In early 2018, we joined forces with Mantis Research to survey nearly 700 marketers from around the world. We wanted to discover:
- Whether or not they had published original research in the past
- Whether or not they planned to continue doing so
- What results they saw from publishing original research
At BuzzSumo, the most engaging blog posts we’ve ever written are based on original research. One example is our article We Analyzed 100 Million Headlines. Here’s What We Learned (New Research), which has gotten more than 13.3k social interactions since it was published in June 2017.
However, we weren’t sure if the value we see in conducting and publishing research-based posts was unique to us. Our new report proves that it’s not.
The State of Original Research for Marketing 2018 report shows that marketers from many industries rely on publishing original research as part of their strategy. And, original research posts work.
Original research consistently brings visitors to websites and compels them to share on social networks.
Read the “State of Original Research for Marketing 2018” Report:
Our report also showed that the number of marketers who publish content based on original research is likely to grow in 2019.
Ninety-two percent of the survey group plans to conduct and publish original research in the next 12 months. And, 42% of those not currently using original research as part of their content marketing mix plan to begin soon.
The investment of time and money is worth it.
Original research is the most powerful format for content. It’s crazy that more people don’t do it, Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder, Orbit Media @crestodinaClick To Tweet
Original research creates numerous opportunities.
“Organizations that take on original research can accomplish a great deal, for content marketing and beyond,” says Rebecca Lieb, Co-Founder, Kaleido Insights.
Obviously, research creates opportunities for thought leadership in a field. It’s also an opportunity to generate content that can be ‘recombinant,’ not only in a research report but also in a blog post, Powerpoint presentation, speech, infographic, video, etc. Beyond ‘just’ the content part, research can also reveal new opportunities, in the marketplace or for the product, that can drive a business forward or generate PR value, or gain traction with influencers.”
Steve Rayson, one of BuzzSumo’s co-founders, believes that one of the main strengths of research is that it generates unique and original findings. There is a huge amount of ‘me too’ content. Research allows you to tell unique stories backed by data. Steve uses research for his own personal blog for this purpose, for example What I Learned From An Analysis of 1.3 Million Articles About Brexit. BuzzSumo data reveals that research based content is more evergreen and attracts higher levels of backlinks.
Eric Enge, CEO, Stone Temple, has helpful tips for effective research:
“Publishing research has worked extremely well for us. I believe the keys to success are:
- Complete and utter dedication to letting the data tell the story. We never let our preconceived biases influence the conclusions.
- Focusing our efforts on high-value research about current hot topics.
- Doing studies that others have not done before.
- Patience. You don’t publish one study and suddenly everyone loves you. You need to do it on an ongoing basis for a while.”
“To many in business and marketing, having an original piece of research that droves of other blogs and websites link to and reference is the Holy Grail of online marketing”, says Mike Alton, Brand Evangelist, Agorapulse.
“Those links and citations raise brand awareness, strengthen authority, and improve search engine ranking. And yet, such activity doesn’t have to be as rare and impossible to obtain as many think; nor does it have to be a particularly large out-of-pocket expense – though it does require a great deal of time and effort. This report and accompanying guide are exactly what you need to get started.”
If the idea of creating original research on your own is daunting, consider working with a company who specializes in the task.
Quality research depends on ensuring the following, says Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer, Actionable Marketing Guide:
- Are the people that you’re able to target and who are willing to complete your survey consistent with the business needs of the target audience of the finished report? If you can’t reach the right survey respondents, there’s a problem with your research.
- Are the survey questions developed to reveal usable insights while remaining understandable to respondents? Your questionnaire should be focused on the needs of the research’s audience, not on promoting your business or pushing leads. Doing this undermines your research findings.
Make sure that your research provider can answer these questions before you start.
We’d love to hear your plans for original research. Let us know in the comments if you have a research project in your content plan for 2018.