From Data To Content

When I was building my company we had a problem in the early days with getting content on our site. We were starting from scratch and we didn’t necessarily have the capacity to get high quality content produced and distributed without taking away from our services to clients.

Even if we were to invest in putting quality content on the site, who would care? We were a tiny little start up, we had no authority in our market , no backlinks. But we did have an important message we wanted to get out to the world.

The funny thing is, our business is focused around helping other people write content, so it was really important to us to figure this out early!

However, we had spent so much time on our backend that we just couldn’t successfully take on both tasks at once. We knew that we couldn’t execute on a multi-pronged strategy, but we could execute on a simple but highly effective one.

We had to be targeted, interesting, and get the most for our money. We realized that we could use the data from our software to find some really interesting insights about our industry and that could become the basis of great, compelling content. We could use our data to create case studies around what we were seeing that would tell a real story and it would be unique to our market.

We also decided to partner with an influencer who had a ton of authority in our space who could get behind our product and in return lend us their street cred. In the first year of our business we only published 3 pieces of content but they all had the support of a key influencer which in turn drove our business growth.

Now we’re further developed and can afford to produce content via other strategies but this was a key growth hack out of the gate.

My approach to growth was to figure out my product market fit before scaling. I had seen too many examples of startups that raised before they had perfected their product, and it led to confusion and, ultimately, wasted capital.

That’s why we dedicated the first two years to product development. In our third year, our content piece was a huge data study that we worked on with Neil Patel. What we ended up producing is still considered the definitive article about Google Hummingbird to this day.

The goal with organic search isn’t to be seen by millions of people but rather to be seen by the right people. Especially in the B2B world. You wanted to be as targeted as possible regarding your customer. I’d rather have one targeted customer opportunity a day than a mix of potentially-relevant customers. This way you don’t have to verify for market relevancy later in the pipeline.

The great thing with our data journalism pieces is that once we had them created, we could also use them as sales collateral. Data journalism works especially well to differentiate your offer from others in your market space. You can literally hand this type of content to your prospective customers and allow them to sell themselves on you without having to make a hard sell.


Action Steps

  1. Use data that’s sourced from within your business to create an interesting story regarding your market’s problems. Include data from other sources if possible.
  2. Spend time making your data journalism piece high quality so it’s going to be compelling to your market.
  3. Partner with an influencer in your space to gain credibility.
  4. Use your content as part of your sales collateral to help differentiate yourself to your market.


Result You Will Achieve

Data journalism content that will differentiate you from others in your market and boost your inbound and sales pipelines.

Mentor: Aki Balogh

Co-Founder & CEO of MarketMuse. Aki is a software developer and VC with a focus on AI. He designs easy-to-use Big Data solutions for digital marketers.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.