Why Digital Marketers Are Jumping on the Web Scraping Bandwagon


Why Digital Marketers Are Jumping on the Web Scraping Bandwagon


Web scraping and digital marketing are becoming more closely entwined at the moment, with more professionals harnessing tools to gather the data they need to optimize their efforts.


Here is a look at why this state of affairs has come about and how web scraping can be achieved effectively and ethically.


The Basics



The intention of a typical web scraping session is to harvest information from other sites through the use of APIs that are widely available today.


You can conduct web scraping with Python and a few other programming languages, so it is a somewhat technical process on the surface. However, there are software solutions available which aim to automate and streamline this in order to encompass the needs of less tech-savvy users.

Through the use of public APIs, it is perfectly legitimate and above-board to scrape sites and services in order to extract the juicy data that you crave.


The Benefits


From a marketing perspective, data is a hugely significant asset that can be used to shape campaigns, consider SEO options for client sites, assess target audiences to uncover the best strategies for engaging them and so much more.


While you could find and extract data manually, this is an incredibly time-consuming process as well as being tedious for the person tasked with it. Conversely with the assistance of web scraping solutions, valuable and most importantly actionably information can be uncovered and parsed as needed in a fraction of the time.

The Uses


To appreciate why web scraping has risen to prominence in a digital marketing context, it is worth looking at how it can be used by marketers to reach their goals.

Say, for example, you need to find out more about the prospective users of a given product or service, and all you have is a large list of their email addresses provided as part of your mailing list. This is a good starting point, but addresses alone are not going to give you any real clue of what factors define each individual.

Web scraping through APIs will allow you to build a far better picture of these users based on the rest of their publically available online presence. This will allow you to then leverage this data to create bespoke marketing messaging that is tailored to users and treats them uniquely, rather than as a homogenous group.

The same tactics can be applied to a range of other circumstances, such as monitoring prices on a competing e-commerce site, generating leads to win over new customers and much more besides.


The Challenges


Collating data from third party sites automatically is not always straightforward, in part because many sites seek to prevent automated systems from doing this.

There are also ethical issues to consider, and it is generally better to only use information that is public to fuel your marketing efforts, or else customers and clients could feel like they are being stalked.

Even with all this in mind, there are ample opportunities to make effective use of web scraping for digital marketing in a way that will benefit both marketers and clients alike.

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