Creating Data-Driven Content

Marketers salivate over quality data. It helps determine a website’s target demographic, highlight sales and engagement trends, and provides valuable insight into methods that can attract more customers in the target group. But there is a catch. Most websites recognize that keyword-intensive content is crucial to search engine optimization. In fact, it is part of our two-step approach to better SEO content. Yet turning juicy marketing keywords into appealing content can seem like a daunting task. Here are some ways that you can turn to collected data when facing the dreaded writer’s block.

Dig Into Your Website’s Unique Data

Your website may have collections of data that are specific to its operation and that are inaccessible to your audience. For example, Netflix famously collects data about the number of views their films and shows receive, the average watch times, and other relevant data when developing new properties. They do this because they want to make films and shows that will garner more watches in the future, retaining their clientele. You may not work for Netflix, but you can use Google Analytics to review data on popular posts on your website.

How does this help create content? There are a few applications.

Raw Analytics and Adwords

You can check out the engagement rates on your past posts, as well as common searches performed at certain times of year, to get a sense of relevant trends. Use this data to generate keywords that apply to those topics, and to come up with blog posts centered around those ideas. This is the simplest way to use data to drive your content.

Create Your Own Data

If you already have a mailing list or newsletter, use contact information to generate a survey unique to your website. For example, a website centered around a dating app could run a survey for people seeking male partners that discusses whether or not a beard is attractive. Then, use the data from that survey and write a post that analyzes the outcome: “Time to Ditch the Beards, Boys,” or “Clean-Shaven or Full Beard, But Nothing in Between!” Whatever the results of your survey, you will have an immediate topic for a post using data that is unique to your website and provides some new insight to your audience.

Make It Local

Above, we said that marketers salivate over data. Unfortunately, most people don’t. Instead, we want to know how data affects us, personally. We want someone to bring that raw data home to us in a way that we can understand. In the marketing jargon of the day, we want relatability. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do that for an audience member is to use geographic data.

Map Visuals

Most of us have seen graphs of the United States in which each state is shaded or colored based on some metric. Think of an electoral results map in which states are colored in various shades of blue and red based on how intensely they voted Democrat or Republican, respectively. Having this kind of visual on your post can drive home the data for your potential clientele.

Creating an AdWords Campaign

Google Ads (or AdWords) is a great way to get this kind of data. Start a localized campaign to see how your city, county, or state compares with other locations across the country in whatever industry applies to your website. This can give you an idea on the kinds of searches local people make, what kind of content works better for your area versus other states, and can even generate posts about the very data itself. Most people like to learn more about trends in their local area, and you can take this newfound Google Ad data and show them.

Emphasize the Odd

Of course, marketing can benefit greatly from shock value. People are more likely to stay engaged if you surprise them. Here’s an interesting look at how perspective can shock you. Bloomberg recently concluded that it would take $300 billion to prevent greenhouse gas increases and buy another 20 years in which to research solutions to climate change. Sounds like a lot, right? To most of us, it is a lot. A perspective shift occurs when we realize that combining the wealth of three (3) of the richest people in the world—Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates—would cover that cost.

That kind of perspective shift gives rise to a surprise that pulls readers in. When you collect data, emphasize the results in a way that reveals some kind of shock. Look for trends that run counter to common sense, or survey results that turned out contrary to your expectations. These can be fodder for high-engagement content that drives your online marketing strategy forward.

Focus on Quality

It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you need to produce blog post after blog post after blog post to attract new website users. Quantity is certainly a bonus and does help to boost your website’s Google rankings, but it is far better to focus on writing intelligible, interesting, engaging content that truly answers questions being asked by your audience. Not only are you more likely to get a higher number of clicks, but users who click through to your website are more likely to stay on the site for longer if they are interested in the content.

Retention like this is key. While the effect of bounce rates or click-away rates has been debated by experts for a long time, high bounce rates often mean that your marketing and content strategy is insufficient. Even if retaining web users is found to be absolutely irrelevant to your website’s page ranking on Google, increasing the percentage of users on your website for extended periods of time is an admirable goal. Often, users staying on your page means a higher likelihood of their purchasing your services or products, and it usually indicates that your general marketing and content approach is working.