September 26, 2016

Data Visualization: Moving Away from 1-Dimensional Content Marketing

With the emergence of the web and now mobile, there’s been no shortage of content to consume. New blogs pop up every week and platforms like Medium and Wordpress make it easier than ever to give people a voice online. As an online content junkie, it’s great!

But it also creates a legitimate challenge among content writers and marketers who get paid to produce content that stands out and captures an audience. It’s not easy trying to come up with three blog topics a week to keep an audience or community engaged. It’s even harder to write content that’s both interesting and educational from a marketing standpoint.

That’s where data visualization can be a major tool in your content marketing toolbelt!

“Data visualization” is a broad term for something that essentially explains a set of data points using some sort of visual element. Think of a pie-chart, bar graph, or even infographic.

Why is data visualization worth adding to your content marketing strategy? It’s simply a different, more visual way of telling a story. A topic regarding trends in your industry may be of interest to your audience, but it can sometimes be too much to take on for the reader. Data visualization allows your audience to comprehend data faster while keeping their attention thanks to its visual nature.

The beauty of data-driven content is that it can also help cut down on writing time. Because you’re telling a story through visuals, content writers depend less on writing and more on data points, and since most data visualization tools are user-friendly you can theoretically cut down on writing time, while producing content that engages more. Win/win!

Tools to Check Out:

  • is a data visualization product that is extremely user-friendly and produces really slick and professional looking interactive charts, graphs, maps, and more. It offers both a free and paid version (I created the visualizations embedded above with the paid version). I would’ve definitely mentioned it in last month’s “Marketing Tools I Swear By” feature had I know about the tool beforehand!

  • Google Charts: The Google Chart API is a free tool that lets people easily create a chart from some data and embed it in a web page. Originally, it was an internal tool to support rapid embedding of charts within Google's own applications (like Google Finance, for example). Google figured it would be a useful tool to open up to web developers. Currently, line, bar, pie, and radar charts, as well as Venn diagrams, scatter plots, sparklines, maps, google-o-meters, and QR codes are supported.

  • iCharts: iCharts is a platform that connects the publishers of market research, economic, and industry data with professional consumers. iCharts hosts tens of thousands of charts in business, economy, sports, and other categories. iCharts provides free accounts which let you create basic interactive charts. You can buy the premium version as well, which offers tons of features.

Know of any other tools that are great for creating visuals around data? I want to know about them! Tweet me at @TweetsByJMiller.


Justin Miller is a marketing consultant for startups and small businesses. Follow him on Twitter: @TweetsByJMiller

Image via Unsplash