Decoding data – driven stories: Dealing with data gatekeepers for an insight-driven story

Any good communications professional – whether they appreciate the fast-paced agency life or prefer to strategise in-house – will at some point push for a story based on data-driven insights. On the surface, this approach always seems like an easy and effective method to land a credible story: procure data that complements your brand narrative, and pitch it to your target audience. 

But those who have worked extensively with data will tell you it’s never as easy as it seems. 

But never fear! Here’s a rough guide to getting started on your next data-driven story: 

Start with the end result in mind 

Data-driven stories typically involve multiple parties, from PR agencies to in-house communication managers to data scientists or analysts. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to hear various forms of this frustrating yet classic exchange: 

“Could you share what kind of data you’d have available?”

“Well, we have a lot of data. What kind of data do you want and how are you going to use it?”

“Well, we need to see the data first before we know what we can do with it.”

“Well, we won’t know what’s going to be relevant unless you tell us what data you need.”

Ad infinitum, ad nauseam. 

As communication professionals, the onus is on us to put an end this conversational stand-off. Keep in mind is that while the data gatekeepers are usually specialists in data analysis, they may not necessarily know what goes into creating a story with data. As such, it should always be the communication professional’s responsibility to first outline what they are trying to achieve.

This should be done by providing a detailed overview of what the brand is trying to communicate, while giving them enough flexibility to propose what kind of data would best fit the narrative. 

For example, if a food-delivery company wanted to craft a story on how their service is helpful to F&B vendors, then a communication professional would need to construct a brief for the data specialists. That brief would include details on the general overview of the story, the kind of information would be of interest to both media professionals and F&B vendors, and other factors which would provide a well-rounded perspective. 

Value, Variety and Viability

But what actually makes a good data-driven story? First and foremost, it’s the value the data brings to the target audience. For marketing collaterals that cater to a specific demographic, this is relatively straight-forward – but content that doubles as a media pitch needs to be relevant to the target publications, too. 

It sounds like common sense, but it’s very easy to get stuck using data that is entirely self-serving or doesn’t provide any valuable insights. For example, there was a report which found that “companies that performed better in marketing metrics were more successful”. That’s akin to saying that athletes who run faster win more medals. Duh. Make sure your insights are impactful enough to provide new information and potentially affect business decisions. 

Returning to our example of a food-delivery company, instead of talking about average delivery times, why not talk about peak ordering times, trending cuisines, or other consumer behaviours? These are data points vendors could potentially use to tweak their operations, and that the media could also find interesting. 

Next up is the variety of data available. While it’s good to lead with a strong statistic (for example: over 40% of all office workers in the CBD area use food delivery for lunch), a good data-driven story goes beyond this. One way to map this out is to first start with the key statistic and expand the width and depth of the data. In the food example, depth could refer to data about popular types of cuisine, and the reasons for their popularity (price, convenience, availability) – or it could mean examining the same statistic, but from a different point of view (the percentage of people ordering food in the heartlands during dinner time). 

Lastly – and arguably most importantly – is the viability of the data. This is a little tricky as different industries and publications have different interpretations about what is considered “viable” data, but as a general rule of thumb, the larger the data sample, the better. It’s also important to note that if you start to carve out demographic insights, you don’t end up with a respondent pool that is too small. 

Collaborate and Pivot with your Data Gatekeepers

Once a solid brief has been put together, it’s time to start working with your data specialists. With a more definitive end-goal in mind, these professionals are in a better position to provide advice about the type of data which works best for the story – which is where communication professionals need to be flexible enough to pivot their perspective if needed. Another common stumbling block at this stage is working with data that goes against the chosen narrative. 

In our food delivery example, the data may show that overall deliveries are on the decline – but all is not lost, The communications and data teams need to investigate a little deeper to see if there’s an angle which aligns with the narrative of the overall story, while still providing the value to the target consumer. Perhaps the drop in deliveries could be attributed to the fact that people are looking for healthier options, or they prefer to order and collect their food.

The piece could then lead with a controversial statistic, before bringing the story back to align with the narrative. But of course, it should be noted that sometimes data can only be stretched so much, and if the picture the data paints is overwhelmingly negative, then perhaps silence is the wiser choice. 

There are of course many other factors that come into play and every data-driven story would have a different process, but by starting off with a clear objective, while balancing flexibility to shift the story where the data leads, communicators can land data-driven stories that are relevant and impactful.

Need help dealing with data specialists for a story where data is the hero? We can help: [email protected]

Using data to get media attention isn’t as hard as you think

Your company is not special. Your product is probably not “revolutionary”. Very few people care that your best-selling system has a new feature – and I guarantee no one cares that you hired a new CFO.  

Sorry (not sorry) for the hard truths, but the simple fact is that most companies still don’t understand what makes a good story. What you think makes a great story is probably not the same as what a journalist considers to be a great story – this is mainly because journalists know their readers won’t care about what you have to say. To make things harder, shrinking newsrooms translate to journalists being more stretched than ever, so your press release will often go unread and that interview you pitched will likely never happen.

Now that’s all out of the way, it’s time for the good news: the best stories you possess have actually been at your disposal this whole time. Okay, there might be some digging around to find the right spreadsheets, but the point is you’re probably already sitting on a goldmine and you don’t even know it. 

Because the way to get a journalist’s attention is with – say it with me now – DATA! 

Even if you don’t have anything interesting to say, you can create news with data. When handled the right way and moulded into a usable story, data can deliver the media attention you have always wanted, but have never been able to achieve – even with paid content. 

But first, a quick PR lesson

Before we can talk about why data is essential to your PR strategy, we need to touch on why public relations might not currently be working for you. If you’ve been burned before by agencies that promise the world, but only hand over a ‘strategy’ that relies on press releases, then this is especially relevant for you: 

Despite what you may think, you are not important. A story is never going to be about how awesome your company or product is – that is not news. News is a story that’s broader than an announcement of something new (unless that new thing is incredibly timely). News is something that has impact and affects people’s lives or businesses. It’s timeliness, something close to  what we value, and something that carries a human interest angle or solves a conflict. News is unique and it carries consequences. News is not hyperbole and exaggerated claims of being “the best”, “the newest” or “the most revolutionary”. 

Your goal to get the media’s attention is to provide a reason for them to write about you. This means selling them a story, not a product, and avoiding your usual press releases chock-full of corporate jargon that says a lot about, well, nothing. If your press releases and pitches haven’t been picked up, it likely because you or your agency haven’t figured out how to tell your story in a compelling way. You need to speak the journalists’ language and give them information that can be turned into news – this is why they love data. 

Create the news for journalists using your own data 

If you think the only way to share news is via press releases, then how are you going to get anything written about you in between each pitch? When there’s no news to share, data is a vehicle that can be used to create news and provide new avenues and angles for journalists to explore, based on real, unique statistics that tell a story. There are a couple of ways you can do this: 

  1. Use a research agency to run a survey: This is the most expensive option, but a streamlined way to gather new data on a particular topic or issue across a broad sample. A good PR agency will get involved at the early stage of survey creation, ensuring the right questions are being asked to get the headlines you want at the other end.
  2. Run your own survey: You might not have the money for a research agency, but perhaps you have a big database of clients and customers? There are an abundance of online tools that allow you to send out surveys and questions to your existing and potential customers. Some agencies (*cough cough, hello!*) can help you manage this entire process from end-to-end to ensure you get the best and most accurate data.
  3. Delve into your own existing data: Chances are you’re sitting on a mountain of data that can actually be used to tell a story – you just need someone to identify what that story may be. This is why it’s often good to connect your communications team or agency to other parts of the business (such as the sales team) to better understand what data you have, and then to provide guidance on how it can be used in PR.
  4. Use third party research paired with your own thought leadership: If you don’t have any of the above, it doesn’t matter. There is so much research out there you can draw from to create interesting whitepapers and tip sheets on a topic. Add in some high-level commentary and thought leadership from your company’s key spokespeople, and you’ve got yourself a pretty compelling piece of content to share. 

Reverse engineer your approach 

When constructing your survey and data-led approach, you need to consider your end goals and work backwards from the headlines you want to achieve. This is why it’s so important to work with an agency partner that has a strong editorial team and understanding of how news editors operate. If you can provide a media outlet with exactly the right kind of headline and angle, you’re more likely to get the epic coverage you’re craving. 

For example, let’s say a recruitment company is looking to increase its contract roles in light of the growing gig economy, and needs to attract more employers to enlist their services in filling these roles. Ideally, they’re hoping to gain awareness via a PR push that gets their company name and expertise in front of their target demographic across trade and business publications.

The agency, understanding these goals, suggests a survey of both employees and employers in their target market and industries to find out what the biggest needs, challenges, and misconceptions are about gig economy workers, their salary expectations, key attraction factors and ultimate career goals. The survey questions are constructed to gather the most relevant information that can be used individually and comparatively, to result in potential compelling headlines such as: 

“One in three companies in Singapore are expanding workplace benefits to cover ‘gig’ talent” 

Or 

“Growth in Singapore’s gig economy workers set to grow by 30% in 2020” 

By understanding the types of headlines a client wants to achieve (specific to each target publication, of course) the agency can construct a better, more effective survey that asks the right questions. The end result? A compelling story that can be told in a newspaper, via a live broadcast interview, or written into a professionally designed report to share with both media and client customers. 

We won’t lie: a lot of work is required to turn this from ideation to execution, but the outcomes are well worth the effort. In fact, for one of our clients, a SG$15,000 investment in data-led insights resulted in a 3,000% ROI via the creation of a report and a push via PR and lead generation campaign.  

The content you can create with the right data is a story that never stops being told. Your data belongs to you, and you can use it across social media, to write blogs or to create entire advertising campaigns. You can continue to refer to your unique statistics and data-led insights for years to come, building crucial credibility and educating your customers not only on what you do, but why they should give a crap.

Need help talking to journalists? Drop us a line at [email protected]

 

How B2B brands can make tech narratives sexy

We hate to break it to you, but not all technology gets consumers equally excited. 

Think of the immediate onslaught of news articles and social media posts that accompany the announcement of a new Apple product. Now, contrast that with the response to the latest innovation announced by an integrated business-to-business (B2B) software solution people use every day. You see what we mean? 

Customers might not know it just yet, but they do come in contact with the products of B2B business more often than they think – ever used Ninja Van’s automated chatbot? That software is provided by Zendesk, a customer service software company.  Relatability is exactly what it takes for people to start caring about what tech brands, especially B2B ones, have to say.

But why should consumer perception matter to your B2B tech businesses?

Much like how B2B brands turn to their customers for validation,  consumer tech companies also look to customers – the end-users of B2B brand products – for theirs. By playing a significant role in shaping the way people (positively) perceive your customers, you boost the credibility of your own brand. 

If you ever find yourself trying hard to connect with an audience who has no idea 5G is upon us (let alone 6G), here’s how you can talk about technology without sounding like you’re quoting The Matrix.

SIMPLIFYING JARGON

To the average person, the tech industry seems to be full of long-winded acronyms, nonsense words, and seemingly meaningless catchphrases (“SEO optimisation,” anyone?). Though it can be hard to resist using techspeak in promotional material, that won’t impress your audience – instead, it could just confuse them, or worse, drive them away. 

For instance, a company may install a complicated new software which improves employee efficiency and productivity. However, if the audience is unable to understand what exactly the software does for them, and are not educated on how to go about using it, they’ll probably stick to doing things the way that works best, even if it is comparatively slow or clunky. Similarly, B2B software companies dealing with complicated products should drop the technicalities and instead articulate the value they bring to their customers. 

DATA-DRIVEN NARRATIVES

If you have data, insights, or even simply announcements that impact the local and regional tech or businesses community, you should work to create interesting story angles centred around your and your customers’ data. 

If data is not readily available, though, commissioned reports produced by third-party research agencies can also help you deep-dive into industry trends to produce an opinion piece that also showcases your brand’s technical product capabilities in a non-promotional light.

What’s more,  your data or opinion pieces can be distilled into more digestible satellite content – short-form pieces like social posts and blog posts – that can grab readers’ attention and then funnel those who want to know more towards your website, which can in turn help boost both awareness and generate leads.

CUSTOMER CASE STUDIES

Software companies who also act as vendors for their consumer tech clients can sometimes blur the lines between genuine thought-leadership and an opportunistic, promotional plug – especially when pitching to the media. For instance, if you’re a cloud service provider, it would be natural for you to speak with the media about how “organisations need to be cloud-ready” before 5G networks arrive.

But instead of telling others how something should be done, why not show them? The success stories of your customers make for great case studies, which prove the success of your products and services when applied in the real world. 

But here’s the catch: when sharing case studies with trade publications or other news outlets, B2B brands must understand and be comfortable sharing the spotlight with other parties – otherwise the neutrality of the story might be undermined. 

REACTIVE PITCHING

‘Reactive pitching’ – often called ‘newsjacking’ – is the art (if you will) of getting your organisation’s key messages into media coverage by riding on the back of breaking news. To leverage reactive pitching effectively, you should think about the type of data or thought-leadership your company spokesperson can bring to the table in the event of major tech-related news – brainstorming possibilities and having a ready-to-go bank of ideas is definitely not a bad idea. 

As a B2B brand, you likely work with partners that provide service to consumer tech companies. Work with them to tap into their available data in order to create compelling news hooks for journalists – especially those in the tech and business world. By inserting yourself into the conversation subtly and tastefully, you’ll be the expert on the situation and topic at hand. 

These tactics are for tech companies, as newsworthy corporate announcements may not always be available, and even when they are, they might be too technical for audiences of mainstream or business titles. By creating user-friendly content and positioning your business leaders as industry experts, you’ll be able to more easily get the word out about your company.

Are you a B2B tech company in need of figuring out how to tell people what you do? We can help uncomplicate things. Drop us a line at [email protected].

Tips on using PR to build a brand for small businesses

For most small businesses with limited resources, public relations tend to be overlooked as a viable business strategy.. However, an effective public relations strategy can be incredibly valuable. In many cases, it is a cost effective way of getting your brand out there and building a strong reputation without the expensive cost of traditional advertising.

So, if you run a small business, consider these tips  to get the right kind of attention your brand needs – all without breaking the bank:

Find the right people

Journalists are constantly getting emails with story pitches that don’t often relate to their beat. To cut through the clutter, make sure what you are sending their way is relevant to their publication, and what they cover.

Do your research to find out who you should be targeting, and spend time understanding their publication. Reading what journalists are currently tracking and covering is a good starting point in building a media list. Remember, journalists who are already interested in the space you’re in are more likely to publish what you have to say.

Know what the media needs

Sure, your story is important to you, but is it newsworthy? The key to a well-written press release is not imbuing it with flowery language; it’s nailing down a compelling news angle and getting straight to the point. Journalists are often on the go just like you, so go with a punchy headline to grab the journalist’s attention, and keep it short and sweet.

Strike while the iron is hot

Sometimes, tying your announcement in with a timely moment can help give it an extra boost through that connection. If you’re launching a new product, do a bit of research to find out if there are any upcoming events, occasions or even trending topics that are relevant to your product. Use a recent trending topic that is linked directly to features of your business or business model. For instance, McDonalds struck gold with their nasi lemak-inspired burger by launching it ahead of Singapore’s 50th National Service anniversary. A clever spin on a classic dish, the burger was a massive hit thanks to its local appeal and opportune release date.  Connecting the two can enable you to tap on that trending issue.

Communicate your expertise

Even as a small business owner, you are still an authority in your field. Communicate that expertise by positioning yourself as an expert in the industry, and build yourself up as a thought leader with a story to tell the media. There’s always a story to tell, you’ve just got to find the right angle to communicate it. The key here is to step out of living and breathing your product. Showing thought leadership requires you to go beyond just how amazing your product is. You will have to demonstrate your understanding on the issues faced by your target audience and how you can solve them.

Make it visual

In today’s multiscreen world, people respond well to visuals. If you’re pitching a story involving data and numbers, putting them into one neat infographic can bring your story to life. You will be surprised at how much a good image can enhance your press release or media kit. It is definitely worth the investment to have a professional come in to take pictures of your products and spokespeople.

Getting your brand off the ground when you’re running a lean operation may be a daunting task, but when done right, an effective PR campaign tailored to the needs of your small business can do wonders – even with limited resources.

Need a helping hand on getting your brand and voice out there? Reach out to [email protected]

Millennial-speak: Let data do the talking

A data-led guide to marketing to millennials

They say we are prone to spending money, careless with personal data, and technology is second nature to us – well, it’s partly true. But it doesn’t mean waving your brand in front of our faces will guarantee you our attention.

Trust me, I’m a millennial and you bet we’re discerning. But I promise you that we are fiercely grounded in authenticity and self-expression. As digital natives (that’s what they call us), our cyber footprints are literally all over the internet.

But remember one thing before marketing to us: Please, get to know us first!

As we (the entitled millennials) are not all the same, you should use insights to tailor kick-ass marketing and PR campaigns to us. Here are 3 sure-fire avenues to get to know us (aka collecting data) and help your brand to zoom in on the ever so critical Gen Y:

Basic Data Analytics

Whether it’s Google Analytics, Facebook or Instagram insights, the basic level of data is easily accessible to all marketers and brands. Studying the data will reveal where online traffic originates, what posts are most popular and, more importantly, will tell you what topics drive the greatest engagement from millennial audiences. So, dive into the data and see where your target audience and millennials connect.

Social Sentiments

Social listening tools like Meltwater can help you track conversations across a variety of online and social media platforms that may not necessarily be owned by you. As the millennial world moves fast, you want to quickly pick up on online conversations and the sentiments surrounding them. Are they positive or negative? Can you use them for trend-jacking?

Third-party Research

Looking at a bigger picture, you want to get research and consultancy firms like Nielsen and Euromonitor involved. With the help of their comprehensive database, you can gain some insights into the millennial pulse.  While the free online samples may not necessarily reveal all that juicy data, they should provide you with an adequate snapshot to point you in the right direction.

Questionnaires

Scalable, easy to conduct and great for getting to know millennials questionnaires can be tailored to suit specific demographics and/or geographics. Considerable effort needs to go into asking the right questions so that collectively the responses will reveal insights that might support your campaign objectives. Using platforms such as Google Forms and SurveyMonkey make it really easy for your business to reach audiences.

Be a Millennial

If you really want to get under our skin (and into our minds), then you should behave like one of us. Get on Reddit, join Facebook and Instagram live events, and watch YouTube videos – don’t forget to read the comments. It’s the most authentic way to connect with us.  I know that millennials have gained quite the reputation for having an inflated sense of entitlement, but once you’re better acquainted with us, you will better understand our needs, concerns and priorities in life.

But just like you too – we agree that personalised treatment never goes out of style. Regardless of the generation, customising your brand’s messaging to your target audience will always be part of the right path.

You want to hear what millennials think about your campaign? Drop us a message at [email protected].

More than words – why PR should embrace data

The world of PR is more than words. As data is becoming increasingly democratised, ‘big data’ buzzwords are flooding into every industry – including PR. While the days of merely managing relationships and clippings are over, data is a highly crucial factor for successful campaigns today. PR professionals are experts in creating original media angles and pitching stories. But data can help to refine and sharpen these angles even further.

Many tech companies find it difficult to justify or see the immediate value of hiring PR. However, the business insights of companies can be the missing piece that helps to showcase thought leadership, gives a new market perspective and makes stories more interesting to the media and their readers.

PR is not product release

Product news releases are a big part of the PR world, but editorial teams have taken a strict stance on not publishing anything too closely-related to product releases. In today’s world, readers are far more discerning about advertising and sponsored content, therefore it’s crucial for media outlets to be objective. This makes it even harder for smaller companies to be heard at all. So, why would companies still hire PR professionals to create and distribute product releases?

A mere product release no longer has much impact in today’s busy media world. Data doesn’t just indicate a number of PR hits – it can actually proof points. Putting things into perspective, data can offer context and new PR angles. Using simple metrics, companies can share their real success stories. No matter if it’s the launch of a new product or industry trends – all of it can easily be quantified with ROI and other gathered data.

Turning data into insights

Collecting data before the conception of the PR campaign can offer key insights, shining a new light on the company’s product release. The successful communication of new products needs not only the accurate description of its benefits but demands a wider business context and key insights from the market. For example, a company offering ICT solutions won’t receive much media coverage with a mere product release. However, paired with a survey insight, such as ‘95% of APAC CIOs are actively seeking help with the digital transformation of their companies’, a product release can become major industry news.

Here are 4 tips to incorporate data into your PR strategy:
  1. Analyse product and market
  2. Interpret data with focus on product-market fit
  3. Align product communication with key market or business insight
  4. Design PR campaign around insights and product

Once you have collated your data from your research, it needs to be interpreted. An analysis is essential in this situation. PR professionals need to be able to slice, dice, and analyse data that drives new insights and interests journalists, whilst ensuring the company is represented in the best possible way.

Need some help to strengthen your PR messages with insightful data? Drop us a message to [email protected]

Fall in love with data to shape your content marketing strategy

The first thing that often comes to mind when someone mentions content, is creativity. That’s almost true – great content is indeed dependent on creativity, but it’s also reliant on data. Data helps guide content towards the next best direction. After all, brands aren’t just shelling out money for nothing – they want to see value and ROI.

Data should never be an afterthought. It should be looked upon as an integral part that can help a business angle its content to accurately reach their audience and drive results. 

So if you’re having trouble filling up your content calendar, look to your data set first. It’ll give you access to the latest trends and insights  – and as well a whole new mindset on how to approach your content marketing strategy.

Here’s where to start:

Step 1: Do your research

Kick off with extensive research on the external data that’s available to you out there. Start with these:

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is great if you’re looking to see which specific keywords/topics are trending. You’ll also be able to see the number of social shares and engagements a particular topic has received. You’ll be in luck if the topic you’re writing about is already trending.

2. Google Trends

Always wondered what people are searching for on Google? Here you’ll find market-specific trending searches and search interest in various topics/keywords.

3. Twitter

Twitter makes it really easy for you to look at what is currently trending – just look to the left on your homepage and you’ll see the number of tweets each trending hash-tag has received. You’ll also be able to view market specific stats relevant to your preferred location.


4. Instagram

Instagram doesn’t quite have the same function as Twitter, but if you tap on the ‘Explore’ tab in your account, you can see what’s popular. Keep in mind that this is tailored according to your behaviour on Instagram, so the results won’t be an accurate reflection of what is truly trending.

Another feature of Instagram is hash-tags. Hash-tags with the most number of posts attributed to them signify popularity. Movements or trends that start on Instagram will usually use a unique hash-tag to group all related posts together as well. For example, take a look at Jamie Oliver’s #MeatlessMondays. Since this began, hordes of other food bloggers and enthusiasts have jumped on the bandwagon to produce related content.

If you’re unsure what hash-tags to use? Check out this link. However, it’s always important to keep your hashtags relevant to your content. For example, don’t hash-tag #dog if your photo is about baking.

5. Facebook

If you’re on Facebook’s mobile application, you’ll be able to see what’s currently trending through a quick tap on the search bar. This mostly changes everyday so if you see recurring topics that have remained on this page, you’ll definitely want to try and angle your content around that.

 

Step 2: Look deeper into your existing content


Recommended reading
: When was your last content audit?

Now that you know what topics people are talking about, you should now take a look at the other side of the coin. An internal content audit will give a deeper insight into how well your current content is performing. This is where you’ll find out what your audience likes, and what they aren’t really receptive to.

For starters you can take a look at your website analytics and social traffic.
Website analytics

Google analytics is a nifty tool for any content marketer out there. Simply set up your  account and copy the unique code on your site (if you aren’t sure how to do this ask your web developer). This tool will offer insights on your web traffic and referrals – you’ll also be able to identify your most popular content pieces in terms of views, time spent and bounce rate.

Social traffic (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)

1. Twitter Analytics – this can be found on the top right portion of your account.

Here you’ll find tons of useful data, including Tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions and follower growth. You’ll also be able to export these analytics into a useful Excel sheet so you can match these numbers together with other data that you’re analysing.

2. Instagram

If you’ve linked up your Facebook page with your Instagram account to get a business profile, you’ll get access to useful data including number of impressions, reach and engagement for each Instagram post. Simply go to each photo and tap on ‘View Insights’.

3. Facebook

Facebook has a really intuitive way of presenting data. Simply go to your Facebook business page and click on ‘Insights’. This tab will tell you everything you need to know from the thousands of people you’ve reached to the number of people that have liked/un-liked your page in the past month.

For starters, click on ‘Export Data’ and exporting ‘Post Data’. This will show you key information on individual post, such as reach and engagement. But of course, feel free to play around with your Page insights – there is a lot there to explore.

 

Step 3: Set your KPIs

Now that you’ve extracted your internal and external data, the next step is to set your KPIs. With all of your previous research in mind, you should now have a clearer idea of what a good result looks like, and what doesn’t. This would then set you up to decide on achievable and realistic KPIs. Here’s some ideas for realistic goals you can set:

Web traffic

In Google Analytics, you’ll want to set your goals based on your past sessions, new users and page views. If you’re slightly more advanced, you can break the data down to the different channels where your traffic comes from. For example, finding out where the majority of your web traffic comes from, i.e.Google, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter etc.

Engagement

One of the biggest issues that content marketers face is driving engagement from their audience. Because you’ve already done your content audit, you’ll now know what numbers signify a good engagement rate.

On social, you could set goals based on reach, impressions, engagement, link clicks, comments and shares. On your website, you may want to work on improving lead generation from newsletter sign-ups or free source downloads through your content.

Getting started on a content marketing strategy can seem daunting because there are so many factors to consider. But take it one step at a time and it’ll no doubt pay off.

And finally, in the wise words of David Welch, Former Adobe VP of Marketing Insights & Operations, ‘Creative thrills, but data pays bills’.

 

If you need help in shaping and executing your content marketing strategy, drop us a note at [email protected].

 

Up your PR game with data

There are many ways to pitch and attain news coverage for your brand, from launch announcements, funding announcements, acquisition announcements to profile features. But unless you have an extremely strong story angle or a PR team behind you, it can be hard for journalists to pay attention to your big news.

Luckily for us, the use of data, trends and statistics is another increasingly popular storytelling tool. These figures are capable of turning observations into facts, and on a larger scale, impact industry or economic movements as people watch the news closely to make strategic business decisions.

Collecting data is a great start, but it is only half the job done. How you interpret and package the data is what can essentially land you the desired coverage.

Here are 5 reasons why you should be incorporating data into your media pitches:

1. Data doesn’t lie

The media thrive on interesting, accurate stories. Without credibility, they lose value, readership and profitability.

Data today can be easily doctored to serve an organisation’s agenda or to fit story angles, but don’t forget journalists have access to multiple data sources. This means they can easily fact check the accuracy of your story, especially when they notice a huge discrepancy.

For greater transparency, include vital information such as your data research sample size, data collection methods and the period of research. All these factors play a part to the overall credibility of your data.

2. Data makes stories easier to understand

Between simply stating the economy is slow, or telling people how slowly the economy is growing backed by GDP figures, which one would you report as a journalist?

3. Journalists trust data more than gut feelings

A good press release is not without a quote from your company’s spokesperson. But these quotes more often than not solely rely on the opinion of the spokesperson.

Incorporating data into quotes can substantially strengthen and build credibility around your brand and spokesperson.

4. Data doesn’t beat about the bush

Data-led news conveys a stronger story. When sharing data with the media, we always ensure it’s easy to digest. Use imagery such as infographics, visualisations, graphs or charts to present your story.

Journalists can easily pick out what they need, which becomes extremely helpful when they are pressed for time.

5. It’s all about the baby steps

While journalists may not always run your data as a main story on its own, they may use it as a reference point to a larger story. So don’t worry if your research is not published today, just keep in touch with the journalist and see if they can use it in a upcoming story.

Need help transforming your next announcement? Get in touch with us at [email protected].