How to Tell Better Stories With Data

May 01, 2018

Businesses try to squeeze every lead through the funnel, get you hooked on their products, and produce garbage content to capture your interest. Don’t feed the bears! And by that, we mean, as consumers, don’t give away your email address. And don’t pollute the Internet with unoriginal content. Today, I’m talking to Alexandra Samuel, a freelance writer, research, speaker, and author of Work Smarter with Social Media. She helps companies cope with the transition to a digital world. Break through the noise, and get people’s attention using the Internet.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • Changes and competition regarding the creation of content
  • Process of telling stories with data
  • Provide original data or repurpose it to stand out from the crowd and gain attention
  • Telling a good story is not a guarantee of anything; get your story out and about
  • Step 1: Pick a topic/objective and map out a message that you are trying to deliver
  • Step 2: Start with a headline and develop questions
  • Two camps come with data storytelling: One camp just wants an interesting headline, and the other camp needs a specific type of headline
  • Vast majority of social media content comes from less than ⅓ of companies’ customers
  • Frame questions in a concrete way to get accurate and specific results
  • Data-driven projects are more of an investment than other kinds of content
  • Step 3: Sourcing the data and evaluating the angle
  • Perform Google searches to determine if topic/theme is worthwhile or overdone
  • Single best cure for marketing is to think of marketing as a service
  • Is the data useful and interesting?
  • Step 4: Collecting good data, if available
  • Fastest and cheapest way to get good data depends on levels/standards that you want
  • Search for open data, publicly available data, and other phrases to find data
  • With surveys, take it yourself and ask others to take it before deploying it
  • Finding angles/topics using your own data (Web traffic, purchase history, etc.)
  • Meaningful influencers and indicators
  • How to present data even if you are not good with graphics or mathematics
  • When it comes to design, give necessary data to designer, and determine what’s your most important takeaway
  • Dumbing down online conversations as dollars flow in that have no purpose other than driving purchases and competing for attention; the result is an explosion of crappy content
  • Alexandra hopes the Internet turns into an asset; displace toxic and terminal levels of material consumption with sustainable forms of online experience and consumption  
  • Create digital experiences that create meaning
  • As a marketer, what are you trying to accomplish with your talents for marketing?

Resources:

“The reaction to this one post was so enormous that it was really an eye-opener for me.” - Alexandra Samuel

“In this increasingly noisy world, where there is so much content being created all the time, providing original data or even repurposing existing data in an original and visually compelling way is almost a surefire way of standing out from the crowd. ” - Alexandra Samuel

“Good stories will always resonate if people can find them.” - Alexandra Samuel

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