Content marketing is a lot like running a restaurant. It doesn’t really matter how good and tasty your food is, if it looks ugly, people won’t be interested in eating it. The same goes for your dining area. If your place is a dump, most customers who are in need of a hot meal won’t even enter your establishment. Regardless of how affordable your menu might be, these guys will turn around right on your doorstep, leave, and never look back.
Why wouldn’t they give your cooking a fair chance, you ask? Aren’t they hungry? It’s not like you're forcing them to pig out on their full stomachs, right? Running a dated, visually challenged and messy establishment is nothing more or less than a reflection of bad business. No one really wants to eat in a cheap place where the food looks like it has been violently killed with a bat just moments ago.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t judge a restaurant solely on the quality of its food and menu. When I go somewhere to eat, I want to see that the owner of that establishment has really invested some serious genuine effort into making his restaurant a pleasant place to visit.
To me, the whole concept of dining out is as much about the experience as it is about the food.
If I sit down to eat, I’m not just hungry for food. I’m hungry for a good time as well.
When I’m really starving and I need quickly to digest something in order to make my stomach stop from growling like mad lion, I never go to a place where I have to wait 30 minutes or more for my food to arrive. Nope. I visit the first fast food joint in my area and wolf down the biggest and juiciest burger on the menu.
However, when I have the time and I really want to enjoy my food – a whole different set of rules comes into action.
In this highly competitive business, you cannot really get by just by owning a restaurant. If you want to turn heads and encourage your people to come back and spread good words about your business, you need to charm your customers in every way possible. You need to make them fall in love with your band, not just your food. Only then will they actually give you and your service a fair chance.
If you think about it, the same thing goes for content marketing. All you have to do is picture your data as your food, and your story as everything else. Once you do that, you’ll see, like in the above mentioned example, that one cannot really function without the other.
Regardless of the fact that many of my colleagues praise data, when it comes to tailoring content for the right type of audience, I strongly believe that your numbers and insights are worthless without a fresh and creative approach, style and interesting storytelling.
So why is data meaningless if it doesn't tell a story?
Data is the cornerstone of not just content marketing, but every other marketing strategy as well. It’s what separates us from those annoying door-to-door salesmen who rely on pure dumb luck to sell their products and services. Data has given us the luxury to actually craft well-educated messages that directly appeal to our prospect's pain points, needs and desires instead of gut-driven guesses.
But, like I said above, data is just the cornerstone of every marketing strategy. It cannot help you win if you don’t know how to leverage it right.
Anyone who solely looks at data in hopes of finding everything they need to know to set up amazing content marketing strategy for their business is going to experience failure.
When it comes to data, most online business tend to get carried away. They think that the answer to their every questions can be found by looking at various different stats and sheets.
Using your numbers in order to understand how your audience ticks and what you need to do to make sure that you’ll reach all your goals will only get you so far.