3 Great Examples of Original Research That Work

by | Content Strategy, Original Research

If you’re looking for a content idea that’s newsworthy, engages readers, and establishes you as an expert in your industry, consider original research.

But you might be wondering, how do you share your original research in a way that’s interesting? Isn’t it just filled with hard data and numbers?

The answer is, yes, there will definitely be data in the research report, but it should be written in a story format so that it’s interesting to read. Well-written original research doesn’t just regurgitate data; it should be accessible, engaging, and provide context, so the reader understands why the data is important to them.

Here are three examples of great original research eBooks and reports that can be idea starters for helping you launch your own research project.

Example 1: PwC Network Annual Global CEO Survey Uses online resource center to highlight data in different formats

Rather than making its annual global CEO survey available to download, PwC has created an online resource center that highlights “the thinking of corporate leaders around the world.”

Ideas for you to consider:

Online data: PwC provides valuable snippets of data from their report online so readers can explore key findings and filter by region. Searchable content is valuable for SEO purposes and includes a persistent “download the report” graphic, making it easy for prospects to access the entire report from any place in the resource center.

PwC Network Annual Global CEO Survey

Video content: PwC also includes a video of their Chairman’s explanation of the survey’s results and key themes, which gives readers an engaging and personable overview of the original research.

Video of their PwC's Chairman explains the original research findings.

Links to other helpful content: Taking advantage of a prime content marketing opportunity, PwC includes links to additional reports they’ve created at the bottom of this page that cover a range of industries and topics.

PwC includes links to additional original research reports they’ve created to increase engagement

Compelling call-to-action (CTA): Rather than using a more traditional CTA such as “Click to download” or “Read the survey” at the bottom of the web page, they pose a question: “Interested in the implications of the survey’s results for your organization?” and immediately follow it with a helpful and direct next step of contacting PwC associates who can be of help.

Use a compelling CTA in your original research to generate leads.

Example 2: SZD/Spiceworks Ziff Davis “The 2021 State of IT” builds backlinks and increases SEO

SZD has taken a different approach with its report, “The 2021 State of IT”. It’s all shared on their landing page with a download option.

This approach to providing original research can be great for SEO and building backlinks, as it keeps readers coming back to the website anytime they wish to access the research. It also eliminates prospects’ hesitation to access the report because they don’t want to be added to an email marketing list.

Ideas for you to consider:

Layout: The layout is great—it’s very easy to read and navigate, with appealing graphics and call-out boxes that highlight key points. This is especially helpful when delivering technology market research that is data or jargon intensive.

Use call-out boxes to highlight key points and findings of original research.

Navigation: Jump links at the top of the report help readers easily skip to the different categories.

My thoughts: Some people prefer reading original research offline and at their convenience, so I recommend including the option to download a PDF of the full report.

The 2021 State of IT Report

Example 3: Mantis Research “State of Original Research for Marketing” includes quotes and methodology that amplify results

I am a bit biased about this report because it’s on one of my favorite topics, original research, and it was created by a colleague, Michele Linn.

Similar to the SZD/Spiceworks example, Mantis makes all of the results available on a web page. However, they also provide readers with the option to download the research as a PDF.

Ideas for you to consider:

Story: This thorough report has a great story to link the data together. It starts with key takeaways and includes succinct explanations for each chart.

Mantis Research tells a good story with data from original research.

Quotes: Include quotes from industry experts regarding their opinions on original research; this helps break up the text, adds validity to the data, and amplifies results.

Use quotes from industry experts regarding their opinions on original research.

Methodology: Mantis Research included the methodology used for the research, which helps readers understand how the results were obtained and whether they’re credible.

Explain your original research methodology to give your findings credibility,

Suggested solutions: Going beyond just summarizing their findings, Mantis offers opinions on what marketers should focus on in order to use original research effectively.

Add suggestions on how to use the data you're presenting, not just the facts.

As these three examples demonstrate, there are many ideas for delivering original research in an interesting way. Whether it’s creating an online resource center that helps boost SEO, a searchable landing page that builds backlinks to your website, or a report with expert testimonials, a well-written original research project that’s engaging can provide value to your audience.

Learn more

By the way…whenever you’re ready, here are some ways I can help you stand out the noisy tech market:

1) Grab a copy of my report on original research, which includes all the details on how to use original research to capture prospects’ mindshare. Download it here.

You’ll learn why marketers are getting so much value out of their original research, the steps in conducting an original research study, and you’ll get my 14×9 content grid that gives you 14 content ideas to fulfill nine different marketing strategies. Get it here.

2) Not ready for a full-blown original research project? Work directly with me to create a roadmap. There are a lot of details to running an original research study and creating content that gets results. I’ll work with you to create a roadmap plan that ensures you’ll get the biggest ROI when you’re ready to kick-off an original research project. Contact me, and I’ll get back to you with more details.