Hiring quality writers, using high-res images, and carefully implementing keywords are all vital components of great web content. Yet one of the easiest ways to create website content that becomes viral is with an original research survey. It helps generate content ideas that inspire external articles and links back to your website, so you enjoy more website clicks, conversions, and revenue.
Here are some tips to create an interesting survey and resulting content.
Tip #1: Select A Topic
Spend some time brainstorming, either by yourself or with your team, to determine your survey’s focus. The most compelling research topics engage your target audience (or your agency client’s audience), whether they are consumers, prospects, or influencers, while also correlating with your brand. The best topics also focus on things that have not been researched extensively yet. For instance, if you’re an ad agency serving car dealerships, think about what sort of statistics dealership managers might be interested in but don’t currently exist.
Previously under-researched topics help establish you as an authority on a specific subject, especially if you distribute the survey annually. They provide statistics that other sites will link to as supporting research, so you become known as a credible source.
Tip #2: Get Specific
Once you have a general topic in mind, determine the specifics. What within the general sphere do you want to cover? Think of topic specifics as your survey’s table of contents. They make it easier to organize your thoughts and craft a data analysis structure you can rely on as you create website content. The best survey table of contents, such as the one created by the Content Marketing Institute, start with a welcome section before diving into the meat of the survey, such “This Year’s B2B Content Marketing Top Performers At-A-Glance.” It continues with sections such as “Usage & Team Organization,” “Commitment & Overall Success,” and “Goals & Metrics” among numerous others.
Identify three to five specific areas of research for best results. So, using the car dealership example above, perhaps your agency knows that dealership managers often wish they knew how, when, and where a certain segment of the population most often shopped for cars. You could run this survey online through a portal like Mturk for very little money, then create website content around the results (such as an infographic and blog post).
Tip #3: Hypothesize
Make educated guesses on what results your research will provide. Don’t worry if your results are different from your hypotheses, as they may provide content stories for you to share with your readers. Think of creating conclusions that outlined what you and your team predicted and what the results may actually mean. For example, you may predict that certain segments shop for cars in-person during on the weekends, but are more likely to shop online during weekdays. If this turns out to be true, you can surmise what this means from a marketing perspective. The result is engaging content your readers will enjoy and may even link to.
Tip #4: Identify Segments For Comparison Purposes
Reviewing data collections from a comparison standpoint offers opportunities to tell content stories in useful and specific ways. For instance, you would hypothesize one segment of the population buys cars in some particular way, while another segment may do so in a different way. Which warrants distinct marketing strategies for different segments.
Keep in mind the segments you report on must feature decent sample sizes. Try for at least 100 participants per segment to provide well-rounded, well-researched information.
Tip #5: Create Website Content With A Little Brainstorming
Your research will likely make it possible to create a wide variety of content, including blog posts, infographics, result-driven PDFs, static charts, press releases, videos, and landing pages to name a mere few. Research not only provides the opportunity to create website content that just keeps going, it also increases your backlink chances and helps you craft more cohesive stories. Once you create the content, you can send it to clients, prospects, and potentially even press outlets and guest bloggers, assuming the results are share-worthy.