October 10, 2014
In today’s digital world, there’s no shortage of the data marketers have on hand, assuming they have at least a basic level of skill to navigate the Internet.
And that’s good news. When leveraged correctly, data really fortifies content.
Case in point? See if you can pick out the most convincing statement:
- Statement A: To anyone who’s paying attention, George W. Bush is clearly the nation’s worst president. With endless wars and a terrible economy, what’s to like about the guy?
- Statement B: George W. Bush is the best president of all time. It’s as simple as that. He kept us safe after September 11th and he seems like a pretty friendly guy.
- Statement C: While many vocal opponents proclaim with vigor that George W. Bush is the country’s worst president, historians actually rank him ahead of six men. Who knows if the 43rd president’s approval rating will climb even higher as time passes?
It appears as though the first two statements are pure conjecture. The third statement, on the other hand, is at least somewhat supported by fact. As a result, statement C is likely to be more convincing.
Your Readers Will Love Your Data-Driven Approach to Content
Generally speaking, the more data you can use to support your claims, the much more likely it is your readers will be convinced to the merits of your arguments. (Of course, you’ll have to strike a fine balance between providing data and not providing too much data.)
If you’re trying to string together random facts to make a cohesive point, chances are you won’t be too successful. Before choosing any old facts, it’s important for you to first understand your customers and what makes them tick. Once you’re confident you do, you’ll know exactly what kinds of data-driven content will appeal to them.
While you can certainly leverage existing research to prove your point – after all, with the wealth of information available on the Internet, you’re sure to find some study that supports your claim – you also have the option of conducting research on your own.
Everyone tosses around the phrase “thought leader.” Why not stop tossing it around and grasp it by becoming one through pushing boundaries and conducting new research?
If you choose to go this route, not only will you be producing original research that is of interest to your customers, there’s a good chance other companies will leverage your research as they produce their own content, linking back to your studies and thereby improving your search engine rankings.
Conducting Your Own Research – It’s Not That Hard!
Let’s say your company produces a single sign-on solution that allows customers to access all of their accounts – Facebook, Twitter, email, financial accounts, healthcare accounts and more – from a single interface. In other words, rather than having to remember a multitude of usernames and passwords, your customers can access all of these accounts with a single pair.
How many accounts do most people have to deal with? How often do they have to change their passwords? How many passwords do they have? How much time do they spend trying to remember which password works for which account?
These are the kinds of questions you can begin asking yourself as you conduct your own research. You already suspect your customers have a hard time managing all of their accounts. Now you need to conduct your research to support that claim.
That’s not as hard as it sounds, either. You can conduct surveys online, put polls or other questions on your website and leverage public data to gather the data you need to make your points most effectively.
OK Great — Now How Do You Present That Data?
Once you’ve gathered the data you set out to, it’s time to begin figuring out how you can best share that data with your customers. After all, there’s no sense in doing research just for the sake of doing research. You’ve got to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Depending on the amount of data you have to share, you can consider the following mediums:
- Infographics: In today’s digitally driven world, infographics are a great way to present data in a clear and concise way. It’s no surprise our attention spans aren’t what they used to be. Well-designed infographics help ensure data is shared in a quick and direct way.
- Blog posts: If you don’t have a wealth of data to share, blog posts could serve as a great avenue through which to share your research. Make sure your blog posts are designed in a Web-friendly way, though, because no one likes to read blocks of text.
- Social media: These days, you can’t argue against the fact social is more important than ever. You can use social networks to tease your research, linking to white papers, case studies or infographics. In other words, you can use social media to market your research by teasing the most interesting nuggets.
The list doesn’t end there, but you get the point. It’s time for you to put your data-driven content strategy to work! Good luck!
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