What is Alternative Data and Its Role in Inbound Marketing?

What is Alternative Data and Its Role in Inbound Marketing?

Data is front and center in the modern business landscape. As such, more organizations use alternative data to gain more insight into their customers and markets. Alternative data is any type of digital or non-digital information that can be used for analytics. This data type can include text from social media platforms, images and videos, customer reviews, product sales figures, geolocation data, and more!

Alternative data points can provide deep insights into consumer behavior patterns. It helps make informed decisions about product development, pricing, marketing campaigns, and more. With alternative data, marketers can better understand their target audience. This will, in turn, help them craft more effective inbound strategies.

Traditional Data vs. Alternative Data

The primary difference between traditional and alternative data is the sources used to collect it. Traditional data is usually gathered using pre-existing surveys, statistics, research studies, and other formal methods of collecting information. This type of data has been used for decades, even before technology transformed the business marketing landscape.

On the other hand, alternative data refers to digital information. This information is collected from webpages, social media accounts, blogs, and other online platforms. Most online platforms offer methods to collect alternative data. And although it can be more difficult to access and analyze, it can offer more up-to-date insights into consumer behavior.

It is generally accepted that alternative data is sourced from user-generated content. This means that consumers themselves create this type of content, making it more authentic and reliable! While traditional data tends to reflect large populations with generalizable trends, alternative data focuses on individual behaviors within a particular group or target audience.

The Benefits of Using Alternative Data in Inbound Marketing

Alternative data provides marketers with real-time insights into consumer behavior. These insights can be used to develop more effective inbound marketing strategies. With this type of data, organizations can reap the benefits and build stronger marketing campaigns. Here are a few more benefits that marketers and organizations will enjoy when using alternative data:

Identify Trends

Alternative data allows marketers to quickly identify trends in user behavior that can be used to develop targeted marketing campaigns. Since the data can easily be collected and analyzed online, marketers can identify patterns in consumer behavior that can be used as the basis for each campaign.

Reach Target Audiences

By using alternative data, organizations can craft messages that are tailored specifically to their target audience. This type of targeting leads to more effective campaigns and higher conversion rates. Instead of drafting campaigns that appeal to the general public, marketers can now build campaigns to tap a specific market segment that will benefit their organization.

Understand Your Market

Alternative data provides inbound marketers with a deeper level of understanding about the market they are targeting. This will help you to develop more effective marketing strategies and establish customer relationships that lead to long-term loyalty. When you use this data to your advantage, you can figure out what your customers’ needs and wants are, and adjust your strategy to meet them.

Best Practices for Using Alternative Data in Inbound Marketing

When it comes to utilizing alternative data for inbound marketing, several best practices should be followed:

1. Understand Your Goals

Before collecting any data points, marketers need to clearly define their goals and objectives so they can determine which metrics will provide the most useful insights.

2. Be Selective in What Data You Collect

With so much data available online, it’s important to be selective in what is collected and analyzed. Collecting too much information can lead to an overload of data points that may not be relevant or useful.

3. Use Multiple Sources

Alternative data should come from multiple sources to ensure the accuracy of insights. This means collecting and analyzing data from online sources such as webpages, social media accounts, blogs, and other online platforms. At the same time, you must also use offline sources such as surveys and research studies.

4. Set Up Monitoring Systems and Processes

Once data sources are identified, it is important to set up tracking systems. These systems will collect the necessary information. Additionally, you should also create processes to ensure you have the tools and resources needed to interpret alternative data. This includes having a platform that can handle large volumes of data as well as software that can accurately crunch the numbers.

5. Establish a Timeline

Finally, inbound marketers should establish a timeline for utilizing alternative data. This could be as simple as setting aside time each week or month to review collected data points and make adjustments.

Additionally, it is important to set realistic expectations about what can be accomplished with the information obtained. By following these best practices, you can leverage alternative data to gain better insights into your target audience and optimize your campaigns for maximum success.

Final Word

Alternative data can provide powerful insights for inbound marketers if used correctly. You can access high-quality information to determine consumer behavior trends and optimize your campaigns to fit your target audience.  With the right approach, alternative data can be one of the most valuable tools for inbound marketing professionals!