With 200 million active websites and almost 3 million blog posts published each day, there’s no question that the internet provides its users with an unlimited amount of information.
Even though the average adult in the UK spends 24 hours a week online, the reality is that most content produced either won’t be read or won’t be engaged with. To make things worse, the average human attention span is at an all-time low of only eight seconds, which is one second less than that of a goldfish.
As a content marketer, one solution to this challenge is data.
Data as a storytelling tool
Data has the beautiful ability to act as a content chameleon. The same set of data can be used, tweaked, and presented in a way that’s interesting for a variety of audiences. Pretty amazing, right?
But not only that: data also provides a great opportunity to create visual and impactful assets that help to gain the attention of the people with (wait for it) short attention spans. Moreover, data visuals have the ability to turn you into a journalist’s best friend.
Thanks to unique data sets, a brand can produce content and stories that appeal directly to its audience. In this article on The Drum, Michelle Hill highlights the key things to think about when using data to tell a story, including how to find the right angle (that will resonate with the right people), and how to shape your information into a relevant, appealing narrative. As you might expect, it has a lot to with turning complex data into digestible, simplified information.
Sourcing the data
I know what you’re thinking: “We’re not like Spotify or Monzo, we don’t have any data that people would find interesting”. Wrong!
First, every company owns data, whether it’s quirky customer story insights, behaviour and spending analytics or something else – the point is that all data offers exclusive information that is unique to your business. Missing out on the opportunity to leverage data would also mean missing out on PR opportunities too.
Second, combining your own data with other sets of pre-existing data can help you ‘spice up’ your narrative and find new insights and angles that weren’t previously apparent.
How data can drive results
There are plenty of companies that are turning towards more data-driven content. Bloomberg’s 30-person data journalism team have seen the direct effect of this with a 19.3% monthly average increase in traffic year-over-year. Data graphics seem to be a key factor in this success, with the team relying heavily on data visualisations and charts – aka evergreen pieces of content that can be produced and distributed in minutes.
The bottom line is that creating unique, insightful content is tricky, particularly in today’s increasingly crowded sphere of information where brands are fighting for everyone’s attention. Using your own data enables you to offer both your intern audience and journalists information that nobody else can. In other worlds, it’s an excellent way to stand out in the crowd.