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June 3, 2020

When Worlds Collide: Numbers Tell the Great Stories

Sorting and sifting through the arduous amount of excel files till your eyes cross and you start hallucinating can be one of the most challenging parts of the workweek.

In the modern era, big data has never been more accessible, collectible, and useful for making strategic decisions about an organization or client. A recent article from Forbes states that there has been more data generated in the last two years than the entire history of humankind.

Truthfully, big data can make even the most skilled and most senior-level managers nervous. Opening an excel spreadsheet or data display system can feel like reading a book in a foreign language you’ve never studied.

But, if you listen closely, numbers tell the greatest story. You just have to listen.

Is data the newest ‘love language’?

Okay, it’s true. Data may not come off the tongue as smooth as Italian or French. But, reading and understanding data is like learning a new language.

Anyone can look at numbers and make simple observations.

Yes, 100 likes are better than 10 likes. Sure, but what does that really mean when you look at it?

To determine if your metrics are valuable depends on your goals, so make sure you set your goals in the beginning and always come back to them. Doing this will also help you determine the metrics that matter. Taking the time to learn how to speak for the data is where many professionals struggle.

Data is complicated and frankly messy, but there are beautiful, powerful stories in the numbers. And when you take the numbers a step further and listen to what they are saying, you have entered a new playing field.

Here are 7 easy questions you can ask yourself when looking at data to take numbers and make stories:

  1. What does this change (positive or negative) mean?
  2. Is there a trend in these results, and can we try to duplicate it?
  3. Does the data support the current strategy we are implementing? Can we adjust or continue to do so to align these needs?
  4. Are there areas for growth or cancelation based on performance?
  5. What do these numbers actually mean for our goals? Is there real value? What are these numbers supporting or disproving?
  6. Can these numbers be used to show the impact of our efforts? How so?
  7. Are the numbers leading us to new opportunities? Are gaps in the efforts appearing based on performance?

Asking these questions can help make something more meaningful out of the data you collect and analyze.

Taking numbers and understanding what they are really saying about your goals leads to the next powerful skill: bridging the gap between content and data.

Bridging the Gap between Data and Content

So, now you are thinking about what the numbers really mean. You’ve looked back to your goals and have found some really great insight.

Now what?

The next step is using this data to inform your decisions for content!

Using the data you find to improve your strategy and actual content will continue to help you reach the goals you have set out to obtain. Once you have the data understood, apply the lessons it teaches to guide your content creation.

Here are six tips on using data to create content:

  1. If the numbers show something working really well, do more of it!
    Can more creatives be made and shared on different networks or platforms? Did a rebranding bring more users to your channels? If you have something doing really well, run with it!Is a blog post doing really well? Look at ways to enhance and expand the topic and content. Perhaps it’s turning the post into an infographic or short explainer video.
  2. Look back at older content on your website and social. Did something perform well? Perhaps it’s time to revisit and update the content with new information or optimize it for readability, adding headings and visuals.
  3. If the numbers show something isn’t working, THEN DON’T KEEP DOING IT!
    Why would you keep spending time and energy on something that is underperforming? Using the data to see what’s not working is a clear sign that strategies and creatives need to be reworked.A/B testing can be beneficial at the onset of a campaign to test different theories. Just remember to stick to one element at a time so you can actually tell what's driving the change or performance.
  4. Similarly, with ads, you may start by testing a number of different ad variants, but you'll likely start to see a few stand out as top-performers as time goes on. Focus on those ads and ditch the rest and then re-adjust when you start to see negative changes in the numbers and performance.
  5. Ads drawing in traffic from the wrong audience: Revisit your targeting, with Google Ads, make sure you’re using negative keywords to refine and hit the right audience. You may see traffic numbers dip at first, but that means you’re starting to see a shift to the customers you want!
  6. Landing page drawing a lot of traffic but not enough conversions? Consider headings, CTAs, and even the placement of the form.
    Make sure your copy is connecting with your audiences’ needs, pain points and challenges and is truly communicating the benefits for them. Does your CTA stand out enough? Consider testing different button colors and placements. Make sure your form is close to the top so they see it from the start and know what you want them to do.
  7. Emails: open rates (subject line issue - test); bad click-through-rate or click-to-open rate - (check your body content, CTAs.)
  8. Not seeing the web traffic expected to areas or pages on your website - could be a UX issue.Is it easily found in the navigation? Are there CTAs pushing users to that page on other relevant pages?

These tips should help you better understand the story that your numbers are trying to tell you. Once you set your goals and listen to the numbers, you will be able to find True success.

For more information, check out True’s website or connect with us today!

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