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9 Great Ways to Use Data in Content Creation

Creating content that works requires you to make informed decisions as opposed to relying on guesswork or throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

By Hammad HassanPublished 6 months ago 3 min read
9 Great Ways to Use Data in Content Creation
Photo by Алекс Арцибашев on Unsplash

To make these informed decisions, you need to focus on data-driven marketing and how it can help you collect, analyze, and apply data to your content.

If you’re running out of blog ideas and unsure how to use data in your content, keep reading to learn the best ways to use data before, during, and after the content creation process.

As a marketer, you need to use data at three stages: before creating content (to determine the type of content you create, who you’re creating for), during content creation (to shape narratives, give scale, etc.), and after content creation (to analyze how well your content has performed).

How to Use Data in Content Creation

Let’s consider how to use data properly at different stages of the content creation process: before, during, and after.

1. Using Data Before Content Creation

Just as no one sets out to build a house without first calculating the cost, so too should marketers not create content without looking at what the data says first.

Insights from data can help you know what type of content to create, who to create it for, and the best format to present such content.

Here are some specific ways to use data before you start creating.

Conduct Keyword Research

Before creating any piece of content, the first step is to know the topics you want to talk about or the keywords you want to target.

Since one of the primary goals of content creation is to engage with an audience, it’s crucial to uncover the queries they’re searching for online. Keyword research is how you get valuable insights (data) into these queries.

While conducting keyword research, it’s crucial to analyze the intent behind a search — whether it’s informational, navigational, transactional, or something else.

Some of the best tools you can use for keyword research include HubSpot’s SEO Marketing Software, Arel="noopener" target="_blank" hrefs, SemRush, etc.

Identify Your Audience

Imagine making the best steaks in town but then trying to sell them to a vegan audience - surely you won’t make any sales. Similarly, even your best pieces of content can have mediocre results if you don’t put them in front of the right people.

Data can help you identify the right people.

Using data, you can remove assumptions about your audience and who reads your content.

Data can tell you things about your target audience, like their age range, interests, emotional triggers, and social media platform where they hang out.

You can use Google Analytics, customer surveys, or some other social media analytics tool to uncover data insights about your audience.

Choose the Right Content Format

After uncovering who your audience is and what they search for online, you can also use data to discover their most preferred content format.

Do they want to read a blog post? Twitter thread? Or see video content like TikTok videos? Instagram Reels?

What the data shows will determine where to spend most of your content creation efforts to generate the highest return on investment.

BuzzSumo and Sparktoro are excellent examples of tools you can use to find the right content format your target audience loves.

2. Using Data During Content Creation

Let’s now consider how to use data while creating content.

Data can breathe life and new significance into your posts when leveraged well. This doesn't mean threading spreadsheets directly into your posts. Instead, you should think about how to responsibly frame the data in a way that will advance your narrative.

By putting data into context and using it to strengthen your point, you can give readers a post that will stay with them long after they've left the page. Here are a few narrative techniques to consider when using data in your posts.

Why It Works

Showing a striking change trend (whether it be deterioration or dramatic improvement) not only brings weight to the discussion but can also evoke an emotional response from your readers.

Show Discrepancy

Isolated on its own, data can fall flat. But put a set of data into context to highlight discrepancies, and you have a strong narrative.

Why It Works

By showing discrepancies between perception and reality or between two sets of data, you can highlight gaps that lead to clear calls to action.

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