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Thursday, 23 June 2016 02:40

How to Use Research to Make Consumer Engagement Skyrocket

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As Fractl's Inbound Marketing Manager, Kerry Jones is responsible for overseeinginbound marketing research initiatives for our brand. Ultimately, this research is used to further refine Fractl's approach to content creation and influencer marketing, which has enabled us to produce some of the most viral content marketing campaigns on behalf of our clients:

Today, I've interviewed her on her approach to our research, and how other brands can leverage this strategy to increase their brand's reach, engagement, and organic rankings.

What are the benefits of using research in content marketing campaigns?

Research-backed content is appealing to audiences and publishers alike when your data is newsworthy, original, and/or compelling. Including research in your content is becoming a crucial piece for getting it picked up by publishers. When we surveyed 500 top-tier publishers, 39% told us the perfect piece of content includes exclusive research.

I should emphasize new research works best. Regurgitating data already being circulated within your industry is not as effective, unless you are presenting it in a new or novel content format.

How can brands collect their own exclusive research?

There are a few options for obtaining exclusive data.

Proprietary company data is great for content marketing since it is truly exclusive in that no one else has access to it. Kickstarter regularly releases data about crowdfunding, like this blog post about the first 100,000 Kickstarter projects. Fitness tracker Jawbone uses its user data for studies, and then turns the findings ino content like this look at male and female sleep patterns.

Surveys are another excellent way to gather exclusive research since you can often get a lot of mileage out of them. For example, in-depth surveys can provide enough data for multiple content initiatives. When these surveys happen on a recurring basis, such as HubSpot's annual State of Inbound survey, you can build anticipation around the release of your latest survey results. Doing industry surveys has value well beyond creating content, such as gaining new insights into your vertical and positioning your brand as an authority.

Secondhand data sources can be just as powerful, and they are surprisingly easy to get your hands on. For every industry, there's an abundance of interesting data and new research out there, but the average person isn't reading government databases and academic journals for fun. Companies can strike content marketing gold by combing through these cumbersome sources, extracting the most interesting insights, and then packaging those findings in a content format that's easy to digest.

Can research-driven marketing campaigns be done on a smaller budget?

You can definitely create awesome content campaigns featuring exclusive research on the cheap if you're willing to put in the time.

Surveys are an affordable way to collect firsthand research. If you're doing a survey on your industry, for example, you can recruit your professional contacts as respondents. Data curation is usually an even less expensive option, thanks to an abundance of data sources available to the public, most of which are free. Some of the Fractl team's favorites include:

There are a ton of free tools for creating data visualizations, too. Thishuge list of free data tools is a good place to start. Google Charts is extremely easy to use, and allows you to create simple graphs and charts from your data set. Tableau Public is another favorite tool of mine. The free version is pretty powerful and although this tool has a steep learning curve, it's worth taking the time to learn.

Can you share some of your favorite research-backed Fractl marketing campaigns?

  • The ROI of Content Marketing vs. Native Advertising: We set out to measure which tactic provided a better return, content marketing or native advertising. Our data collection for this campaign included surveying content marketing agencies and partnering with another company to obtain raw data from their research on native advertising costs.
  • The Inbound Marketing Economy:For this campaign, we analyzed more than 75,000 job listings on Indeed to uncover trends in inbound marketing roles.
  • Content Engagement by Generation: To better understand how different age groups consume online content, we surveyed three different generations: Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/replacemeplease1456168325.html

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