Original research is one of the most effective marketing strategies for technology companies to establish and reinforce thought leadership. In fact, a study by Orbit Media Studios found that 60% of marketers consider research reports to be effective thought leadership content.

Thought leadership content survey question results.

How can you easily amplify your original research’s inherent thought leadership qualities? By adding influencer quotes to your original research content.

Influencer Quotes Add Credibility

Including meaningful influencer quotes in your original research content, such as an eBook or webinar, adds additional credibility to your results. And it boosts your thought leadership by another order of magnitude.

Now we’re talking about specific types of influencer quotes here. Not something generic such as, “This research study is great,” which doesn’t add value, but rather asking influencers to contribute meaningful quotes that add additional dimension to your research such as their thoughts on future trends in your industry or advice to small business leaders.

And the benefits go far beyond just including the quotes in your content, because influencers usually have large social networks. They’ll often share the content they were quoted in with their followers, such as the link to your eBook’s landing page or the invite to an upcoming webinar, which in turn, amplifies your content’s reach.

Let’s look at an example of how influencer quotes were successfully used in a recent original research study that I conducted for Comcast Business’s Western Division marketing team.

The team’s target market is small businesses in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. Their goal was to generate leads by creating highly targeted eBooks for each state. We designed an original research study that surveyed small businesses in three states about how they were adapting to the current challenging economic climate. We wanted to give readers value beyond the research, however, so we also asked 6-7 influencers in each state to share their advice with small business leaders on how to weather the recent economic storm.

Here’s a snapshot of a page from the Comcast Business Colorado report with an influencer’s quote:

An exerpt from The Future of Business in Colorado with an influencer's quote.

How to Recruit Influencer Quotes

The recruitment was done very thoughtfully. We wanted influencers either with recognizable titles who have in-depth experience working with small businesses or from small business leaders themselves. We targeted titles such as economic development directors, CEOs of technology associations, and seasoned C-level professionals.

We then sent them a carefully worded recruitment email that gave them thorough information about benefits they would realize by participating, an example quote, our guidelines, and more. We also asked them to include a professional headshot (you could also request a link to their LinkedIn page and include as another benefit so they can get new, highly targeted connections.)

We also promised them a copy of the eBook when it was complete and asked them to share the link to the landing page with their networks.

So, let’s summarize the steps we used for the Comcast Business original research study to recruit influencers:

  1. Carefully chose potential influencers who have prominent titles that would resonate with our target audience.
  2. Crafted a recruitment email that explained the benefits they’d receive by participating, the research study’s focus, and an example quote.
  3. Gave them a deadline for submitting the quote.
  4. Sent them a copy of the eBook when it was complete and asked them to share the eBook’s landing page link with their network.

Use an Email Template to Speed Up the Process

I created an email template to use when reaching out to influencers to speed up the recruitment process. The intention was to give them all the information they needed to submit a quote.

It worked well, because we had a 100% response rate. Feel free to customize it for your own original research project.

Hi [Name],

I’m working on a market research project for [Company Name] that I thought you might be interested in.  We’re creating a research report that focuses specifically on [research topic].

We also want to include some quotes from influencers, like yourself, who understand [topic].  If you’re interested in submitting a quote, please read on for more details.

  • How much time will it take me to do this?
    We want to minimize your time as much as possible. To that end, your quote only needs to be 50 words or less.
  • What do you need from me?
    • A written quote (maximum 50 words) from you that gives advice to [target audience] on how [research topic].
    • A professional headshot in JPG format (or a link to your headshot)
    • Your title and the name of the company you work for
    • A link to your LinkedIn page
  • What’s an example of a quote/statement that you want?
    Here’s an example: “Given the current economic circumstances in our state, New Mexico businesses shouldn’t stop their marketing efforts. You never know when demand will pick back up so you have to be ready.  Even if your business is getting fewer customers, you have to keep making noise so they don’t forget about you.” – Gretchen Miller, VP of Marketing, ABC Solutions
  • What is the purpose of this research?
    To help small to mid-size businesses in New Mexico understand how their peers are adapting to the current economic challenges. For instance, did they transition employees to working from home?  Has demand for their services decreased?  Have they moved in-person services online? Answers to these types of questions will help other businesses implement best practices that can help them adapt.
  • What’s in it for me?
    • You’ll be positioned as an expert to business leaders in your state
    • You’ll gain exposure as an influencer
    • You’ll broaden your network
  • What are next steps?
    • Just reply to [your email address] with your quote, headshot in JPG format, your title and the name of the company that you work for, and a link to your LinkedIn page
    • Please send these items by [date].
    • We’ll also send you a copy of the report when it’s complete.

Thank you very much!

[Your name]

Ideas for Using Quotes in Your Original Research Content

Promoting influencer quotes goes beyond just including them in an eBook, though. Here are other ideas (thanks for Michele Linn for many of these):

  • Post individual quotes on social media with a link to the full report
  • Include the quotes in webinar slides
  • Create an infographic of all your quotes with a relevant title that pertains to your research results such as “Advice from Industry Influencers on X”
  •  Recruit influencers to participate in a live or recorded roundtable discussion on the topic of your research results
  • Quote influencers in blog posts or articles

Using quotes in your marketing promotions really is limitless: almost every type of content that can be created from original research can feature influencer quotes.

Influencer quotes amplify your research content’s thought leadership by another magnitude. Take advantage of it the next time you run an original research study.

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 9×14 content grid that gives you 14 content ideas to fulfill nine different marketing strategies. Get it here.

  1. Work directly with me to create an original research 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 from original research. Contact me, and I’ll get back to you with more details.