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Data-Driven Marketing

Data Driven Strategies for Inbound Marketing

Not all data is created equal. Quantitative data is great but don't neglect ethnographic research: interviews, user research and focus groups etc.

8 mins read time
Seth Richtsmeier

Jun 23, 2020

With the marketing game changing daily because of the speed of internet communication, how do you shape your marketing campaign to successfully promote your brand in an innovative way? The answer lies in what not many brands are doing... enthographic research. 


Listen to Your Audience

Many inbound marketing strategies are built solely around quantitative data, but what you really need to build a successful strategy is a method that uses both quantitative and qualitative data collection — ethnographic research through observations, interviews, online research, user research and focus groups.

A marketing technique called deep listening uses quantitative data to drive qualitative information, allowing the two to create more meaningful insights than hard numbers alone ever could. This method allows marketing teams to feed conversations found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and online forums through analytics software, which then picks out which words are used the most: your keywords.

From there, you can analyze these keywords and determine what types of conversation your targeted audience is having. According to Thom Kennon, founder of the firm, Free Radicals, “If you get really good at transforming fresh, deep human insight into business value, you’ll make your competitors cry.”


Get to Know Your Audience

After you’ve discovered your keywords, your best practice is to figure out who the people are that are using those keywords in conversation.

This is where the qualitative element comes in. At this point, the marketing teams who find the freshest keyword insights should return to social media channels and forums to read what people are saying. This reading and analyzing takes hours, so set aside the time to do it thoroughly. It can squander valuable time, so contracting out for your marketing needs is always an option. Make sure either someone internally or a team you hire spends time to sift through online conversation portals and extract identifying information. Patterns will start to emerge in the comments people make and the opinions they articulate. From these patterns, you can make educated guesses as to their demographics, as well as discoveries about what your audience desires, cares about, and believes in. This is all invaluable to your brand and will fit together as the puzzle pieces of your inbound marketing strategy.

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Meet Your Audience Where They Are

So, you’ve listened to your audience and you’ve gathered your data and keywords. Now what?

Developing different insights than you ever have will prompt you to develop various approaches in your inbound marketing strategy. Now that you know more about your audience, you should know where to find them, and this is always going to be ONLINE.

If you’re selling an intangible product such as software, online classes, cloud storage, or apps, it's clear you need to market to people online.

But don’t stop there. New discoveries you’ve made through your research may lead you to the Goldilocks advertising location – not too hot, not too cold, not too Facebook, not too e-mail.

For example, let’s say you’re a cyber security company. Before taking a deep dive into the conversations surrounding cyber security, you may have been a little murky on who your audience was or so overwhelmed by all the different sorts of people your customers might be that you weren’t taking a very focused marketing approach. However, after discovering that the largest percentage of your audience pool were military and government workers, you’ll want to gain credibility within digital communities of chief information security officers (CISOs) and military and government personnel working in information technology departments.

So, start an ad campaign on social media that targets this group. Compose blog articles explaining the different applications of your software and what sets it apart from your competitors, speaking in your audiences language and solving their problems. Link those articles on your social media. Make a unique sales proposition directed towards leading customers to switch brands. If your content is filled with fresh insights and fits within your site’s architecture in a way that benefits the user experience, it could be shared widely, linked on government and military sites and climb higher in organic rankings.


Show Your Audience That You Have Their Best Interests at Heart

Now that you know where to advertise to your audience, how do you do it?

If you look closely enough, your data mining will tell you the specifics of your inbound marketing campaign as well. To start generating quality leads and raising conversion rates, every brand worth their salt must build trust with their audience.

Give Before You Take

A straightforward way of converting leads into qualified leads (and then customers), is to let them try your product before buying. Your specific product will define the dynamics of this trial.


If you’re advertising a series of online classes, consider running a promotion for a free introductory class or distribute mini tutorials.


If you’re selling cloud storage, offer a free trial period. Consider throwing in tutorials on how to use cloud storage and efficiently organize your files. This package deal will not only attract people who are curious about cloud storage yet unsure whether yours is the best choice over competing options, but also some people who are intrigued by cloud storage in general, but need some support in learning how to use it.


Put Together the Strategic Pieces with An Experienced Partner

In a world where advertisements must compete with texts, e-mails, Amazon orders, YouTube videos, and countless other online stimuli for attention, the only way to create a marketing campaign that will truly affect potential customers is to be a fly on their wall. Read their conversations and get to know their needs, desires, and philosophies.

At First Page, we believe that inbound marketing requires developing strategic pieces before you fish for leads – this starts with a persona, buyer’s journey, and intent paths for the leads you’re trying to capture. To make sure you’re taking the right steps for a revenue-generating marketing channel, consider working with us. With inbound services from our team of experts, you can make sense of the complexity without the added expense of hiring more people inside your office.

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