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8 Ways to Integrate Data Visualization in Content Marketing

Content marketing is a powerful tool for growing brand awareness, but standing out in an ocean of online content can be challenging.

Data visualization is a powerful tool that can make a significant impact in that area. 

Combining the eye-catching nature of visual content with the educational insights of data creates a content marketing strategy that engages, impacts, and informs.

In this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of data visualization and how you can integrate it into your content marketing strategy.

What is data visualization in content marketing

Free to use image sourced from Pexels

Data visualization is the process of turning text-and-number data into graphical representations. This makes the data easier to look at, analyze, and gain insights from.

Traditionally, data visualization is used by businesses to communicate patterns and trends to stakeholders in the form of charts and graphs. For example, a business might use sales prospecting platforms to determine trends in lead generation.

Thing goes up = good. Right?

The rise of social media has democratized marketing, though. Audiences have become stakeholders, marketers, and brand advocates. They share marketing content and create user-generated content to help spread brand messaging and become enmeshed in the fates of the brands they love.

Modern marketers can leverage this as part of their content marketing strategy. Similar to stakeholders, charts and graphs can help communicate data to audiences. 

However, content marketing allows marketers to be even more creative. Data can be visualized using infographics, storytelling, slideshows, gifs, and video content. 

This kind of content can help engage audiences and tell a story, all at the same time. 

The benefits of using data vizualization 

You’re probably already collecting and analyzing data about your brand. 

Utilizing that data in your content marketing strategy is a logical next step to engaging your audience.

Think about it — the number one goal of marketing content is to be instantly digestible. Complex content has its place, but marketing is about making an impact. 

Social media content is especially prone to that scroll-right-by mentality. Few people want to see walls of text and numbers on their feed, even if they’re interested in the data it represents. 

Data visualization has numerous benefits, allowing brands to convey complicated messages in just a few moments.

Data visualization also:

  • Appeals to audiences that like to learn.
  • Makes it easier to identify trends and patterns.
  • Makes it easier to gain insights.
  • Helps grow your brand authority by showing audiences your commitment to facts and transparency.
  • Encourages other brands, websites, and influencers to link to your content.
  • Allows brands to tell stories in interesting and informative ways.
  • Can turn dry data into appealing and entertaining content.
  • Fosters deeper emotional connections with your brand.
  • Is inherently shareable, encouraging your audience to help spread brand awareness.

Data visualization presents data in a simple and impactful way. This makes it perfect for content marketing.

A note about pitfalls in data visualization

We wouldn’t be writing responsibly if we didn’t also discuss the less-than-fun aspects of data visualization. Being aware of these allows you to solve any potential problems proactively.

When designing your data visualization content marketing strategy, it’s important to consider how your data might be used. 

When we simplify complex data for easy digestion, we take much of the context out of it. 

We’ve all seen an infographic on social media that claimed to prove a divisive point, used by someone in a bad faith argument. Statistics are often thrown around haphazardly without any understanding of the data they represent. 

Data can be dangerous when used incorrectly or without consideration — especially data that is designed for easy public consumption. 

Taking steps to verify and communicate data thoughtfully can help you avoid common data visualization pitfalls.

Examples of brands using data visualization

If you need any more reasons to integrate data visualization into your content marketing strategy, look no further.

Let’s look at some examples of brands that have successfully utilized data visualization.

Zillow

Zillow’s “15 Words That Could Add Value to Your Listing” campaign is a perfect example of data visualization. 

Screenshot taken from zillow.com

Zillow have compiled word clouds to showcase how their audience can improve their home listings. 

This graphic is both visually appealing, easy to share, and offers immediate insights into actionable data. 

This kind of data proves Zillow’s brand authority in the real estate space, whilst also offering its audience some educational content.

Google

Google releases its “Year in Search” campaign every year. Last year also happened to be the year Google turned 25.

Every year, Google creates an informative video to share its most popular search terms. These videos are often emotionally compelling, offering users some insight into events and sentiments around the world that they might not be aware of in their day-to-day lives.

To celebrate its 25th birthday, Google also created the search playground — an interactive game to highlight 25 years of searches.

Screenshot taken from searchplayground.google

If any brand has the data to share, it’s Google. This kind of data visualization proves it whilst offering audiences educational and engaging content.

Concert Hotels

Concert Hotels helps pair live event fans with nearby hotels to streamline their event-going experience.

Since live music is a big draw for their audience, Concert Hotels put together a fun, interactive graph titled “100 Years of Rock (in less than a minute)”. 

Screenshot taken from concerthotels.com

Concert Hotels shared this campaign across their social media platforms, driving traffic to their website.

8 ways to integrate data visualization into your content marketing strategy

Now that we understand the importance of data visualization, let’s look at eight ways you can integrate it into your content marketing strategy.

1. Plan ahead

Before you integrate data visualization into your content marketing campaign, ask yourself:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What kind of data are we trying to represent?
  • Can this data be communicated with visualization or is it too complex?
  • Can this data be misinterpreted?
  • What are my content marketing goals?

You don’t want to get weeks into planning your campaign only to find that your data sets are too complicated, your visuals are a mess, and your audience is confused.

Setting your content marketing goals is a must, too.

Do you want to grow your brand awareness? Funnel audiences through to your online store? Get more followers on social media? Cement brand authority in your field?

Whatever your targets, you’ll need to set them, design your content to reflect them, and monitor them. Secure cloud storage solutions can be instrumental in handling complex data sets efficiently, ensuring their security and accessibility throughout your content marketing campaign.

Data processing takes resources, so make sure you have the right tools to streamline and orchestrate your processes.

If you’re not hitting your goals, you can look back and reassess your strategy.

2. Target your audience

Content should always reflect its audience. 

When presenting data, it’s even more important to understand the needs and expectations of your audience, including insights from ad experts with experience in campaign optimization, and audience targeting. Consider things like:

  • Audience demographics.
  • The platforms and online spaces they use.
  • Your industry and your audience’s level of expertise in it.
  • Your audience’s interests, ethical stances, and general worldview.
  • Your audience’s pain points and what data might appeal to that.

Consider who you’re trying to reach, what content is relevant to them, and what value you can provide them with.

For example, if your customer base is made up of experts and professionals, they will expect data visualization content that meets them on their level. You won’t capture their interest by presenting them with low-quality data or talking down to them. 

On the other hand, if your audience is the general public, you can be too technical. Laypeople might not understand industry-specific buzzwords or care about data irrelevant to their daily lives. 

Understanding your audience helps you focus your content strategy on creating relevant and engaging data visualization. 

3. Consider your message

Your data visualization content should clearly communicate your message. 

This means choosing the right data, understanding your goals in presenting that data, and figuring out how to convey your message clearly.

So, if you’re trying to educate, look for data that offers unique insights. If you want to make comparisons, find data offering multiple perspectives. 

The data should line up with the message. 

When you visualize that data, the reader should understand immediately what they’re supposed to take away from it. 

This way, you can improve every aspect of your marketing strategy, from generating leads to optimizing the middle of your sales funnel to brand advocacy.

4. Choose the right format

Free Black Flat Screen Computer Monitor Stock Photo
Free to use image sourced from Pexels

There are numerous formats you can use to visualize data. It all comes down to what works best for the data you’re trying to convey. 

There are a few things you can convey with data visualization. Let’s look at some common examples.

PurposeExampleBest methods
ComparisonsComparing the popularity of a sport by gender identityColumn and bar graphs
Finding patterns and trendsTracking album sales for a band over a period of timeLine graphs
Distribution dataTracking the most popular exports across the British Indian Ocean TerritoryLocational maps such as choropleth and dot maps
Relationship dataShowing how certain products sell better in high-income areasHeat maps, tree maps, and Venn diagrams

These are just a few examples of how certain data lends itself well to certain formats. When considering visualization options, it’s important to remember that tablexs and charts can provide a structured and organized way to present data, particularly when dealing with numerical information or comparisons between different variables.

Certain data sets and graphical representations can help brands make and communicate big decisions. 

Studying a locational map of British Indian Ocean Territory exports can help you decide whether to buy .io domain for your new online store, for example. Visualizing that data to your audience can help build brand awareness amongst new demographics.

There are plenty of other creative ways to visualize your data. Just make sure that the format represents the story you’re trying to tell.

5. Post on relevant platforms

Figuring out where your audience hangs out is key to getting more eyes on your content.

Some platforms to consider are:

  • Social media channels — posting content to social media is a cost-effective way to get a lot of eyes on it. People will also share your content, helping to spread brand awareness.
  • Email newsletters — people who sign up for your email newsletters are already interested in learning more about your brand. 
  • Your own website – you can host all kinds of data visualization content on your website, from videos to interactive games. You can also keep a regular blog offering unique content to engage your readers. 
  • Guest posts on other sites — guest posts that offer interesting insights can bring in new audiences. 

Ideally, you’ll want to post content to multiple channels and use it to funnel your audience to an intended destination – a website landing page, your online store, your social media, your app, etc.

Make sure you tailor your content to the channel you’re posting it on. 

On social media, for example, your posts should be eye-catching and tell a story in just a few moments. For your website, you can create more in-depth data visualization. 

6. Use interactivity

If you want to spice up your content even more, make it interactive.

Google’s search playground is a great example of this. By turning data into an interactive game, it becomes a fun and engaging learning experience. 

Another example of a brand creating interactive data visualization content is Spotify. 

Every year, Spotify creates its “Wrapped” campaign. They utilize user data from all around the world to showcase popular artists, what each country listens to, and more. 

They also create a personalized Spotify Wrapped for every user as an annual retrospective on their listening habits. 

All of this data is virtualized and interactive. You can navigate through everything from your own personal favorites to an entire planet’s worth. 

Screenshot taken from newsroom.spotify.com

Interactive data can help tell a story, engage your audience, and build stronger relationships between you and your customers.

7. Design it right

When creating data visualization, it can be tempting to go mad with colors, fonts, and stylistic flourishes. 

Try to resist that temptation.

When designing your content, remember to:

  • Stick to a color scheme that’s easy on the eyes, doesn’t overwhelm the data, and matches your brand aesthetic.
  • Limit yourself to one or two fonts, and make sure they’re easy to read. As attractive as cursive is, it’s not very accessible.
  • Clearly label your data to avoid confusion.

Data visualization should be eye-catching, appealing, concise, and easy to digest. 

8. Utilize tools

To utilize data in your content marketing strategy, you’ll need to collect it, analyze it, and represent it visually. Luckily, you can find tools online for any budget, from small businesses to enterprise collaboration systems

Tools for data collection and analysis like Mixpanel can help you gather your data. Visualization tools like Tableau and Looker can help turn data into graphical representations. These can automate complex processes like data management and allow you to focus on the creative side of your content marketing campaign.

These tools not only help gather and interpret data but also aid in effectively presenting it to your audience. Incorporating project management software that follows the software development life cycle (SDLC) can ensure systematic planning, execution, and monitoring of your data visualization initiatives, resulting in more efficient and impactful campaigns.

Integrating data visualization in content marketing 

Content marketers are always looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd.

Data visualization is attention-grabbing, easily digestible, and shareable — things all good content should be. 

Data visualization can help you create brand awareness, project authority in your industry, and strengthen customer relationships. 
Don’t keep all your data to yourself — find creative ways to share it with your audience and see what happens.

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