Using the U.S. Census As a Source for Creative Content Campaigns

by Posted @ Nov 13 2018

By and large, people love reading about themselves.

If readers can connect with a piece of content on a personal level by being able to identify themselves in the subject material, they are much more engaged while evaluating that content. In many cases, they are also more likely to share that piece of content with people they know who can similarly connect with it.

The connections that draw in readers and tie them to your content can take many forms, encompassing many communities. Some examples of these communities include people living in any number of different geographic locality designations such as specific states, counties, and cities, people with a shared profession, or people who have achieved a similar educational level, just to name a few.

For content directed at these kinds of broad-focus communities, there is a major source of data that has proven invaluable to content creators over the years: the US Census.

Time and again, our team here at Go Fish Digital has been able to utilize census data when creating campaigns for our clients. Census data is highly trusted due to the authority and thoroughness of the Census Bureau, and having access to a nationwide database of comparative data lends that level of trust and authority to our campaigns while also allowing us to make comparisons that might otherwise be impossible.   

For content creators looking to produce a campaign that compares communities, whether it be states, cities, or specific human demographics, the census is a public database of information that would be an impossibly Sisyphean task for a single person or company to gather on their own.

Thankfully, the United States government has developed a complex nationwide system that collects a truly staggering amount of information and deposits it in a central database. Adding to the convenience, this source is regularly updated and has been made publicly available on the internet in a variety of highly-searchable websites and has also been broken out into smaller databases covering specific topics and populations.

The work the Census Bureau has done, and continues to do, can be invaluable to content creators. Those looking for inspiration can peruse original graphics and visualizations created by the Census Bureau or explore data collections and tools to see what kind of materials are available for content creation. While creators that have already figured out their content focus have access to all the demographic data they could ever need to compare, contrast, and rank different groups of Americans.

Perhaps the most useful tool the Census Bureau has made available to content creators is The American Fact Finder. Here, the government agency has created a simple interface that allows users to quickly conduct searches that produce the desired results in an efficient manner. The Fact Finder tool offers variable levels of search complexity as well, making it easier to cut through the many layers of data and get to the core of what a campaign needs.  

The possibilities presented by census data when it comes to content campaigns are nearly unlimited. Thanks to the bevy of metrics compiled in every iteration of the population survey, it is possible to compare communities and demographics across multiple metrics, or even create an original metric or score that encompasses multiple factors. Since multiple versions of the census from years past are available, it is possible to compare a community to itself and chart growth (or lack thereof) in specific metrics over time.

Finally, it is hard to find a more comprehensive source of data on groups or places anywhere else. Because of this wealth of data, a researcher may be looking up a specific metric for use in a campaign and in the process discover a different metric they had not thought of before that they wish to add to their campaign as a way to enhance its quality and completeness. In this regard, the Community Facts function of the Census site truly shines. Its intuitive series of compartmentalized drop-down menus make it quick and easy to review all of the data available for specific locations throughout the country.

Many of our content campaigns would have been impossible to tackle without census data, and there are so many more that have yet to be created that will only be possible thanks to the diligent work of the Census Bureau. Content creators would do well to familiarize themselves with this invaluable resource. You never know what great ideas are hiding in the data, just waiting to be discovered.    

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