3 reasons why original research helps content marketers

When it comes to giving your brand a boost, not much beats original research – and there are some other knock-on advantages

We love a bit of original research on Content Desk.

Whether it’s climbing to the top of the heap on LinkedIn, writing the perfect headline or taking your social engagement up a notch, we’ve covered it all.

BuzzSumo’s latest offering, the State of Original Research for Marketing 2018, is another interesting resource – with feedback from 700 respondents from across the world of marketing.

The report looks at the relationship between marketers and original research: how they’re conducting it, plans for the future and, most importantly, the implications for content.

Take a look at some of the key findings from this handy bit of meta-research.

1. Research helps your brand

For brands looking to get their name on the map, BuzzSumo’s report suggests research is a good place to start.

Respondents were enthusiastic about the brand-boosting benefits of original research. The top results included increased website traffic (cited by 74% of respondents), a pickup in social shares (63% of respondents) and more mentions from influencers, marketers and other industry bigwigs (56%).

But research does more than merely push brands’ publicity. 56% of those surveyed suggested research had met the majority or all of their expectations, helping to drive leads and build a healthy return on investment in the meantime.

2. It gives you a niche

Ramping up inbound traffic and leads is always welcome, but original research can do something more profound for your brand: it demonstrates authority in a field of expertise. In the long run, this can cement your credibility in a particular area.

If you’re aiming to carve out a niche, start sooner rather than later. Marketers are already realising the value of putting research at the centre of their strategies. 9 in 10 marketers who have made the leap into research are planning on doing more over the coming year. Additionally, nearly 50% not conducting research already say they will start over the next 12 months.

This is particularly relevant in the B2B world. According to BuzzSumo’s survey, 50% of B2B marketers say they are planning on intensifying their research efforts as opposed to only 35% of B2C respondents. With new research coming thick and fast over the coming months, don’t let someone else corner your area of the market.

3. It can have knock-on benefits

So, research can wangle you a short-run surge in traffic as well as a long-run lift for your industry leadership. But the advantages don’t stop here.

BuzzSumo’s survey has some interesting nuggets for content teams too. 70% of respondents said research had enhanced their ideas about new content and 67% said it improved content quality. Furthermore, 58% said it gave them more insights about their customers – both existing and prospective.

And, if you’re worried about barriers to entry from embarking on a research project, hope is at hand. It’s true that surveys are the most popular individual source of original research. But the report also reveals that some of the best research emerges from existing content strategies and analytics platforms. Analysing your own data, or data from third parties, was cited as investigative launch pads among 54% and 52% of respondents respectively.

So what are you waiting for? Digging in to some original research could be the kick your marketing strategy needs. Just make sure you get there before someone else beats you to it.

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