Big data is one of the buzzwords of the decade and everyone seems to be talking about it and where it comes from. How you use big data is in large part dependent on the business that you have, and where it comes from is the same.
The sources of big data include general information like census data, social media listening, industry data, and enterprise data. Enterprise data is the information generated by your own customer and lead base, and much of that comes from your website. There is also a great deal of talk about blogging and how it actually benefits your business. Once you start blogging, making sure you are writing for the right audience is critical to success.
One of the simplest advantages is that it produces big data. Information you can use to attract better leads and better serve your existing customers. Choosing a domain name and creating a website is one thing. Using your website and blog to gather information and inform your decisions is another.
Here are five ways that a blog can generate big data for your startup and how to use it.
One of the greatest uses for a blog is to build up your email subscriber list. If you offer good, informative content, your blog readers will want to read more of what you write. They will want to be updated when you post something new, and even get news and information from you. A simple form on your site lets them sign up for a newsletter or just getting your blog posts in their email automatically.
Still, email lists are still one of the best sales and marketing tools if used properly. Use your blog to gather this data and build your list of leads and customer data.
Social Media Logins
One of the most prolific and valuable sources of information is a person’s social media profile. Twitter, Facebook, and other networks gather a great deal of information about their users for the purpose of selling to them. When they log in to your site using their social media profile, you get a lot of this information including age, sex, and even location and what kind of technology they use.
This combined with the social listening you are already doing to analyze your followers on various sites will tell you if your social media message is working or not by the demographic information you acquire. This is invaluable, and having this type of log in as a part of your blog subscription process along with other parts of your site is the best policy.
The same can be said for the comments section of your site. Not only can this provide feedback from what users do and don’t like about your blog, but it provides big data about who they are. The reason? You should require those who leave comments to log in or create an account. This cuts down on spam as an added advantage.
There are several ways besides social media that people can sign up and log into your website, but any one of them will at least give you some information about the user. This way you can also track user behavior on your site, especially if they stay logged in. All these things let you know how you are doing with marketing and ROI, but also provide more data about your customer base.
Forms and Surveys
Want to get even more specific? Set up forms and surveys on your site. Just make sure they are voluntary, but with the right call to action, you can get a lot of responses and a great deal of insight into your customers with a simple survey. Here are some keys:
- Keep it short.
- Keep the survey anonymous. You just want general information.
- Make it easy to take.
- Allow users to opt out or not take the survey.
- Surround your survey with good content.
- Follow through and share results with users.
A survey that will add data to your database needs to be both creative and practical. You want users to want to see the results and be on the lookout for them. Avoid dull and commonplace questions, and ask something new and exciting.
This sounds simple, but the more visitors you have the more Google analytics has to work with to describe user behavior and add other data about the visitors to your site. The more traffic your blog draws, the more detailed and accurate this information will be.
This means that you must study your analytics. You can’t just install the code and ignore your dashboard. Analytics enables you to know more about your customer, but not only that. You can see what posts on your blog are the most popular and the ones people seem to care less about.
It’s basic, but analytics is key to gathering big data for your startup.
There are a number of ways you can generate and gather big data. But you can do so using a tool you are going to create anyway, your blog, to do so.