Leveraging internal data for superior storytelling

July 17, 2020


The world is in information overload. By 2025, there will be over 212 million DVDs worth of data created every single day. That’s 463 exabytes every 24 hours, including five billion searches and more than four million blog posts.

It is a lot of noise to cut through. So, how can you increase your chances of success? By using internal data to create more engaging content.

Where does internal data fit into your content strategy?

Statistics and insight are the lifeblood of any impactful content marketing campaign. Leveraging data helps tell your story in an interesting way. It is a well-trodden path for standing out from the crowd and attracting attention. And more attention means greater engagement, shares, and ultimately, success.

The benefits of weaving data into your company narrative do not stop there either. First-hand insight (i.e. internal data) can help to position your senior executives as thought leaders. It will also enhance your industry position, arming your sales team with a unique perspective that prospects will not have heard from the competition.

What does this look like in practice?

Tech companies are sat on mountains of data. Often, the challenge is not getting your hands on it but structuring and organising this data into actionable insights for the benefit of marketing. It can be a big investment. But, pulling these insights from across your tech stack, operational systems, and user databases is a good place to start.

For most companies, this goes far enough. The insights uncovered will provide a competitive advantage for any data-led future content marketing campaign. No longer will you need to rely on the same data everyone else does. Instead, you can move the industry conversation forward by leading with your own insight.

This is particularly powerful when combined with independently commissioned research. For example, if insights from your platform show how adoption of online payments has grown due to global lockdowns, pair that with consumer research into changing preferences for e-commerce adoption to paint an accurate picture of the future. The end result will be content that prospects are happy to hand over their email address to access.

However, for those who choose to dive deeper into the data they hold, the benefits are far greater. An example of this in practice comes from threat intelligence and security assurance provider Netscout. Earlier this year, Netscout created a free interactive threat intelligence map called Horizon to show Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) activity in near-real time, which has underpinned several of the company’s content marketing and comms campaigns in recent months.

What if internal data is not accessible?

Don’t fret if you cannot get your hands on any internal data and do not have budget to run a research campaign. There are public sources you can pull from.

Several tools exist to make this process easier:

  1. Google Dataset Search helps you find credible data. You can search by keyword and filter down by data, topic, and usage rights.
  2. The Office for National Statistics is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics. Its release calendar is a good place to start.
  3. Google Trends and YouGov Screen are also worth mentioning. They can both be used to uncover data on consumer sentiment and how trends and preferences change between regions or countries.

The main takeaway when using any of these tools is that you will need to be creative. It is likely you won’t get the exact data you want. Not only that, but relying on third-party research will not have the same impact as first-hand insight pulled from your own platform and backed up by independent research. In the absence of first-hand data, however, it’s still a more impactful route to take than not using any data at all.

Ultimately, whether you’re pulling from your own sources or collecting and amalgamating from a series of second-hand sources, data will help you tell a more engaging story.

What comes next?

In today’s world of information overload, anything you can do to stand out from the crowd is critical to the success of your content marketing efforts – and data is the key. However, having industry-leading insight is only one piece of the bigger puzzle. You then need to present it in the right way via the right lead magnet content, and with the right promotional strategy. That’s where we come in.

For support in developing and implementing your next data-driven content marketing campaign, contact us at [email protected].


Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

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