The focus of the General Data Protection (GDPR) regulation is to ensure a simplified and unified approach to the protection of personal data by companies located in Europe—as well as any company that does business with any EU residents.

With the enactment of this updated GDPR EU regulation, you may be wondering how this could impact your business.

Consider the following information identifying the relationship between GDPR and content marketing so you can be more prepared to handle impacts it may have on your company.

Better Lead Engagement

With the new GDPR EU regulation, marketers should not look at this as a stumbling block to their content marketing and lead generation strategies. Sure, you need to comply with obtaining definitive permission from leads who opt-in to your lead funnels and lists.

However, as Internet privacy expert Simon Carroll said, “When someone grants permission they are acting consciously, becoming an active participant rather than a passive source of data to be pillaged.”

Basically, getting a lead’s permission to interact with them through further engagement is a central focus of content marketing. Start respecting the lead as if they were already a customer and treat them the same way — as an active participant with your brand. This can greatly enhance the way you engage with them because more personal data is freely given rather than gathered online through searches. This way you can optimize aspects of your content from product descriptions all the way to full blown content strategies

Three Key Factors

Making sure your content marketing strategy is compliant with the updated GDPR EU regulation may seem overwhelming. However, if you focus on three key factors regarding the way data is used, you’ll positively impact your business through improved lead and customer engagement.

  • Obtaining Specific Permission – With regard to sending promotional content via email to leads, you need to ensure that you have specific opt-ins in place. No assumptions can be made that leads want your promotional content simply because they contacted you. Make sure that your opt-in forms include more than the usually requested contact information.

To be GDPR compliant, any lead forms must include an opt-in box to be checked clarifying that the lead agrees with your privacy policy and terms. Include an opt-in box for any promotional materials such as receiving your email newsletter, sales and special offers, and other brand information. Simply listing a note under the contact information that they agree to your terms and privacy policy by responding to your free trial is not GDPR compliant.

  • Easily Accessible Data – Marketers must comply with GDPR regulations by ensuring that their leads and customers have the “right to be forgotten.” This updated regulation allows people the opportunity to maintain superior control over how their personal data is obtained and used. This includes easy accessibility to the data if they want to invoke their right to be forgotten and have their data removed.

This “right to be forgotten” ruling from EU Justice Court can impact your business by forcing you to allow your leads or customers easy access to their data. One example for compliance is to make sure you have a user-friendly unsubscribe link in all of your email marketing templates that you use to engage with leads and customers. Integrating links to user profiles is a secondary way to comply. This allows users of your brand to easily manage any email preferences like opting in or out for promotions, important messages, product information, special offers, invitations, and press releases.  

  • Streamline Data Collection – Marketers need data to survive and thrive in their industries. Without personal data from leads, they cannot hope to improve conversion rates and start cultivating positive engagements with customers.

However, compliance with GDPR means that you need to streamline data collection so that you only collect relevant data that you need. You cannot simply start collecting all kinds of personal data that you may need but is not proven to be relevant to current and future engagements with the lead or customer. Again, this can seem over-the-top, but if you cannot provide a relevant reason why you need the data, don’t try to collect that specific information. Focus on what you need and forget about extraneous details.

Be sure to comply with these regulations and don’t contact any leads or customers who have not specifically opted-in to receive your brand information. Flybe sent emails to 3.3 million people that were listed in their database to ascertain whether or not they had the correct details and they were fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office. These subscribers had previously unsubscribed.

Complying with the updated GDPR regulation is simple if you follow the basic rule of only communicating with leads or customers that have specifically requested further contact with your company. Make data easily accessible to leads or customers and streamline the data collection process.