Big data isn’t going anywhere, and it is growing exponentially. Most people in the business world know that there is no shortage of data. As a whole, the general public has never had access to so much data. Currently, the world has so much cloud data that it could cover the entire state of Texas. Data is exciting, but at sometimes it can also feel incredibly daunting.
Most companies use only about 12% of the data that they have available. The other 88% could be extremely valuable but is being left unanalyzed. The most significant barriers for most companies is deciding on whether or not they should outsource, or if they should hire a team in house to sort through the data. The general rule in the industry is you should spend 10% on paying for a program or tool to access the data and 90% on qualified brains to analyze it.
Having intelligent humans to sort through the data allows your company to find new and innovative ways to connect with your target audience through data—and the best way to do this is to translate the data into content.
Majority of the data that a company collects is valuable—valuable being a relative term. Data can be used to fine-tune operations, increase sales, roll out new product lines and create social media content.
That’s why innovative marketers are capturing this otherwise discarded information and using it for an entirely different purpose: content marketing.
If you’re interested in trying this out for yourself, you have come to the right place! Below are 4 tips for successful data-driven content marketing.
1. Internal Data is Your Friend: Internal data is excellent for making in-house decisions, but it is also your own original data that can say a lot about your brand. This data doesn’t have to be top-secret; instead, utilize some of the internal data to provide value and to engage your target consumer.
2. Use Visuals to Highlight Data Points: The human brain responds best to visuals, we’re continually searching for visual cues to make connections and associations. We are wired to remember visuals, John Medina, author of BrainRules, said, “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a (relevant) picture, and you’ll remember 65%.”
Mr. Medina’s research rings true, as online content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. You are truly missing out if you are not focusing on visual cues. However, it is essential to make the visuals impactful. As the Nielsen Norman Group’s eye tracking study states that users pay attention to information-carrying images that are relevant to the task at hand, but they ignore purely decorative images that don’t add real content.
3. Choose Data Points that are Contrary to Common Sense: Choose stories or visuals that stand out, step outside the status quo and say something bold, brash, audacious, and forward. The most compelling stories say something new or what people are too afraid to say out loud. You want to capture attention on the internet and stand out from all the noise, what’s a better way to do this then to educate and engage your audience. It’s best to use your own data or your own observations from your data to launch this kind of message; it also solidifies your position as someone who can talk on the topic and invites customers or potential customers in on the data that you are sharing.
4. Look for Trends: Look for trends in your own data or other trend programs like Google Trends to see how your data correlates with what’s trending in your industry. If your data corroborates a trend then great, you’re riding the wave—talk about it. If your data is in contrast to such trends then great, you’re rogue—talk about it. When looking for trends, you want to review multiple sources of data, internal and external, to find patterns. Then use these trends in content assets, such as blog posts, infographics or reports.