Data is more than just numbers

Author: Philippa Lowe
Published: 5 February 2019

Data is more than just numbers

If you’re a natural storyteller or content creator, your brain might switch off at the mention of data, statistics or spreadsheets. But any fear you might have of numbers ought to be overcome, because data actually has a lot to say – it’s a storyteller in its own right – and ignoring it can stop your content from thriving. Ignorance is not bliss, after all.

What is data?

You already use data to sell your products and services – all those numbers and statistics that help you to define your customer so you know how to get them to buy from you. Age, gender, location, interests, preferences and even their preferred payment method. All that information helps you create an experience that caters to the customer. That’s what data is at its core – information.

Using data to maximise your content

Creating content is pretty straightforward: you film a video/write a blog post/compose a tweet and send it off into the world and hope for the best. But it doesn’t have to be such a leap of faith; that’s where data comes in.

Third-party tools can be used to gather data but many organisations are able to analyse their past content in order to gather their own data – it doesn’t always need to be complicated. The information you gather can answer almost any question you have:

  • WHO your audience is
  • WHERE they like to consume content
  • WHAT kind of content they enjoy
  • WHAT they’re looking for when they stumble across your content
  • HOW they like to interact

Creating data-driven content is as simple as gathering and analysing the data to answer these questions and then using the answers to come up with new ideas for content and to distribute that content in an effective way.

For example, the data you gather can tell you where your audience likes to consume content and this can help you to decide how you will distribute it:

  • Perhaps they spend a lot of time on your website? Ensuring content that will be useful or informative to them appears as suggested articles while they visit your website is crucial.
  • Do they flit between Facebook and LinkedIn? Pushing your content out through those more traditional social platforms might be the best way to go.
  • Do your products and services fit well with another organisation’s? Sponsorships and partnerships will see your content being put right in front of your audience as they interact with similar organisations.
  • Maybe your audience is more into traditional media so they need to see your content in newspapers or hear you on the radio – paying for advertisements could be the best way to get in front of them.
  • If they listen to influencers more than the brands themselves, it’s a good idea to seek the appropriate influencers out and push content out via them.

There are endless options when it comes to using data to drive your content strategy and it can be overwhelming to consider but the data will give you the answers you need and make the path forward clearer.

Be sure not to treat data like cold, hard facts. Data is accurate information but it is also based on human behaviour, so remember to combine your analytical approach with a big dash of creativity; audiences will never tire of being surprised and delighted.

Do you need help making sense of the data to inform your content strategy? Incredible Communications can help. Email us at http://www.incrediblecommunications.com.au/#contact or call 0414 711 107.