It’s true: it’s difficult to grab your prospects’ attention.
- They’re crazy busy.
- They’re flooded with content, most of which is dull and boring.
- They’re tired of reading the same stuff from every vendor in your industry.
Every vendor in the tech industry is creating loads of content. How do you stand out in a noisy marketplace? Even more importantly, how do you create content that your prospects really do want to read AND fuels your marketing strategies?
The answer is original research.
Original Research? What’s That?
It’s creating a research study for your company with the goal of uncovering themes in the resulting data that can be used to create unique and story-driven content.
Don’t confuse original research with traditional market research – there are similarities, but their end goals are quite different.
Original research focuses on producing results that can be woven into story lines and themes to create unique marketing content. Traditional market research is focused on results that are often used to make internal decisions such as launching new products or setting pricing strategies.
Original research is also designed to uncover these critical themes. Survey questions are designed to elicit a story. The analysis is focused on identifying interesting data that can be woven together to create content that engages your prospects.
Marketers Say Original Research is Valuable
According to the State of Original Research for Marketing 2019 report published by Mantis Research and Buzzsumo, 94% of marketers say original research has a positive impact including elevating their brand’s authority. 88% of those who have used original research plan to do it again in the next 12 months.
The same survey also found that 61% of marketers say original research met or exceeded their expectations.
And they’ve realized a wide range of benefits by creating unique content from original research including social shares, media mentions, more backlinks, lead generation, and improved search rankings.
Creating Attention-Grabbing Content with Original Research
The great thing about original research is that it’s original – your competitors can’t claim it (although they can quote your research). It can’t be found anywhere else. It’s the perfect vehicle for creating unique content that prospects want to read, because it’s interesting and devoid of fluff. And if it’s done well, the results will pertain to your clients in such a way that they want to read it, view an infographic, attend a webinar about it, etc.
However, the key isn’t just to run a simple survey and turn the results into an eBook. Rather, it takes careful planning to focus on a topic that addresses a pain point, interesting trend, or relevant theme for your audience. Writing the survey questions in such a way to elicit a storyline also takes special skill. And, lastly, merely taking the results and sticking them directly into a content piece doesn’t add any value. Adding additional insight and weaving them together into a compelling storyline does.
Content Ideas for Original Research
If you’re investing in original research, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck. That means creating a content strategy to use the research results well and squeezing the most ROI from it.
There’s great potential to create lots of content from one “flagship” piece like an eBook or white paper. This piece can be the starting point for creating other content such as an infographic or podcast. Other supporting content can point to its gated landing page on your website, so it serves as a lead generator for your content campaign.
Here are some ideas for content to include in your strategy plan:
- eBook or white paper
- Articles on third-party websites
- Blog posts on your website
- Pillar pages on your website
- Email series for lead generation or nurturing
- SlideShare presentations
- Online quizzes and assessments
- Press release
- Social media posts
Original research is a great addition to your content marketing strategy. But plan ahead! It normally takes three months to run an original research project from brainstorming and planning to designing and running the survey to creating content.
However, it’s a worthwhile investment that can give your content marketing a huge boost for months afterwards.
By the way…whenever you’re ready, here are some ways I can help you stand out the noisy tech market:
- 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.
- 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.