In a world of clickbait and fake news, authoritative data-driven content has never been more important or highly sought after by journalists and editors.
Data should be the cornerstone of any content marketing strategy; without data, you have a bold claim with little to back it up. In some cases, you can be accused of not having a newsworthy story and the worst case scenario is that you can be accused of falsifying facts.
Strong, data-driven content allows brands and journalists to cut through the noise, with hard, impactful news that’s irrefutable. At Blueclaw, compelling data-driven content is what we do best. Here’s our handy guide for leveraging data for creating link-worthy content.
We’ve touched upon this previously, but data can make or break a content marketing campaign. You may be hoping to receive a namecheck or a link to your website, but there’s only one way to do that – by being useful to a journalist’s readers. If your story is guaranteed to capture and retain an audience it’s much more likely to be featured.
Providing unique data and insight gives the journalist access to information that they may not be able to achieve themselves. This exclusive access is often sought-after by journalists as they need to captivate their readers with impactful news.
There’s a multitude of uses for data within campaigns. Data increases authority, strengthens arguments, supports studies and makes stories more authoritative. Why wouldn’t you want to use it?
Choosing to use data is a great start but you need to be able to leverage it effectively for maximum results. So, what does good data look like? The following checklist is how we differentiate between strong and weak data:
– It has to be unique
Few journalists are interested in data that is widely publicised or easily accessible on the internet, so wherever possible you should aim for unique data. Sometimes that’s not possible, but the way you extrapolate that data, how you use the data and how you tie it into a story can still be unique.
– It has to serve a purpose
What is the purpose of the data you have and why should anyone care? Is it to create a compelling news story? Does it empower your business in a strong case study? Data used for no discernible purpose is like content created without an audience – pointless and ineffective.
– It needs to be relevant
This doesn’t ring true in every instance but if you’re looking to build brand awareness then the data needs to be somewhat relevant to your sector. For example, a car leasing client contacting medical journalists with figures related to NHS budget cuts is going to be very confusing and that client is unlikely to be viewed as an authoritative figure.
– It needs to be overwhelmingly conclusive
A massive data set is useless if the figures don’t lead to anything conclusive. Remember, in content marketing when using data sets you’re looking for unexpected anomalies and key findings that will make people sit up straighter and read more of your content.
– It needs to tie into news values
Unexpected, shocking and relatable data is always going to outperform data that doesn’t have anything interesting or surprising about it, so think carefully about the context and what might appeal to a reporter. If you’re really struggling, take a look at news sites, find the data-led stories and look at how they are positioned to make the most of the data.
– It needs to be digestible
With large data sets it might be tempting to send the media every single survey response or an entire database filled with stats. But, here’s the thing: they don’t want it! Journalists work under extreme time constraints so they need to be able to glance at a story and data set and get the gist of it right away. This makes sense when you consider how most readers skim read and don’t want to wade through pages of stats.
– Good data sells itself
With a strong data set you won’t be struggling to find a news angle or PR hook as the data itself will do the talking. If you’re using a data set to write a press release and the headline and topline stats are writing themselves, then you’re onto a winner.
The data that we source or create as part of our award-winning content marketing varies depending on our campaigns and clients. Of course, there are a few go-to methods we have for sourcing or creating data. These include:
– Desk research
Our content marketing team has expertise in researching and we know how to identify authoritative sources (sorry Wikipedia). We’ll never copy and paste; instead, we combine a variety of trusted data sources to produce something newsworthy and insightful.
– Raw data
Wherever possible, we love to use our own raw data. For our recent campaign Pet Wingman campaign for Webbox, we ran our very own research study to determine if the presence of dogs in profile pictures would affect Tinder and Bumble matches and swipes. This unique data allowed us to gain valuable coverage and links from high-quality news websites such as CBS.
We love a good API and our data analysts are particularly talented at using APIs to extrapolate specific data that we may need for a campaign. Some of our best campaigns use APIs. An example is our Emoji Cities campaign for Leisure Pass Group, which used the Twitter API to find out which celebrities were trending, what topics were in the news and the most popular tweets in every major city, as well as the most popular emoji being used.
It’s not just about the data that you extract, analyse and extrapolate, but how you use it. We’re big fans of creating our own custom metrics and algorithms, which we use to add extra insight that isn’t accessible just from the internet.
Our creation How Rich Would You Be ran existing data on the cost of cryptocurrencies, commodities and companies through a custom-made algorithm that predicted values for the next three months. This allowed us to create discussion amongst financial and fintech journalists about which were the best investment options in the future.
Whether it’s building our own algorithms or designing our own points-based comparative scoring systems, leading with insight gives our clients an edge against their competitors.
For more information on our award-winning content marketing services, or for how we can help you to lead with insight, contact us today.