The more contextual information marketers have about content consumers, the better they can demonstrate their value.

The future of content marketing is all about context. It’s always been true that the brands with the best knowledge of their customers will be able to reach their ideal audiences naturally, but an explosion of big data and digital context is making it much easier to zero in on an ideal web audience. Now, it’s just a matter of organizing that information and applying it to marketing materials effectively.

For example, as Brafton reported, apps are showing up more frequently in Google SERPs when searchers have them installed on mobile devices. It’s a risky strategy to provide the best content within programs some users might not have access to, but knowing an audience’s habits makes this prospect less of a gamble.

How’s the weather online?

Twitter is trying to improve its online advertisements’ contextual value by analyzing weather data. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the social network is giving advertisers the option to target particular geographic areas and audiences based on recent weather forecasts. For instance, surf shops might be more prominent to users where there are favorable shore conditions, while ads for boots might crop up in areas where the weather is inclement.

This phenomenon might only seem applicable to a very narrow band of customers, but it can be tailored to fit general behavior, rather than purchasing history alone. There are already examples of companies doing this – dating website OKCupid takes users’ zip codes and determines weather conditions affecting them. People whose local forecasts call for snow or rain will receive emails encouraging them to log on and send messages to other users.

okcupid email weather marketing

Take the information customers offer

This is just one example of a way that marketers can exploit small pieces of information that customers are willing to provide. As Brafton reported, 62 percent of mobile app users said they would freely give away their location data as long as it would somehow result in improved service. When it comes to better products, or at least more interesting content, this complex data offers the possibility of a much-improved user experience.

Contextual clues also improve marketing by corroborating information. A survey by Kentico found that half of all online readers will readily trust the content a brand provides, but the other half prefer supporting evidence or sources to back it up. Something as minute as the weather or other geographic information might not seem like much, but it reassures customers that they’re trying to offer the best possible content or service.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.