Market surveys can be a rich source of unique, original content. What follows will be real examples of the content that can be created and a summary of 18 different types of content that can be generated from survey results.
To recap last month’s article, 6 Reasons You Should Use Market Surveys in Link Building Campaigns, there six benefits to conducting surveys:
- You gain a better understanding of your client’s customer base – and that understanding allows you to create better content.
- The data you generate is unique and therefore more attractive to journalists and bloggers.
- You gather a huge amount of material for blog posts and articles both internally and on external sites.
- You collect quotes and testimonials from real people.
- You recruit case study volunteers where you can look in-depth at their experiences of using your client’s products or services.
- You stimulate sales and identifies gaps where the marketing message isn’t getting through.
Some Real Examples
TEKGROUP provides online newsroom software and surveys play a major part in their marketing. They conduct three in-depth surveys a year, and their Online Newsroom Survey is now in its eighth year.
CEO Steve Momorella said the survey has become a much anticipated free report in the industry.
“We want to show how important online newsrooms are to journalists, how frequently they visit them and what they expect to see when they get there,” said Momorella, adding that the survey has two great outcomes: “First we get to hear direct from journalists what they like and what they don’t. Second, we tell our clients and prospects what visitors to their online newsrooms expect to see.”
TEKGROUP creates a wide variety of content from a single survey.
“The PDF report is the centerpiece, however we create an entire series of content around the results and distribute that through many different channels,” said Momorealla, who also tweets individual nuggets from the surveys:
The content includes:
- For Twitter, TEKGROUP breaks each of the 40 questions into smaller result sets and create tweets for the key stats.
- For Flickr and increasingly Pinterest, pie-charts and bar-charts posted as individual images.
- A large series of blog posts focusing on grouping key items together.
- Facebook post on the corporate Facebook page as well as the personal pages of several employees.
“We also utilize parts of the research for our corporate website, our online newsroom, our press kits and even our trade show booth art!”
Aberdeen Group also uses survey data in many different ways.
“Content multiplication is important so think about video, infographics, ebook, blog posts, and podcasts,” according to Trip Kucera, Senior Research Analyst. “And look to slice and dice survey data in different ways to discover new insights you hadn’t realized were there.”
Kucera believes that “the companies that out-educate and out-entertain their competitors are going to be the winners. Survey results allow you to improve the quality of the content – you’re giving people facts, not just opinion.”
And your research record can give you authority when commenting on breaking news.
“So when a new merger or industry event breaks, we can immediately look at our past research and provide opinion on why this is happening, or whether it is a good or a bad thing,” Kucera said.
And now you don’t even have to have a customer base to be able to conduct valid research quickly.
A new service, Survey Monkey Audience will supply a research sample geared to your needs – all you have to add are the questions. You can see the results of this type of survey over here.
Think About Content Before Conducting Your Survey
It’s not enough to conduct the research, write the report and then think about what content you can create. To get the best content from a survey you need to include questions that are designed to give you specific types of content.
For example, here are just four questions that will help generate useful content.
The matrix question that asks respondents how much they agree or disagree with a number of statements:
Each line of a matrix questions is the basis for a substantial post.
Choose these statements to be important or provocative and you can generate a meaty blog post for each.
The qualifying question that lets you segment your survey results so that you can target blog posts at specific sectors in turn.
Qualifying questions allow results to be segmented for multiple posts.
This also allows you to compare answers between different segments and that can unearth some useful insights.
The best advice question which allows respondents to share their real-life tips. That can provide a host of ideas for blog posts.
Many respondents are happy to share advice that can be turned into blog posts.
The volunteer question that gives you permission to contact particularly insightful or noteworthy respondents.
Survey data must be kept confidential but asking specifically for permission to follow up can create fantastic case studies.
What Content Can You Create From Survey Results?
Here’s a checklist of 18 different types of content. You’ll probably not cover them all in every survey and if you can add to the list, please do so in the comments below.
- News story. Focus in on one main insight you’ve gained from your survey and make that the subject of a well-written press release.
- On your own site, publish a detailed article on the survey results and what they mean. Link to this from your press release.
- Publish a full PDF document of survey results for sharing.
- Write sector specific press releases and guest posts. Use qualifying questions to slice your survey results and provide relevant data only to each sector.
- If appropriate, write content comparing the differences between sectors you serve.
- Follow up with volunteers who have offered to share further detail. Interview them and work up into case studies.
- Write a variety of guest posts or articles based on the tips respondents have shared with you.
- In a webinar or podcast, invite industry experts to comment or debate on the results of the survey.
- Write opinion pieces based on the results for external publication.
- Create a slideshow of the results for sharing on Slideshare.
- Create a video of results for YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
- Offer interviews with CEO/founder of your client (e.g., as radio guest).
- Run a live webinar to promote insights from the survey and promote your client as an authority. Publish a recording on your site.
- Compare survey results to previous years – a brand should consider doing an annual survey – for example. The idea of doing an annual survey adds gravitas and allows you to write comparison stories.
- Piggyback on relevant existing events that might be short of news – this can be fantastic if it can be pulled off. For example, if you’re doing a study on solopreneurs, releasing your results close to ‘Work from Home Week’ every October in the U.S., will give you an editorial edge.
- Comment on breaking news stories from a position of authority.
- Design a series of tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media snippets, highlighting individual facts and insights from your research.
- An infographic can be perfect for sharing results.
The key to making this really rock is co-ordination. There can be a real synergy between the various types of content you create. If timed properly, it can seem like your news is everywhere.
If you have other ideas for content based survey results, please leave them below.