The idea of starting with the question of what to sell when creating content is now obsolete. The glut of editorial and marketing content available demands that brands be more relevant to their customers. So, most leading B2B marketers are tapping data sources to tell them what topics are most likely to resonate with their prospects and customers.

One obvious way for marketers to adopt this data-driven approach is through Google Trends. Of all of the topics you can write about, which are spiking on Google? Spending 30 minutes punching topics into publicly available tools gives you a quick idea of what's hot and what's not.

The problem is that those topics are not tied to specific customer segments, so this approach is hardly a recipe for relevance.

To identify and understand your addressable market, you need to be aware of three constituencies of content consumption: a key list of accounts, your database (or CRM), and website visitors.

1. Your key account list is a start

A fundamental part of marketing, a list of your key accounts is critical to identifying who you want to target. In an account-based marketing-focused world, having this list is critical to finding out what topics (through intent data) are most popular to people within these companies. Having one results in more effective marketing and content production.

For example, Big Data-related topics made up three of the top five most aggressively spiking terms across a set of 300 financial institutions early this year, according to Bombora's surge data. For marketers targeting financial institutions, producing content about their solution through the lens of Big Data could potentially result in greater reach and much more meaningful engagement.

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image of Mike Burton

Mike Burton is co-founder and senior vice-president of Data Sales at Bombora, a provider of demographic and intent data for B2B marketers.

LinkedIn: Michael Burton