Create a Compelling and Interesting Research Report
Conducting custom research is a popular method for technology companies to create interesting content that’s useful to a variety of audience including customers, prospects, and media. It’s often viewed as flagship content, and the potential for creating useful content from the research is vast. The research is usually disseminated in a report; however, it’s important to create one that’s compelling and interesting.
I’ve created a few of these critical reports for clients and here are some of my best tips for creating an engaging research report:
- Include only your top four or five research findings. This can be tough as it’s tempting to include all of your valuable insights. However it’s important to highlight the findings your readers will find the most useful and insightful.
- Keep the report short and scan-able. No one is going to spend their Saturday afternoon devouring your report like a good fiction novel. Use headings, charts, graphs, bullet points and chunked text to keep it readable.
- Offer conclusions and recommendations based on your research findings. This helps make the research more relevant and answers pointed “So what?” questions.
- Include an engaging, but brief, executive summary. The executive summary is perhaps the most important part of the report, because it performs two functions. First, it gives those who want a 10,000 foot view some meaningful tidbits of information. And, second, it serves as a “teaser” to convince readers to read the entire report. Spend quality time writing the executive summary. I often write it last after the main portions of the report are completed.
- Make the content easy to share. Remember, the target audience for your report includes not just prospects but also media, bloggers, or others who may want to share your findings. Consider including “TweetThis” type links in the report so readers can easily share interesting findings via social media. Be sure to also include your company’s contact information, including website and email, and social sharing and social connection links.
Package Your Research Content Multiple Ways
With your research completed and report in hand, you can now distribute your work. Post key findings or statistics to social media. Write blog posts about what you found and the significance. Allow people to download your report from your website while collecting contact information (with permission) for future use. Present your findings and recommendations at conferences or via webcasts.
But whatever you do, don’t wait. Your valuable research will age quickly, so make the most of it while it’s current. Maybe in a year or two you’ll repeat the research to see how your findings have changed – and update your recommendations based on new findings.
Need help packaging your research into compelling content that drives thought leadership and engages prospects? I’ve helped high-tech companies do exactly that. To learn more, contact me.