Focusing on specific keywords, purchasing patterns, social habits and real-time conversations provides tangible insight into the potential desires and needs of your target audience.
  • Being an intentional listener and active participant within your consumer culture provides the perspective required to develop trusted instincts that offer foresight into emerging shifts and trends that guide how stories are created, developed and distributed. 

Below is a shortlist of ways CRM can be used to help tell smarter and more impactful stories that elevate your small business. 

1.      Identify the core values, interests, and lifestyle preferences of your primary audience to develop consumer use cases.

Small business owners can accomplish this by using CRM tools to track key subscriber data, purchasing trends and search habits to map audience segments based on:

  • Consumer age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Behavior
  • Interests

This information can be used to create consumer surveys, host guided think tanks, or direct you to the proper market research studies. This practice helps you develop a deeper understanding of the subcultures, values and interests that influence your target audience.

2.      Use CRM to identify the core consumer behaviors and cultural trends actively shaping how your target audience engages with your brand.

Small business owners can identify these core consumer behaviors and trends by closely:

  • Monitoring purchasing habits
  • Measuring social engagement
  • Tracking conversion rates
  • Documenting consumer responses
  • Observing how traffic counts are trending across your website and social media platforms

Using newsletters to consistently engage, test, and communicate with your growing mailing list can serve as a useful market research tool.

All of this information can be leveraged to allow your consumers to guide your content marketing efforts going forward.

3.      Use CRM to identify the relevant keywords, social conversations and key moments that resonate most with your target audience. 

Small business owners can leverage CRM tools to analyze and receive real-time insight into the most used terms, phrases and topics discussed by consumers across demographics.

By searching for and studying products and services related to your industry, you can develop a content plan driven by storylines and conversations that are proven to resonate with your audience. This allows small business owners to have conversations at scale with new and existing audiences in an authentic way.

4.      Use CRM to inform and shape the development of content to build community, brand loyalty and a scalable model for success. 

Small business owners can measure content effectiveness by studying engagement metrics and conversion rates tied to specific content marketing programs. CRM tools shed light on sentiment around your brand, further offering insight into the direct distinct action consumers take when engaging with your brand.

As a small business owner, you can learn what content performs best on which mediums, which content creates higher volumes of comments, and which generates direct sales. Tracking this information helps inform how you design brand platforms (Web, Mobile, Social), where your most loyal audience really is, and how your customers are expanding your brand in real time.

Knowing this information can also serve to help you match content efforts with specific goals, ultimately leading to more efficient and cost-effective content marketing. 

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