Thought leadership research can be immensely helpful to your brand. To start, conducting a proprietary survey can help your brand establish itself as an industry leader in your market. In these tough economic times, it is more difficult than ever to retain existing customers and find new ones. It is critical for companies to leverage independently sourced data to capture the attention of their target audiences, build their value proposition, and develop brand awareness.
You can leverage thought leadership research for several content pieces. We regularly help companies turn market research results into whitepapers, blog posts, infographics, social cards, and more. Your marketing and sales teams can leverage these assets in lead generation efforts or even to support the launch of a new product or service. From a communications perspective, thought leadership research is also a great way to fill in any momentary gaps you may have in earned coverage throughout the year.
Now that you have an understanding of why thought leadership research is valuable and why your brand should do it regularly, let’s cover some tips on how to maximize your market research for thought leadership and public relations purposes. My colleague, Rachel, previously covered 4 tips for thought leadership market research, and we’ll be building on that list here.
1. Conduct a white space analysis to find the right topic
If you aren’t quite sure what topic you want to own with your thought leadership research, we suggest conducting a media and competitive scan. This type of analysis can help you determine what competitors have already done and identify emerging topics in your industry that competitors haven’t yet covered in their thought leadership research. We also recommend conducting SEO keyword research to understand what types of topics and articles are performing well from an SEO perspective.
2. You might need fewer questions than you think
Most press releases only cover about five survey questions, so a 20- to 30-question survey can be utilized across multiple press releases and provide plenty of substance for content pieces. For single press releases or smaller pieces of content, an omnibus survey is a great option. Omnibus market research is a quick and affordable way to gather data. You can learn more about the TEAM LEWIS omnibus offering here.
3. Be timely in conducting the research and publishing the findings
Ideally, you should publish the results of your market research survey within a month of gathering survey respondents. You can also conduct quick-turn research to comment on hot topics in your industry to capitalize on media cycles.
4. Make it easy for reporters to cover your market research study
Make sure to clearly highlight the key takeaways from your study. You should also include methodology notes such as sample size, respondent profile, geographies, fielding dates, and charts in the press release and associated content.
5. Do more than just a press release
Our most successful clients leverage their thought leadership market research in multiple ways. Beyond a press release, you can develop a whitepaper, video, infographic, social cards, blog posts, and webinars to promote your thought leadership research. The outstanding creative team here at TEAM LEWIS regularly supports our clients in developing these types of assets for their market research studies.
6. Track your results
Interested in understanding the ROI of your thought leadership research project? You should consider tracking the media coverage you receive from the research results for a predetermined time period (e.g., 4 months) after launching the study. You could also track website traffic and sales conversions, among other key metrics.
7. Work with market research experts to ensure data integrity
Lastly, we recommend working with research experts on your thought leadership market research study. We have expertise in writing survey questions that are not leading and will drive interesting headlines for your brand. We also conduct thorough data quality checks to ensure that your findings are based on high-quality survey responses. You can read more about the importance of sampling here.
Want to learn more about how thought leadership research can benefit your brand? Or want to brainstorm topic ideas for a thought leadership survey? Let’s chat!