Guest post provided by: Simki Dutta
After spending weeks working on an original research study, you publish it on your website. What happens next? It gets little to no traction and you move on.
Now, that’s an opportunity lost.
From designing the research questions and defining your audience to conducting the research and analyzing the responses — we can all agree that original research is the most time-consuming content format to produce.
But let’s not forget that it’s highly effective too.
After analyzing 1 million articles, BuzzSumo revealed that the two types of content that get maximum traction in terms of shares and links are:
- Opinion-forming journalism
- Research-backed content
So, don’t stop at publishing the research. It’s equally important to promote this research to create brand awareness, attract traffic, and drive sales.
Here’s how you can promote your original research and maximize its potential for success.
1. Create an infographic
One of the most common ways to promote original research is by creating a blog post about it but what if you could spruce it up with a visually appealing infographic?
Your research study is likely to be filled with data that can get overwhelming to digest if not presented accurately. Infographics can help you bridge that gap.
Infographics are an effective way to organize and present information in a manner that’s easy to understand. You can also create an interactive infographic with your research data and help readers grasp information at their own pace.
This content format can help you promote your original research because it’s engaging, shareable, and has the potential to go viral.
Here’s a snippet from an infographic Venngage created to promote its visual content marketing study.
2. Promote it on social media
“This one’s a no-brainer,” you might think but it’s not about sharing your original research on social media as much as it’s about how you choose to do it.
For instance, publishing a link to your research PDF or blog post isn’t enough. It doesn’t compel people to click on it and view the entire research.
A better way to drive traffic to your website and view the research is by posting engaging micro-content on social media. You can break the research into smaller parts and create compelling visuals to support the message.
This will help you stand out in a crowded timeline and grab attention on social media. You can also create a Twitter thread or use the carousel format on Facebook and LinkedIn to present your research findings in the form of bite-sized visuals.
Take a look at how HubSpot created a donut chart for social media to highlight key statistics from one of their reports.
3. Send out an email newsletter
74% of B2B marketers consider email to be the most effective way to distribute content, making it a must-have in your research promotion strategy.
Email marketing lets you reach an engaged audience and get your message across at a much lower cost compared to other marketing channels.
Don’t make the mistake of pasting the entire research on the email body. It might get too long and tiring for the recipient to read.
Instead, create an email template that gives your subscribers a preview of the research and piques their interest to know more. Make sure the email is optimized for mobile and use engaging visuals to keep them hooked.
Another email design mistake you should avoid is adding too many call-to-action (CTA) buttons. Place a clear and prominent CTA button that encourages people to click and view the entire research report on your website.
Here’s a good example by Recurly. They posed the research question, gave a brief overview of the study, included a graph to support the message, and placed a clear CTA button.
4. Engage influencers
If you thought influencer marketing only works for B2C brands, you’re mistaken. It’s also a powerful way to promote content pieces such as your original research report.
There are two ways to approach this:
- Collaborate with influencers while working on the research
- Reach out to influencers to amplify the research
In the first approach, you collaborate with influencers for their expertise on the research topic. You can either gather insights from them, interview them for the report, or include quotes from notable influencers in the niche.
Once the report is ready, you can share it with the influencer(s) and ask them to promote it on their channels.
For instance, in the example below, tech influencer, Dion Hinchcliffe is seen sharing a link to a Harvard Business Review report that includes quotes from him.
In the second approach, the role of the influencer is to amplify and promote your original research on their channels. The key is to choose influencers who are experts in the niche and have an engaged following.
Here’s a good example of the second approach. Michele Linn tweets about a research study done by Glassdoor and MIT Sloan Management Review.
5. Submit guest posts
It’s well-established that guest blogging drives traffic, builds backlinks, and improves search engine rankings. The good news is that a focused guest blogging strategy can also help you promote your original research study.
Start with identifying authoritative websites in your research topic niche that accept guest posts. While writing the guest post, reference your research in the article with a link to the blog post or infographic that hosts the complete research.
Here’s an example of a guest post I submitted to Mention which includes a link to Venngage’s study on visual content marketing.
6. Promote it in forums and online communities
Forums and communities give you access to like-minded individuals who are interested in industry-specific topics and discussions.
Leverage these spaces to share and amplify your original research. However, make sure you’re not just spamming group members with your content. It’s important to be active, engage with other people, and earn credibility for them to consider your content.
Examples of forums and online communities include social media groups, Slack communities, Quora, and Reddit among others.
“We try to follow the 1×8 rule for research. Each research execution should result in at least 8 content executions. More juice for the squeeze” says, Jay Baer.
That’s exactly what content marketers should strive for, especially when they’re working on long-form content pieces such as original research.
Make sure you also have a digital asset management strategy in place that lets you organize and optimize your content assets.
The idea is to repurpose your research for various marketing channels and maximize its potential to drive traffic and build trust.
Simki Dutta is a content marketer at Venngage, a free infographic maker and design platform. She writes about all things marketing and communications. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.