Laying out numbers to your target audience that your product or service is the best may not convert them into customers. Your claims won’t get the attention it deserves if you fail to integrate it into a convincing story. Data driven storytelling elicits an emotional response from those that see and read them. This drives them to take an action you want them to take because the narrative you told them is relevant to them. Saying your product simply solves all the pain points of its users may come off as boastful. However, telling a reader or viewer that your product makes their life easier or simpler in a specific way that’s personal to them is a compelling way to convince them to choose your brand.
These are some of the ways you can leverage data driven storytelling.
Identify a Narrative within the Data
You can use data to grow your small business; however, you need to identify a story within the numbers to convey your message to your target audience. Analyze the data to determine a viable narrative you can use. This can be about quirks within your target demographic such as the way they use your products, the benefits a set of customers experienced after long-term use of your products, or if they are a specific group of customers that have distinct characteristics. Once you identify insights, you can use them as the foundation for your story.
Learn more about Your Audience
Data driven storytelling is effective when the audience can relate to the narrative. Identify the needs, wants, and interests of your target audience. Doing so allows you to tell a resonant story that will grab their attention. Learn more about them by reading feedback and reviews on your social media profiles, blog posts, product pages, forums, or other similar forums. After getting the information you need, you’ll know the appropriate platforms and mediums to convey your story effectively to a willing audience.
Determine the Numbers that Matter
Not all data sets are important to the story you want to tell. Identifying which pieces of information are relevant to the overall narrative you want to deliver makes storytelling effective. Sift through the numbers you have gathered and determine which ones are related and complementary. After doing so, identify which data your audience might have an interest in. Avoid inserting different data sets so that you can maintain the interest of your audience and not distract them from the message you want to tell. A diluted story full of random data will not get you the results you desire.
Review the Data and Look for Insights
Now that you have relevant data for your intended story, it’s time to review them again and look for another set of insights you can use. Look for patterns and correlations in the latest data you have collected. Doing so enables you to determine meaning among a group of otherwise black and white numbers. The meaning you derive from the data is an important part of the narrative you want to create. This allows you to understand changes in the patterns, sudden spikes and dips, and learn more about the behavior of your target audience. Once you see the big picture, you can identify themes that contribute to the overall story you make.
Effective Data Visualization
The visuals you use are part of your data driven storytelling. You’ll need to choose which data visualization is the most effective for your intended audience. You have plenty of choices such as charts, graphs, time series, or other forms you think are suitable. If you want to display a trend that takes place over a specific timeframe, an ideal visualization of this is a time series. For market growth, you might want to use a pie chart to show the increase of your share in your niche. Use data visualizations to enforce your claims and show your target audience that your business is good at what it does.
Discuss the Context
Using only data and an overview at the beginning of your story won’t get the effect you want or elicit the action you desire from your audience. It’s important to integrate the context of the narrative you create with the data you show. Put the insights into their proper context when you cite examples of its relationship to the audience’s experiences. Mention information that is complementary to the data included in your narrative. Other external factors and events may have contributed to the trends that your data has revealed. Including these pieces of information in your story puts it in the right context that can impact your listeners. It also makes it easier for them to understand the narrative you constructed.
Form a Structure
Leave experimental narrative building to scriptwriters and novelists. Follow a traditional form when it comes to using data to tell a story. Start with an introduction then build excitement with a rising action. Raise an inflection point where the data you show leads to an important moment in your story or when you’re about to point out an insight. Follow it up with a resolution to the problems you mentioned and an analysis of all the things you said. Using a familiar structure makes it easier for your audience to follow the story and grab their attention.
Editing is Important
You’ll be unable to create a complete story in one try. You’re likely to edit the story you made multiple times before you reach the final draft. Rewriting and editing are an important part of the process. It allows you to create a precise and concise output that resonates with your audience. Once you have a final draft, review it with your creative team. Identify which data visualizations you’ll use, and which insights fit the narrative you want to convey.Data driven storytelling is an effective and powerful way to convert your audience into customers. Numbers don’t lie. Showing facts and weaving them into a narrative boosts your authority in your niche. If ever you need assistance with updating your books, we at Robookkeeper can assist you. We’ll update your books while you focus on developing first-rate content backed by data. We offer first-rate virtual bookkeeping for small businesses.