One of many the challenges faced by SMB content marketers is the effort required to develop breakthrough content. Apart from the significant challenge of determining the optimal mix of formats, topics and placement, content marketers must also develop content that stands out from an increasingly crowded field.
The fix? Data. Here are three ways that research makes content marketing easier and more effective:
1. Data can do your selling for you.
Research-based content is a great way to convert prospects. In a recent Bredin survey, principals of SMBs with 20-99 employees rated research reports as the format they were most likely to use to make a product purchase decision (tied with the product section of your site). SMBs want to hear from their peers more than any other source of information, and the research you conduct supports their preference for peer advice.
2. Data makes your content stand out.
Content visibility is an ongoing challenge. Data – specifically original research – is a great way to differentiate your content. A survey of SMBs, when done well, can generate enough data for a full suite of content, such as articles, blog posts, infographics, podcasts, videos and webcasts. And you don’t have to conduct an expensive survey to get sufficient data.
3. Data focuses your efforts.
Research can help you understand the attitudes and preferences of your target audience. Conducting research to develop personas makes your content development effort easier and more effective. In our research, SMBs consistently tell us that they want potential vendors to demonstrate an understanding of their business needs and pain points. Persona research can help you create much more targeted and relevant content.