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February 29, 2024

How to Create Relevant Social Content with Your Data // Local Marketing Insider #076

How to create relevant social content with your data using the news to source better ideas with less work.

Hey! Welcome to Local Marketing Insider, where 14,000+ local marketing professionals get better at reputation strategy & more with insights delivered 2x a month.

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I was stuck in a creative valley.

We had invested a lot of time and money into our database of automotive reputation data.

I’d convinced myself (and my boss) that the database would be a goldmine of content. “We’ll have endless interesting things to say!”

But, I was sifting through a lot of sand and not much gold was coming to the surface.

It has been pedaling to the floor for the last 3 months, producing Widewail’s first two reports. 

Ideally, we would have had more space in the schedule to utilize each report better to tell stories and share insights with our audience. 

Time was tight. Our team is fairly small, and we had a hard deadline before a tradeshow. 

So, we focused and set social stories to the side.

That’s over now.

A few weeks back, I was staring at a pile of data points on my computer, struggling. What do I say that’s new, interesting or relevant? 

Was I naive to think this would be easy?

The challenge of any creative profession, be it writing, marketing, media or any related medium, is - you have to make so much stuff. 

You have to make something good even when uninspired and up against a deadline. Despite this, Getting the job done makes us all professionals in the field.

To solve my problem - to get inspiration - I do what I always do. I read and listen to other talented people and, in addition to the actual information, make notes on how they structure and format their content.

On my daily drive to work, I listen to podcasts. 

I’ve observed two primary structures: 

  1. The host interviews a new guest in each episode 
  2. The hosts discuss major news stories and add their perspectives, expertise, reactions or humor to a narrative that is already active in the broader media ecosystem

The news-based strategy struck me as a potential tool. A new angle on our data that would get me out of this funk. 

Why is this structure so common? 

Well, it's fairly simple. News is an endless source of material. 

It removes some of the challenges of creating from zero. Further, it's relevant. It's already on the minds of your audience. You’re adding context to something they’re already aware of.

Devin Reed, author of the Content Strategy Reeder newsletter, talks about “capturing mindshare before capturing market share.”

Using the news as a springboard for your business insights is drafting mindshare.

Following NADA, Automotive News interviewed each car manufacturer, highlighting their goals for 2024.

Cadillac’s stood out to me. It plans to improve customer experience to sell more EVs, conquesting the customers of Mercedes and Audi. I realized Widewail’s data could add color to that.

Here’s the result:

Tips for Getting Started

Useful sources of news

Use Feedly to aggregate a bunch of outlets. Find industry-specific trade sites for in-the-weeds updates that pertain to your market. For public companies, investor reports offer a lot of detail and forward-looking expectations. 

Questions to ask

What does this business want to achieve in the coming year? What are they trying to do better to win? What are their customers saying about it?

What to look for

Keep an eye out for brand updates: annual objectives, product launches, stock price movement, strategy changes, acquisitions, or new location openings.

In the case of Widewail’s data, we can report on the customer feedback for any OEM or dealer group, meaning we can, in many cases, provide extra context as to why something is happening or how likely an initiative is to succeed.

Make predictions

People love predictions. And they don’t even need to end up being right. Why? Predictions are a tool for advancement, economically or professionally, and they are more thought-provoking than stating facts of the past. No matter the topic, if you can look into the future and make a compelling argument based on facts and experience, you’ll have an audience.

You get the idea.

If you have something to say, i.e. you have a unique POV or access to proprietary data, try applying it to something in the news.

Hopefully, this will get you out of a rut or streamline your process.

It certainly helped me.

See you in 2 weeks - Jake, Marketing @Widewail



Jake Hughes

I’m the Director of Marketing here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. I'm in Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0 to 100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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