When most businesses think about content marketing, they think blogs. They think they need to create a company blog and start blogging every day, and that’ll cover their content needs. And they’re not entirely wrong. Blogs are definitely an effective content marketing tactic and can do wonders for your website’s SEO rankings, but they aren’t the only type of content in your content marketing arsenal.

In fact, there’s a whole world of content out there. So if you only focus on blogging, you’re missing out on all kinds of other opportunities to use content to promote your business.

One way most companies are missing a huge opportunity to promote their businesses is using proprietary data to produce content.

The Power of Data to Create Content

Your company is probably already sitting on proprietary data that can be turned into content that will position you as a thought leader. And if you don’t already have that data, there are lots of ways you can go out and get it. Here are a couple of real-life examples:

  • I once worked for an urgent care electronic medical record company. Their EMR system collected all kinds of high-level data on patient visits that could then be turned into urgent care industry reports, such as real-time flu season reports, allergy reports, the state of urgent care visits, what types of injuries are most seen at urgent care, what patient demographics are seen at urgent care, etc. Note that none of this data reveals any private patient information. What it does show is trends within the urgent care industry that can’t easily be found anywhere else.
  • I also worked in the tourism industry. The bureau for which I worked did an annual survey of a specific region to find out how residents planned to spend their tourism dollars to discover trends within the tourism industry.

Are you seeing a “trend” here? That’s right; you want to get a strong sample size so you can show trends within a specific demographic and industry. Spending, visits, injury rates, whatever that industry might be. The key here is that this data is proprietary to you; it can’t just be Googled or dug up on a government website. If it can be easily researched online, it’s not that valuable.

So what do you do with this data once you have it? This is where it gets fun. (Ok, when you’re a writer like me, this is where it gets fun). There’s so much content you can create from this data: industry reports, infographics, articles, videos, social media posts, and, yes, blog posts (but not just blog posts).

The Power of Data to Make You a Thought Leader

Once that content is created, you can pitch this data — the data that only you have — to the media every year until you become their go-to source for this information each and every year. Have a company spokesperson on hand to do some interviews so you’ve got some quotes in news articles, and soon the media will start calling you around the same time every year asking if your XYZ report is out yet. Before you know it, you’ll be known within your industry as the expert based on actual facts and data.

If you’d like to use this content as a lead-generation tool, you can also make it available for download on your website. Push it out to your most valued clients first, letting them know they’re getting a sneak preview of some premium content. It’s always good to give your clients your best content for free to continue to provide awesome value for them. Once they’ve had a chance to enjoy that content and maybe create some buzz around it, then push it out as gated content to try to collect some sales leads. Now, I know I’ve talked about the cons of gated content before, but there are times when gated content does work. In this case, the content should be enticing and valuable enough to get those conversions. When it comes to gated content, you’ve gotta make it worth giving up personal information for.

Do you have experience using data to create content? Tell me about your experiences in the comments!


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