Demystifying Marketing: How Do Algorithms Work and What Role Do They Play In Your Campaigns

Demystifying Marketing: How Do Algorithms Work and What Role Do They Play In Your Campaigns

Team Streams

October 4th, 2021

Demystifying Marketing: How Do Algorithms Work and What Role Do They Play In Your Campaigns

Marketing algorithms….for some marketers they are interesting puzzles waiting to be solved.

However, for most business people and executives algorithms are like the “boogeyman.” A great unknown that is holding content back.

The good news is that most algorithms aren’t as complicated or spiteful as you might be thinking. Understanding them takes a little bit of time, but once you wrap your head around them, that knowledge will lead to more successful marketing campaigns.

In this article, we will demystify marketing algorithms. We will cover what algorithms are, and the impacts they have on your content marketing campaigns. 


What Is An Algorithm?


Algorithms are used in more than just marketing. Used broadly the term “algorithm” refers to a sequence or set of rules that have been designed by developers to create a certain outcome from specific inputs. 

That all sounds kind of complicated and like it would involve a lot of tech and code that will be hard for you to understand. So, to think of it in a simpler way you can take the example of a recipe. When you bake a cake, the recipe is the algorithm that takes the raw ingredients and turns them into your delicious dessert. 

In our daily lives, we are surrounded by algorithms. When you search for something on Google, an algorithm takes billions of pages on the world wide web and in milliseconds presents you with the best matches to help you find the information you are looking for. 

When you log onto Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, the content on your feed does not show up randomly. An algorithm places what it believes to be the most interesting content for you as an individual at the top of your feed. Even if you and a friend follow all of the same accounts on Instagram, the content on your feed will appear in different orders based on what the algorithm knows about your profile (the content you have liked, commented on, and engaged with in other ways). 


What Is a Marketing Algorithm?

When looking at algorithms in marketing, we have the examples above such as search engines and social media algorithms. In addition, there are algorithms that place PPC and display ads, and decide whether your content is shown to users across almost every platform you can think of – from Medium to YouTube.

With the right data, algorithms do the job of presenting the right content to the right persona at the right time so well, that users come back to those platforms time and time again for the personalised experience. 

But what does this mean for the content you create?


What Marketers Need To Do To Create Content With Algorithms In Mind


When you are creating content, you should always be doing it with the intended audience in mind. Creating content specifically for algorithms is never a good strategy – content needs to have a human element. 

However, that doesn't mean that you can ignore marketing algorithms. You should be creating content with algorithms in mind and understanding how they work can help you create content that is easier to distribute and reaches a wider audience. 

Marketing algorithms are an ever-evolving technology. As such, marketers need to keep on top of new developments. You can do this by following tech and marketing blogs. For example, Google has a blog where it announces updates to its search algorithms.

Getting updates about algorithm changes on the platforms you use as they come in or even with advanced notice can help you change your content strategy to ensure updates have a minimum impact on your marketing efforts

Algorithms aren’t there to be taken advantage of. 

And these days they are so intelligent that they can pick up on attempts to manipulate them. 

Gone are the days of black hat SEO where you could stuff a page with a keyword and rank for it. These days you need to be genuine and create content focused on the user (but while also keeping the latest SEO practices in mind). You need to be careful that your domain and content could not be penalised in a future update that tries to weed out manipulative content.

Algorithms are always updating and one of the patterns we see with marketing algorithms is they are constantly trying to provide more personalised results. 

Creating more defined audiences will help you future-proof your content. Rather than trying to target everyone, try to target a specific group of people who will be most interested in your content. 


See inspirations here:


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