Two million new blog posts appear on the web every day – that makes it challenging for marketers to stand out and attract attention. It’s even harder when your targets are the time-crunched principals of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). So how do you break through, establish your expertise, and motivate SMBs’ progress toward a purchase decision?
The answer: base your content on valuable, original research. Research enables SMBs to learn from their peers – the source they turn to most for information on management concerns as well as business products and services. When you share research with new insights on what other SMBs are thinking and doing, you’re seen as an expert and trusted advisor. Original research is also unique and provides source material for a wide range of content elements. Content featuring original research can garner more attention and perform better – as long as you use research right, by:
Appealing to your specific customers. What are their pain points? What challenges do they face? What would they love to learn from peers? If your research provides answers or guidance on topics they care about, it’ll catch their eye.
But what will make your content persuasive is that your perspective is backed by data. As Alex Turnbull, founder and CEO of Groove, says, “Everyone has opinions. Especially on the internet. Want yours to stand out? Give people a reason to believe you.” Research does just that.
Aligning with your brand. A financial services company could gather and share insight about SMB spending or credit plans, how successful SMBs sustain profitability, or how they manage their finances. SMBs expect your information and advice to be relevant to your brand and offerings.
- Maximizing your use of the data. Don’t assume your targets will see your single blog post or article about the research. Plan a full array of content. Write multiple posts on different aspects of the research. Create infographics; checklists; and a research report, white paper or guide. Host a webinar. Focus on maximum impressions to get the word out.
A well-executed survey-and-content program can support you through the entire sales process:
- Blog posts and social media can generate initial leads.
- Checklists, infographics, research reports, white papers and guides can nurture prospects.
- When others cite your research and generate their own content around it, your research generates social proof of your expertise. Be sure to contact relevant bloggers and associations with your results.
- Finally, it can even help close business: our research Selling to SMBs in 2017 revealed that 72 percent of larger SMBs cite research reports as the most important factor in making a final purchase decision.
In the coming weeks, we’ll share the other six key findings from our research into developing engaging content for SMBs. Subscribe below to make sure you’re kept up to date.
Excited to give it a try, but overwhelmed? If you need any help conducting your research or using it in content marketing, Bredin would be delighted to help. It’s our bread and butter.