Everyone loves a good story. You wouldn’t expect to find purely promotional content in news publications, nor would you read about mundane stories that don’t relate to our real lives. Neither would journalists, which is why dull content just doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to breaking news.
It’s unlikely that any brand would set out to create mundane content that people don’t want to read, but the problem is that not every brand is packed full of compelling stories and ideas. So how do the majority of businesses that are deemed less glamorous ever get the opportunity to create something that is truly newsworthy in the first place?
The answer is to assess what people are talking about and what problems they are facing, and using this research to generate interesting data that will pique the interest of the press.
Data could be obtained in a number of ways, whether it’s through online consumer surveys, interviews or focus groups. The wonderful thing about the digital age is that most of the information that we need can be created and accessed digitally, so gone are the days where you had to stand outside a supermarket asking passers by for their help. You hated doing it, the public hated you for doing it and the whole sorry situation was just plain awkward.
One of the easiest ways to collect useful information is through a Google Consumer Survey. As you can see from the image below, it allows you to choose a number of respondents, segment your audience by gender and age, and select audience by regions.
The image below depicts the various question formats that you can choose when conducting a survey. As there are plenty of different types to choose from, you will be able to gather an enormous amount of rich and varied data.
Once you’ve selected your preferred format (in this case we chose single answer below) you can manually add the survey question and answers, of course this will vary depending on the format you have chosen. It also provides you with the option to view the survey as the respondent to ensure that it is crystal clear and worded properly.
Once all the survey data has been collected, you can clearly view the results in an easy-to-read bar chart like so.
If you want to really drill down the data, you have the option to segment it by gender, age and location. Google also provides its own insights (top left corner) for instant findings, for example “more over 65s choose recycling than any other age group”. This can save you a little bit of time in the analysis stage.
Data has helped many of our clients develop interesting stories and news angles that have generated some great exposure in major media outlets. It really is worth investing some funds into conducting your own research so that you have something new and valuable to add to people’s lives.
Before you invest all your time creating data, let us demonstrate some real-life examples of how we have done this.
One of our clients, a wallpaper and murals specialist, conducted a survey to find the most attractive city skyline. Their research revealed that consumers thought Venice was the most iconic view, which is a contrast to the regular cityscapes that we are used to seeing. We then used the data to formulate an topical news hook, create a press release and then distribute it. The piece attracted plenty of attention, including from the Daily Express who proceeded to use the information in an article they published online. The article generated exposure for our client and provided a valuable link back to their own website from a reputable news source.
Another client of ours achieved success with a survey they conducted about the things that people look for when buying a home, besides the price. We wrote a press release using the data we collected, which sparked the interest of a leading mortgage website with a huge readership. As the data was interesting and relevant for the publication, it was placed straight in front of the right audience. Alternatively we have also had great success turning case studies and interviews into press releases, these real-life stories tugged at the heartstrings of readers of the national newspapers like the Mail Online.
Data doesn’t just have to inform press releases and written content, sometimes raw data can be transformed into vibrant pieces of visual content such as an infographic. We have followed this formula with a plethora of clients and always had successful results with a number of leading publications sharing and using the infographics that we have created. These can condense huge amounts of information into easy-to-read content that offers a creative and quirky way of viewing the information. With platforms such as Canva coming to the fore, you don’t always need to hire a graphic designer to create some eye-catching graphics to support your blog posts and press releases.
Now you understand how data can generate great content, but how can this affect your business?
By producing your own data, you are more likely to answer a specific problem or add something that your target audience finds interesting. People love content that they can relate to, so if it’s relevant to your target audience, chances are it will be published somewhere. Consumers will be much more likely to convert if they believe that you’re the kind of business that understands their needs.
We have helped a variety of clients produce their own data with successful results. If you want to have a chat about the kind of things that we can do to help your business, then don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01204 977001 or contact us here.