Data science and content

Data science and contentThe use and study of data science has become more common in recent years and the term is beginning to be used in conversations about public relations and digital communications. The connection between data science and content can have a positive impact on your next campaign. 

What is data science?

Data science is a “combination of computer hacking, data analysis, and problem solving,” according to David Smith in “’Data Science’: What’s in a name?”, an article referenced in this historical timeline around the topic.

It also has been described as a trendier way to think about statistics.

Who is using it?

Many companies are using it to better understand their consumers and how they can reach them. One of the examples that is most helpful to communications professionals is BuzzFeed, the viral news organization.

BuzzFeed has a data science team that provides the information that helps them write headlines that work and deliver lists that you can’t resist sharing. Their use of data science and content helps them understand which posts are most likely to go viral. This story on BuzzFeed’s lead data scientist is a great place to start understanding the use of data for building sticky content.

What does this means for communications?

The way BuzzFeed and other companies use data shows that the numbers can lead to success. Think about how much more traction your blog posts, digital press releases and other company content would get if you knew what headlines would draw in your audience. And understanding what makes them click and share can drive every campaign. Then expand to data about how other potential customers click and share content. What headlines would be most attractive to people not yet using your product? This could also be applied to media. Finding out which pitch subject lines work and using that as a model could open more doors for coverage.