How B2B Marketers Can Use Primary Research to Build Authority

December 16, 2013 by

Primary Research Example: Our Very Own "State of Digital Talent" ReportWith so many businesses leveraging content marketing these days, it can become challenging to make your brand’s voice rise above the chatter.

One way you can separate yourself is by releasing high-quality, original research. This strategy takes more time and effort than churning out blog posts, but it could be the key to elevating your brand above the competition.

By conducting primary market research, you are creating original content that is useful to your customers and not accessible from other vendors. Not to mention, primary research has the ability to earn a high volume of social shares and links, while building your brand’s authority within your market.

Janna Finch, Managing Editor at Software Advice, a research firm that analyzes marketing trends and software, recently published an article showcasing four companies that have successfully used primary research to help solidify their brand as a market leader. Here is a brief summary, with an additional 5th example—our very State of Digital Marketing Talent report.

1. Moz’s “2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors Survey”

Moz has been viewed as an industry leader in the SEO community for over a decade. To help solidify this position, Moz released its “2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors Survey.” For this report, the company surveyed over 120 search marketers on more than 80 search engine ranking factors. With the data Moz collected, it was able to capture what influences search engine results, according to search marketers. The quality of this data helped popularize Moz, and helped generate nearly 700 links and more than 3,000 social media shares.

2. Adobe’s “2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey Results”

Adobe is already regarded as an authority on marketing by the industry, but to help reinforce its position, it published the “2013 Digital Marketing Survey Results.” This provided a comprehensive overview of what characteristics marketers believe are essential to achieving success. The report was delivered with summaries and easy-to-understand graphs, which helped present the potentially-overwhelming data in an easily-shared format. According to a LinkedIn case study, after marketers reviewed the report, they were 50 percent more likely to agree that Adobe is shaping the future of digital marketing. This LinkedIn case study evidences the potential for primary research to solidify your brand as an authority and an industry leader.

3. Silverpop’s “2013 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study”

Silverpop is one of the most authoritative brands in the marketing automation community. To help reinforce this standing, the company turned to its “2013 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.” This study provided actionable and useful information for Silverpop’s customers. The report analyzed the click-through rates, open rates and message sizes of every email message sent by 2,787 companies around the world. Silverpop’s report generated a great deal of buzz, earned 206 links and got a great deal of Web exposure.

These four examples showcased in Finch’s article help reinforce the idea that primary research can be an effective strategy for companies looking to reinforce their brands as industry leaders. Keep in mind that creating useful and original primary research is not easy, but the rewards might make it worth the extra effort.

4. The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ “B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends”

The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs recently joined forces to survey 1,218 B2B marketers to help build a comprehensive picture of current content marketing trends and challenges. The two organizations published their findings in an easily-digestible report called “B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.” Their report analyzed what mediums marketers have found to be the most successful, along with a variety of other useful industry data. It successfully positioned these brands as marketing thought leaders. Not to mention, the report earned over 126 linking domains, 2,000 social shares and 26,000 Slideshare views.

5. OMI's "State of Digital Marketing Talent" report

This past summer, we surveyed 747 executives from global agencies and brands on the state of digital & social media skills and training within their companies. Grab your free copy here (worth over $495), and check out the corresponding infographic, too. The study found Fortune 500 companies and global agencies face a serious digital marketing skills shortage. This report is helping address the widespread lack of talent in digital and champion the importance of training and education. We released the study in November, and to date, have generated over 60 back links and thousands of downloads.

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