Sep 20 2019

Statistics Show: How Citing External Data in Content Can Boost Traffic 

Posted by Peach Angeles ,

With content creation and marketing as part of our core digital marketing strategies, we are keeping our noses to the grindstone to create valuable, engaging content that will boost traffic to our website. 

While we take some credit to the flooding of content on the web, we make sure that whatever we publish online is actually valuable to the users reading it. We don’t just string together some sentences into paragraphs and call it an article. 

Much research goes into creating informative content that may take an hour or so to gather—and with that being the case, it’s typical for us to cite external research, statistics, case studies, and expert opinions in our articles to support our statements. 

Let us give you an example to emphasise the value of referencing to external research in content marketing: When we talk about attention crisis in today’s information age, we don’t just say that “our attention span is getting shorter by the minute.” It’s most likely you’d ask, how did you know about that? 

Instead, we would put it into writing as: 

According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the human attention span decreases by as much as 88% every year. In fact, an average person now has an attention span of eight seconds—a span that’s a second shorter than that of goldfish and a decrease from the 12-second average attention span about 20 years ago. 

Did you see the difference? 

A study to support a statement can lend an air of authority to your content, but let’s dive a little deeper into how this content marketing and engagement strategy works. 

How Statistics, Studies, and Data Create Engaging Content

The human brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than text. It means it can encode visual and statistical information way faster than text sentences. 

Had this sign said “slippery when wet” in text, you would have driven past it without reading anything about the potential danger ahead. But, because it’s visual information, it gets stamped into your head, making it easier to retrieve later. 

This explains why statistics and data is essential in content as they can effectively engage your audience and communicate your message. Now you would probably question the need for creating engaging content in the first place. Yes, it’s easier to digest than a pure-text article, but what do the statistics say? 

  • 72% of digital marketers admit content marketing boosts engagement 
  • 23% say visual assets are the most important form of content for their business 
  • 80% say they use visual content in their social media marketing, with video taking up the 63%
  • Users are likely to retain 65% of the information when it’s paired with a relevant image 

The Benefits of Using External Research in Your Content

It’s AccessibleIt doesn’t take more than a few searches online to find data from reliable sources like an industry expert or a government agency. It opens up to a host of factual information, often for free of charge, that you can use as a supporting perspective. 

It’s Cost-Effective – Instead of conducting your own research, which often, in most cases, is impractical, external data and research are readily available on the Internet for redistribution. It will save you time, money, and energy in conducting a study for pretty much the same purpose. 

It Improves Credibility – As mentioned above, the top benefit of external research is that they add perspective and credibility to your content. By backing your statement with data, you create an added layer of trust and credibility on the web. 

It Minimises Risk of Error – To conclude, two perspectives are always better than one—and using external research to validate your statement helps minimise, if not eliminate, the risk of error. Remember that your ideas can be further expanded and developed to add value to your readers. 

The best way to test the accuracy of this theory in content marketing is to test it yourself. You can compare your existing content that’s plain and without any reference to statistics with a data-driven content that is loaded with relevant information and supporting data. But, we’re telling you this early, as a digital marketing agency in Singapore, that citing data and research in your content is important, if not entirely a must. You can ask one of our digital marketing experts to learn more about how helpful it will be to your online presence. 

What do you think of including data and research in your content? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.


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