B2B marketers know there is no shortage of data; most of us are overflowing with it. But sorting through that data and using it in new and innovative ways to connect with your target audience – that’s a different story.
Companies estimate that they’re analyzing only 12 percent of the data they have available. The result? Eighty-eight percent of it is left on the cutting-room floor. And some of this data is valuable. That’s why innovative marketers are capturing this otherwise discarded information and using it for a totally different purpose: content marketing. But how are they doing this effectively?
The Harvard Business Review predicts that data-driven storytelling is positioned to be the next big trend in content marketing. Brands today view themselves much differently than they did in previous decades. They are no longer just advertisers, but also publishers providing large amounts of content through digital newsrooms, podcasts, and other branded content. The goal? To keep their brands and perspectives in front of customers, to build awareness and familiarity. They want to get attention and, moreover, they want to keep it.
Data-driven storytelling leverages the growing availability of data sets to analyze and uncover new angles on stories. But where should you start with your content strategy?
As with any story, the best place to start is with an idea. What are your audience’s pain points, what keeps them up at night? Even if your competitors have addressed this topic in the past, it’s data that will bring it back to life. Which brings us to our next step: searching the data.
Seek internal and external data that confirms or disproves your angle. Once you find the right pieces of critical information, focus on only one or two major statistics. But above all, remember to use the “human element” of storytelling. People are hardwired to pay attention to stories, so integrate these into your content strategy, whether it’s a blog post, podcast, infographic or other piece of content.
4 real examples: how brands are doing it
1. Allstate: driving engagement through data
Allstate has put data at the heart of its content strategy to drive awareness. For example, the company features data-driven insights and infographics on its blog frequently. Recently, it published a fun infographic that harnesses data, titled “What’s Your Car-buying Personality?”