Brands generally focus on the quality of the written word when creating articles, blogs, whitepapers and other resources, but a new study from SurveyMonkey suggests that excellent work can fail to have the desired impact if it does include cold, hard data.
Consumers value content that is backed up with data from trusted sources. Three-quarters of adults believe that content with data is more trustworthy, and similar numbers say that it is also more persuasive. Meanwhile, 82% show a preference for reading an article anchored by data compared to an article based entirely on a writer’s opinion.
While the importance of data and analytics in supporting marketing decisions has been trumpeted regularly in recent months, marketers may not be aware of the importance of using data within content.
“When you bring research and data into your content, you’re instantly incorporating voices and perspectives outside your own,” says SurveyMonkey’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Morgan Molnar.
Data is crucial for today’s discerning consumers then, but how do you incorporate it into campaigns correctly?
Infographics are an ideal medium for serving up useful data and statistics for audiences. Blog posts, articles, e-guides and white papers also tally well with the data-driven concept.
Using data is not as easy as it seems, however, as it must be well researched.
“Even though many types of research and survey software are readily available, not just anyone can ‘do research’ successfully,” says the Content Marketing Institute’s Research Director Lisa Murton Beets.
If you want to collect first-party data to support content, you must first identify a purpose for the research. Try to come up with a survey with questions that are relevant to the issue at hand and then “follow up” on important points to understand the underlying sentiment so that a complete and accurate story can be attained. A sample size of at least 1,000 people is recommended.
Half of people aged 18 to 34 say that content with data is more entertaining, and a mix of table visualisations and text-based data formatting is best to keep people engaged. Whether you want to conduct your own surveys or use findings from other trusted sources, data should underscore all engaging content marketing output.