How to Use Dynamic Data for More Effective Content Marketing

numbersFive exabytes of content are generated each day. That’s the equivalent of one billion gigabytes. Every minute, Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, YouTubers upload 72 hours of new video content, Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times, Pandora users listen to 61,141 hours of music, Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos, and Tinder users swipe nearly 416,667 times, according to DOMO.  Not only does this data illustrate a powerful trend – we’re creating and consuming content at an unimaginable pace – but it’s also a great story in and of itself. Do your clients have a similar trove of untapped data just waiting to tell a story?

Dynamic data-based content marketing stories don’t require complex project management solutions or a specialized in-house data team. With the right tools, just about any agency can put the power of dynamic data to work for their clients’ content marketing. Here’s how to get started:

1. Accuracy matters. Infographics and big data visualization go hand-in-hand; they’re so commonly used these days that some marketers have even nicknamed them “infocrapics”. (Yikes!) Don’t just slap a bunch of stats into a chart and call it a day. Confirm that the information is accurate and double check all citations, even if they come from your client. At the end of the day, you’ll be held responsible for any data errors. And, like any good piece of content marketing, be sure that the finished product tells a compelling story that delivers real value to the reader’s day.

2. Use what your clients already have. Plenty of agencies use data in their content market pieces for clients. Most of this data comes from outside sources, however, like industry research firms or public institutions. What about your client’s internal data: could that tell an interesting story? Everyday metrics may not seem interesting on the surface, but with the right story, they can be a powerful driver for compelling, original content marketing. Consider Jawbone, the maker of wearable fitness and health trackers. Jawbone has amassed a trove of interesting data on it wearer’s daily habits, including how people eat differently on Valentine’s Day (55% more steaks and 142% more oysters than usual, in case you were wondering!). While you would never want to reveal sensitive data, aggregated information that focuses on an unexpected industry trend will help your client stand out.

3. Think outside the infographic. Not all data-driven stories need to involve an infographic. Brands like Goldman Sachs are using interactive data visualizations as components to larger marketing campaigns. Charity:water even included an interactive data visualization as part of the nonprofit’s annual report. When you’re dealing with disparate pieces of data, find a single, compelling storyline and let this storyline drive how you present your information. If you do use infographics, be sure that the design is on-point, whether you use an in-house design team, a freelance designer, or an online service like Visual.ly or Infogram. Bad graphic design can kill your content!

Writer Bio: Erin M is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.

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