Anthony Basile

Do you sometimes base your content marketing decisions on algorithms, data or other digital content that you don’t quite understand?

This isn’t so strange – in fact, it’s downright normal.

One of the consequences of increasing marketing digitization is that businesses are placing their trust in whatever processes will get the job done, without spending long pondering how those solutions work.

It stands to reason, however, that if you put in some time to get under the hood and really comprehend the technologies powering your content marketing, you can tune up your efforts and get results to match.

Processes such as SEO and analytics may be delivering acceptable results for you now, but once you’ve checked out this week’s three articles, you’ll be better equipped to really make them shine. If you commit to understanding the technical, nuts-and-bolts best practices of content marketing, you’ll be well-equipped to outmatch competitors that don’t make the same effort.

FAQ: All About the BERT Algorithm in Google Search

This month, in the ever-important field of Google search optimization, the focus is squarely on BERT.

This is the nickname for Google’s new search technology, and it means Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. Search Engine Land recently published a useful guide to the new algorithm, which uses natural language processing powered by a neural network to better contextualize queries. BERT is designed to help Google search results reflect the meaning of people’s words in a way that previous iterations couldn’t.

BERT example from Google: Math for grownups

Search Engine Land explained that one of BERT’s major improvements from previous generations of natural language processing technology is its ability to work bidirectionally, scanning a whole sentence for meaning rather than reading the text from left to right one word at a time. BERT is currently in place for approximately one-tenth of queries, focusing on long and conversational searches.

The Search Engine Land Guide quoted Google’s Danny Sullivan about the best way to optimize content for BERT searches. The process is actually quite simple. Your company should just work on clear, comprehensible phrasing. When you write great pieces of written content, both live readers and BERT will have an easy time comprehending it.

Read more about BERT and how to optimize for it, here.

The How-To: Using Consumer Intelligence To Revolutionize How Your Business Uses Its Data

One of the universal truths of the digital era is that interactions generate data. When customers reach out to your brand, they’re creating information you can use to improve your services and generate positive value. But chances are you’re not using that information.

Talkwalker’s Lama Abdelbarr used a recent Entrepreneur article to point out how much customer data is ignored by companies and to propose better solutions. As it happens, there are insights waiting to be mined, but they’re going largely unseen.

Adelbarr quoted IBM’s John Kelly, the “father of Watson,” who said 80% of business data is never used. She indicated that emails to and from the service department have analytical value, as do chat logs, customer surveys and other pieces of experience data. When this content is fed to an analytics solution with artificial intelligence capabilities, it can give a highly accurate picture of audience opinion and needs.

Marketing campaigns designed with the customer feedback insights in mind can naturally be better targeted than those based on pure intuition or other, less direct forms of information gathering. Adelbarr recommended both tuning current projects and designing more effective future strategies from the ground up.

Learn more about Adelbarr’s four steps to better consumer information usage, here.

What Marketers Can Learn From GDPR As They Get Ready For CCPA

This week’s final insight involves another kind of information that isn’t read as often as it should be – the text of important legislation that marketers will have to follow in the years ahead.

Contributing to AdExchanger, zeotap’s Guy-Thomas Barbier highlighted the contents of the California Consumer Protection Act, a state law that will affect corporate use of consumer data, starting on Jan. 1, 2020.

Barbier specified that though CCPA technically applies to only California residents, businesses will have a difficult time determining which of their visitors are from the Golden State and treating them differently. As such, businesses will have to start applying the new rules, which are based around letting consumers opt out of data collection.

Your digital marketing efforts, as they exist today, may not measure up to CCPA’s standards, which means you can follow the lead of organizations that changed their operations to comply with the European Union’s strict General Data Protection Regulation. In this process, you’ll have to either become well-versed in CCPA’s various clauses or bring in someone who is – Barbier noted that external consultants are offering to train workforces.

Read more about Barbier’s suggestions about addressing CCPA-related changes here.

Whatever your exact area of interest, November can be the month that you roll up your sleeves and start tinkering, finding out how the processes, algorithms and regulations of your industry work.