We are all in awe of the changes that big data has created for almost every industry. The implications of big data is more obvious in some industries than others. For example, we can all appreciate the tremendous changes that data science has created for the financial industry, healthcare and web design.
The impact developments in data technology have had on other industries have gotten far less publicity, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been significant. Academic and public libraries are among those heavily influenced by these changes. Ninety-three percent of public libraries have digital collections. Big data is helping them increase the number of digital resources they offer.
In 2019, Science Publishing Group shared a study on the impact of big data on academic libraries. The study underscored the benefits of using it for customer data storage, media usage and indexing. However, there are a lot of other benefits of using data technology when managing a library.
One of the overlooked benefits of big data for libraries pertains to marketing. Libraries are less popular these days, because people can get so many resources online. Therefore, libraries have to actively market their services to reach new patrons. Big data can help them with this.
Big Data is the Key to a Successful Library Marketing Strategy
Library professionals in both academic libraries and public libraries should be trained marketers and for a good reason. Untrained library staff can really have the toughest time of their working history when it comes to library management.
Such hurdles can become problems, especially when the untrained marketers are trying to find ways to promote your library services and related marketing activities. The same librarians may face challenges when promoting library programs and making marketing plans beyond the usual printing of fliers.
This is where data-driven marketing strategies become so important. Library marketers can use big data to better identify their target demographic, personalize their recommended books for new customers and reach customers more cost-effectively.
Marketing concepts and trends rapidly evolving, as big data plays a more important role. So, some inexperienced marketers may not keep up with these changes that library users need, especially if they aren’t very data savvy. This is where data-driven marketing strategists can be invaluable for library services. They can provide helpful tips, and library resources needed to help them get started.
These tips are based on key library marketing strategies such as search engine optimization and social media management and strategic planning among others. Read on to find out effective marketing skills and information resources every librarian needs to stay in the game.
1. Use Data Analytics to Craft the Perfect Social Media Management Strategy
At the moment, using social media to manage and promote library services may seem to be a little intimidating. This is always the case if you are an upcoming marketer, or your library has a brand new social media account. You also have to worry about wasting a lot of time creating content that simply won’t resonate with your intended visitors.
Managing more than one social media account can easily be overwhelming to untrained library promoters. This is simply because you have to constantly work to create a great social media strategy that goes beyond just posting and engaging with your target audience.
Data analytics has made it a lot easier to manage your social media marketing strategies. You will be able to leverage analytics technology to see what strategies are performing the best. On top of that, a social strategy that relies on using a service such as Sprout Social can enable you to make posts and view each social media account from one platform. Most importantly, Sprout Social will play a critical role in the tracking of your analytics so you may decide what is working and not working for you.
2. Use Data-Driven CRMs to Create a Stellar Email Marketing Strategy
An email marketing strategy is a quick and effective way to reach out to many patrons directly. Strategic approaches to marketing library services works well when your target patrons are not in the library.
With an email marketing strategy, you can start collecting all important contact information with the help of sign-up sheets. You may carry out this task right in the library, information centers, or at conferences. Once you have obtained the right information, you may proceed to create an up-to-date newsletter sign-up box and upload it to your library’s website homepage.
A lot of customer relationship management (CRM) tools are great for handling these tasks. They use large data repositories to keep track of all of your customer details, which makes tracking customers much easier.
To come up with specific lists of contact information, you may require services like MailChimp and Constant Contact. These vital marketing tools will use databases to enable you to organize contact names of patrons such as legislators, local teachers, job seekers, and others in specific demographics. Whenever you want to share this information, you can just blast all personalized emails to your lists at the press of a button.
3. Create a Data-Driven Search Engine Optimization Strategy
For most librarians, search engine optimization (SEO) may sound like a strange tool for marketing of library and information services. However, SEO as it is commonly referred to, is one of the search engine marketing strategies that you should encourage your employees at the library to apply in their market research strategy.
Big data is helping improve SEO strategies. SEO strategists use big data to uncover link building opportunities by data mining backlinks to competitors, discover overlooked keyword opportunities and assess the likely performance of different webpage formats.
On the flip side, you may not realize the importance of SEO in social networking if you are running a small library within a close-knit community. Regardless of this downside, you can still use SEO to help you steer your target audiences to your library’s website if you use the right data-driven SEO strategy. Turn to Google Analytics and Moz to help you identify or track your webpage traffic, resolve web problems like broken links and improve your website presence.
4. Adopt a Digital Signage Strategy
You can as well make your marketing strategies for libraries effective by the use of digital signage. The digital signage can display information about your library events, opening and closing hours, and show the content of your library in the form of PowerPoint files, Word, or PDF on crystal clear screens.
Digital signage can help you advertise special offers at your library at the press of a button. They can as well play a crucial role during new librarian and patron orientation. Most importantly, signage can strengthen library security even at university libraries. All you have to do is to incorporate your newly acquired digital signage screens into your library security strategy and everything else will fall in place much to your delight.
Key benefits of adopting a digital signage strategy include the following:
- Increase in patron motivation with rewards and gamification
- Impressing library users with compelling photos and video content
- Showcasing library facilities for user satisfaction
- Maintaining secure and central control of available content while depending on remote updating
- Reference services and management
Big Data is a Big Deal for Library Marketing
There are many things data professionals can learn from librarians. However, librarians also benefit form data.
In fact, libraries are more dependent on big data than ever before. In addition to using big data to store resources, they are also using it to improve their marketing strategies. Many marketing strategies for libraries are available today. All these strategies can help you reach out to as many patrons as possible in addition to enhancing librarianship. Choose the most appropriate strategies, implement them with data technology, and use them to promote your library services to a wider audience.