Statistics help content marketers convey their perspectives to readers. It’s the extra support you need to compel your audience to take action.
Sometimes, statistics can be tricky. You may not know when to add the stat or how to cite it in your blog post. There are even times when content marketers may accidentally use the stat in the wrong context.
No worries. In this blog post, we’re highlighting how to properly write statistics in your blog post. That way, you can inform and persuade your readers.
When to Add Statistics to Your Content
Oftentimes, statistics are part of your content checklist. As a result, content marketers feel compelled to find any ol’ stat and add it to their next article. But it’s important to remember to use stats as a way to inform your audience and give your thoughts credibility.
Adding a bunch of stats to your blog post won’t make you an instant expert. Instead, add stats to your original thoughts to pique your readers’ interest.
Highlight specific ideas
Statistics help you get laser-focused on your ideas. They are best used when you want to show you agree or disagree with data. Your words coupled with stats will give the reader new concepts to consider as they continue reading your article. Stay away from using stats with vague ideas. You may confuse the reader with unfounded assumptions.
For instance, let’s say a report surveyed 500 marketers in Texas and found that 73% don’t enjoy attending marketing conferences outside the state. For this specific idea, you would state why the Texas marketers feel this way and offer an explanation on why you agree or disagree with the statistic.
Emphasize a particular circumstance
Statistics also exist to reinforce distinct situations. By using an authoritative source, you can offer your reader an inside perspective.
In the excerpt below, Emanuel Petrescu begins his article with an overwhelming stat to grab the reader’s attention. It’s followed up with another stat that supports the circumstance. In the second paragraph, he stresses the impact of these statistics.
Add colorful language
Writers have limits to how vivid they can describe a specific situation. In those cases, it’s best to lean on the exact wording of your selected statistic. Quoting the stat word-for-word adds more credibility to your claim than paraphrasing what you read in the study or report. This notion is especially true when the stat includes scientific language or terms of art.
How to Add Statistics to Your Content
After selecting your stat, the next step is to add it to your content. You want the stat to provide your reader with more depth on the topic. Steer clear of adding a stat as filler text. Stats should add value, whether it’s credibility or a different viewpoint. Below are a few tips to help you.
1. Give context about the statistic
A statistic is only as good as the context around it. Help your readers understand the significance of the stat by giving them additional details about the concept. Your goal is to explain the circumstances without bias. You want the reader to understand why the stat matters within your content.
Take a look at the example below. This BigCommerce article offers context about jewelry sales and then leads into forecast stats. The final paragraph gives the reader more context of why these stats matter with real-world application.
2. Attribute the statistic to its source
Statistics hold more weight when you can cite the original source. You’ll want to name the source in your blog post and link to the actual report or to the lead generation page where readers can get the report. PrimoStats is a valuable resource to search for curated marketing stats with links to original sources.
How to Embed a Statistic Into Your Sentence
Now, it’s time to add the statistic to your sentence. The main rule is not to interrupt your words with standalone statistic. Remember, we want to give the reader context. Use the following examples as guidance.
Lead into the statistic with a colon
In grammar, the colon functions as a way to emphasize the text that follows. When embedding your stat, give the reader context preceding the colon, then follow it with the statistic.
Professional development is important for marketers seeking career growth: “23% of marketers like to read career books in their spare time.”
Use the statistic within your sentence
Sometimes, it makes sense to mingle your words with the statistic. It helps with the flow of your sentence and gives the reader a complete concise thought. Your goal is to give clarity, so don’t be verbose. Here’s an example:
While “23% of marketers like to read career books in their spare time,” my research finds it imperative for marketers to participate in networking events, too.
Things You Should Avoid
Let’s face it. Mistakes will happen along the way as you add statistics to your content. You’re not going to get everything right 24/7. But that’s okay. It’s important to be aware of the common mistakes and to avoid them as you strive to write better content.
To maintain high-quality content, you should use the most updated statistics. New studies are published every year and can offer the latest data for you to share with your audience. Be mindful that “outdated” is a relative term depending on the industry standard. So, aim to highlight stats no more than three to five years from your published content.
The frustration is real amongst content marketers. On LinkedIn, writer Brooklin Nash expresses his concern about outdated statistics, and the post received more than 600 reactions and 100 comments.
Citing original sources is a key part of adding statistics to your content. It lends to the credibility of your claim. Rather than linking to a roundup post with a bunch of stats, you’ll want to find the original source of the stat. That way, your readers can learn more about the research or study.
The goal of statistics is to give your words more credibility. Don’t misrepresent the stats you add to your content. It will only weaken your argument. So, aim to include the entire stat, even if it conflicts with your opinion. If your thoughts and the research don’t mesh, look at it as an opportunity to trailblaze a new way of thinking on the topic.
Statistical Terms You Need to Know
Population: A population refers to the entire group or set of individuals, objects, or events under study. It represents the complete collection of elements about which conclusions are drawn.
Sample: A sample is a subset of a population that is selected for analysis. It is chosen to represent the larger population accurately. Samples are often more feasible to collect and analyze compared to studying the entire population.
Descriptive Statistics: Descriptive statistics involve methods and techniques used to summarize and describe the main features of a dataset. It includes measures such as mean, median, mode, standard deviation, and range, which provide insights into the central tendency, variability, and distribution of the data.
Inferential Statistics: Inferential statistics is concerned with making predictions or inferences about a population based on sample data. It involves using statistical techniques to draw conclusions, estimate parameters, and test hypotheses. Inferential statistics allows us to make generalizations from the sample to the larger population.
Mean: The mean, also known as the average, is a measure of central tendency that represents the sum of all values in a dataset divided by the number of observations. It is often used to describe the typical value or the arithmetic average of a set of numbers.
Median: The median is another measure of central tendency. It is the middle value in an ordered dataset when arranged in ascending or descending order. The median is less sensitive to extreme values compared to the mean and provides a better representation of the data in skewed distributions.
Mode: The mode is the value or values that occur most frequently in a dataset. It represents the peak(s) of the distribution and can be used to describe the most common observation(s) in the data.
Standard Deviation: The standard deviation is a measure of the spread or variability of a dataset. It quantifies how much the individual data points deviate from the mean. A higher standard deviation indicates greater variability, while a lower standard deviation suggests less dispersion around the mean.
Be Thoughtful When Writing Statistics
Using statistics in your blog posts is an effective way to support your claim. When writing your stats, consider when you should one and how you should embed the stat into your content. By doing so, you’ll gain the trust of your audience.