It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of creating content. You churn out blog post after blog post, never quite sure if what you're producing is truly resonating with your audience.
You pick a topic, stuff it full of keywords, inject some stats and data points, and call it a day. But is that really the best way to produce content that beats mediocrity and engages your target reader?
The answer is a resounding no.
What you need is a data-driven content strategy. You need hardcore data to dictate the topics you write about, the keywords you target, and the overall direction of your content strategy. Let's take a look at how you can use data to turbo charge your content strategy.
Utilizing Data Strategically
It's easy to get lost in a sea of data. There are all sorts of numbers, metrics, and insights that you can track and analyze. While data is a valuable tool, you shouldn't rely on it alone to power your storytelling.
After all, data is just a bunch of numbers and stats. It's up to you to use that data to tell a compelling story that engages your reader.
Instead, use data as a foundation on which to build your content strategy. Use it as a guide to point you in the right direction, but don't be afraid to use your own creativity and storytelling ability to elevate your content strategy and produce exceptional content.
3 Ways to Use Data in Your Content Strategy
Supplementing your content strategy with data is a smart move. But how do you actually go about using data to enhance your content strategy?
Here are 3 ways to get started:
Determine which topics are getting the most traffic
One of the quickest ways to improve your content strategy is to analyze which topics already get truck loads of traffic.
Head to Google Trends and type in a few of your main keywords. You'll see how popular those keywords are and how they've trended over time. Google Trends also gives you a fair idea of which related keywords are also popular.
Another tool I love is AnswerThePublic. It's a great way to brainstorm content ideas because it takes your main keyword and generates a bunch of related questions. With lists of data and visualization tools like these, it's easy to figure out a few ideas that you know your audience benefits from.
Once you know which topics are getting the most traffic, you can start to produce more content around those themes. Not only is this a great way to drive traffic to your website, but it's also a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Use website analytics to track reader behavior
Is a particular blog post generating a lot of traffic? Is your target audience endlessly sharing one of your articles on social media?
You now have the perfect opportunity to capitalize on that momentum and produce more content like it.
Website analytics tools like Google Analytics show you which pages are getting the most traffic, how long people spend on those pages, and what percentage of people are bouncing away from your website.
For instance, if a blog post titled "How to Create a Content Strategy with Social Listening Tools" is getting a lot of traffic, consider creating supplementary content like "10 Tips for Using Social Listening Tools" or "The Most Common Social Listening Myths Debunked". Linking to your original blog post will help boost its search engine ranking, while also driving traffic to other areas of your website.
Weave data with storytelling
Industry reports, surveys, and studies are a great way to add substance and depth to your content. But don't just regurgitate the data - use it to tell a story that engages your reader.
For example, a recent report on social media usage in the past 5 years provides some fascinating insights.
But instead of just listing off the data points, use them to tell a story about how social media usage has changed over time and what that means for businesses and consumers. Use that data point to discuss the future of social media and how businesses need to adapt their strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
Weaving data points into a broader story can add context and meaning to otherwise dry information. It's a great way to add depth to your content while providing value to your reader.
Data Adds Value; Storytelling Conveys that Value
Using data in your content strategy is smart, but it shouldn't be the only thing you rely on. Data is a great foundation to build your content strategy, but your creativity, storytelling ability, and voice elevate your content and make it shine.
Always think about what your audience wants to read, and use data as a way to supplement your content strategy - not replace it. Let's chat if you're interested in creating content that balances data and creativity. I'm always looking for new ways to tell stories and engage audiences.