Content marketing is getting harder than ever.
Organic reach on social networks is diminishing, search results are becoming more competitive, and most topics of any interest have already been written about.
Gone are the days where you can simply write a clickbaity top 10 list and make it go viral, or produce a keyword-rich how-to guide and have it instantly show up at the top of the search results. No, you need to create content that’s unique, engaging, that gives people a reason to read, share and link to.
Fortunately, for those of us data-minded folks, there’s a way to cut through all the noise and create engaging, hard-to-copy, effective content for our audience.
Using Data Extraction to Create Engaging Content
Every day, there is more publically available data on the internet than ever before. In fact every minute, 2,657,700 gigabytes of internet data is created in the US alone.
This presents an incredible opportunity for data savvy marketers: extracting data relevant to your industry, and using it to create content that your audience will enjoy.
In this post, we’ll detail eight examples of content that were built off data extraction. In these examples, you’ll see how brands took publically available data from search engines, review sites, social networks, and even the US Government, and used that data extraction to create a story to reach their audience.
1. What Each State Googled More Than Any Other State in 2016 (Estately)
The real estate site Estately got a ton of attention with their post What Each State Googled More Than Any Other State in 2016.
According to the post, “Google Trends we mapped out what each state Googled more frequently than other state in 2016. We measured Google searches for world events, famous people who passed away and those who made news, things that made us laugh and cry and shake our fists, new movies and shows, and even the stupid memes and celebrity missteps that distracted us from the depressing misery that was 2016.”
Though data extraction from Google Trends and slapping it on a map may sound simple, this post was highly impactful. It accumulated some 200 backlinks, including placements in major publications such as US News and World Report, Fox News, and Esquire.
2. What We Learned Analyzing 1 Million Blog Headlines (Okdork and Coschedule)
They took 1 million posts and used social network APIs to pull the share count, gaining insights including that 89% of content never gets shared more than 100 times, and that list posts tend to do really well.
This post itself picked up nearly 400 shares itself along with 230+ referring domains.
3. We Analyzed the HTTPS Settings of 10,000 Domains and How It Affects Their SEO (Ahrefs)
In 2014, Google announced that HTTPs on websites would be a ranking signal in their algorithms.
Was there a real effect? And to what extent did HTTPs affect search rankings?
Ahrefs, a popular SEO tool, produced a study of 10,000 websites to analyze whether HTTPs was correlated with higher rankings.
Not only did the study determine that yes, HTTPs and higher rankings were correlated, but that most websites still did not use HTTPs. This is surprising and valuable information for anyone doing SEO.
4. Twitter Engagement Unmasked: A Study of More than 4M Tweets (Stone Temple Consulting)
Stone Temple Consulting analyzed “2 million Western language tweets out of over 4 million Tweets we collected” to “learn and understand what drives behavior on Twitter.” The data was pulled via the Twitter API.
The study showed that images, longer text, and hashtags all increase engagement and retweets – valuable insights for all social media marketers.
5. Where are the new residents of Atlanta, GA moving from? (LawnStarter and Bellhops)
The data for the infographic came from the US Census. They used Tableau to make the post interactive, but also included an image screenshot for use on mobile.
Local SEO and content marketing is hard, especially in mundane industries such as lawn care and moving. This is a great example of how to use public data extraction to create a fun story that’s of interest to your local audience.
6. The Sun on Social (Modernize)
Home improvement site Modernize has a big focus on solar panel installation. To help build brand exposure around the topic of solar, the company “analyzed a total of 2,515,334 images from Instagram with the hashtag #sunrise or #sunset to discover where in the world people share these photos most often.”
They then used population data from the US Census to determine the number sun-related photos per 10k people on a state and country level.
7. Groupon’s Hidden Influence on Reputation
Though technically this was an academic study, it is a fantastic example of how pairing up disparate sources of extracted data can lead to fascinating insights.
Here is the methodology as described by Technology Review:
These guys have studied over 16,000 Groupon deals in 20 US cities between January and July this year. They monitored each deal every ten minutes or so to determine how sales varied over time and also counted the number of Facebook likes that each deal generated.
At the same time, they collected Yelp reviews–some 56,000 of them for 2,332 merchants who ran 2,496 deals–examining how merchant reputations changed before and after a Groupon deal.
Their study produced a number of fascinating insights, but the most shocking was that on average, businesses’ Yelp ratings decline as a result of advertising on Groupon.
This story made countless headlines, offering small businesses valuable insight into marketing decisions they might make.
8. This is an American Workday By Occupation (Flowing Data)
Flowing Data – a website that provides education around data visualization – produced a brilliant animation which used data from the American Time Use Survey to show “a simulated day for employed Americans in various occupations.”
The screenshot alone can’t do it justice, so I’d recommend you check it out for yourself and see why the post received over 2,200 shares on social media.
There is a ton of publically available data out there waiting to be extracted and turned into useful, engaging pieces of content.
Where can you find data? Here are a few sources:
- The US Census Bureau
- Data.gov (you can also typically go to data.[yourstate].gov to get state level data)
- Google Search Results
- Google Trends
- Academic Studies – Find via Google Scholar
- Facebook Advertising Data
- Social Network APIs
- Zillow Research
Looking to use data extraction to take your content marketing to the next level? Import.io can help.