Data driven storytelling is more than just a buzzword. It’s a process of using social media data and media intelligence to inform stories. And while stories are great for Hollywood and Netflix Originals, in this context, it’s about the content that brands are distributing into the marketplace.
Being relevant to another person means that you must have something in common with them. It could be a similar interest and hobby. Or, maybe you look like alike, talk alike, or dress the same way. And in some cases, it might just be an attraction. They’re cute, they look good and they have a great personality.
But brand relevancy is about relating to an audience. And the only way to relate to an audience is to understand who they are, what they care about, what interests them or keeps him up at night, what media they read and what social media channels they use to converse with friends and colleagues. When thinking about an audience, it’s important to understand who you actually want to reach. Is it the media? Is it a group of influencers? Perhaps it’s your core customers or buyers.
In any case, data can be used to understand the stories and trends better demanding the attention of your audience. The below model illustrates how data can be used to uncover these insights depending upon which audience you want to reach. In some cases, you might want to reach just one of these audiences and in other cases you might want to reach all three.
This model also uncovers data driven video storytelling and shows how data is needed to understand audience demand and fully evolve your B2B brand strategy. The most important question you must ask yourself is whether you are meeting that demand with your supply of data driven stories. And that supply of content can be everything you publish on owned media branded channels to include press releases, blog posts, spec sheets, or any content that lives in a brand newsroom.
The supply of content can also be considered the coverage that you get from earned media. Once you do the analysis, you will be able to understand if the media is covering your business in the way that you want them to. Do their stories align with your overall brand messaging? Unfortunately, there is less control of what the media writes about your business so brand alignment is usually unlikely.
Lastly data driven stories includes the content that you publish on branded social media channels. The beautiful thing about this is that you control everything you publish in the marketplace. Most of the time brands are publishing content without looking at what their audience cares about. That is the entire purpose of this data driven storytelling approach.
The point of all this is that data driven storytelling is more than just a fancy name with no meaning. When done right, it can be a very effective approach to building brand relevance, engagement and a narrative that enables you to tell better stories then your competitors.
This approach takes time. It takes an investment in data analytics and it requires brands to look at themselves and do a self-evaluation of how they create content. However painful as this might be, the end result of data driven storytelling is that brands will be that much more relevant to the audience they’re trying to reach.