From research reports to the solar eclipse – content marketing trends

Research reports top the charts for scoring high-quality leads

A new study from Ascend2 cites research reports as the type of content thatResearch reports generates leads with the highest customer conversion rates.

Allocating a content marketing budget has always been tricky. Do you opt for a blogging strategy, email marketing initiative, or social media campaign?

In recent times, much of the buzz has shifted towards visual forms of content: infographics, motion graphics, video and the like.

The latter has become the go-to option for many brands. They’ve usually gone on to trial snazzy promotional and instructional videos, at what’s likely to be a great cost.

But, with research reports leaving visual mediums in the dust, it seems this may not be the best option.

So, what is it about research reports that increases the likelihood of leads converting into sales?

Too often, video follows the old-school marketing mantra and attempts to dazzle the viewer with snazzy effects and graphics. But, while aesthetically-pleasing, video is less likely to be used to explore original concepts in detail.

Research reports – by their very nature – provide a new level of insight for the reader, offering something new that builds on the company’s knowledge and expertise. This provides value for the customer in a way that video would find hard to match, as well as displaying an air of authority.

The added insight also helps assure the customer that you’re the company they should choose when it comes to making a purchase. After all, if you can demonstrate an advanced understanding of the problems your customer is looking to solve, and how to solve them, why would they go elsewhere?

B2B customers just want to know that brands understand them

75% of B2B buyers need brands to demonstrate a deep understanding of their needs before they’re able to fully engage, according to a meaty new report from Marketo.

Despite this, a mighty 65% of B2B consumers think that brands could do a better job of aligning marketing materials with their own particular preferences.

This adds up to a huge source of potential for content marketers.

As we explored in the previous story, content marketing enables brands to discuss topics with a level of detail that just isn’t possible with other mediums.

Providing your understanding of your key customer demographics is on point, you can start to generate content marketing resources that demonstrate this understanding by:

  • recognising and solving customers’ problems
  • speaking to them in their own language
  • identifying complicated topics and converting them to simple ideas
  • making the information they want as easy as possible to access

Not only will this increase the likelihood of a sale with the initial reader, 66% of respondents surveyed stated their desire to advocate on behalf of brands that understand them.

With 92% of consumers valuing word-of-mouth marketing above all other forms and 91% of B2B buyers being influenced by peer recommendations, this approach could add up to a serious payday for B2B businesses.

Spotted in the news…

Everything seems to act differently during a solar eclipse. People gaze in awe at the heavens, animals start behaving as if it’s nighttime, and Google’s search results go all skew-whiff.

Brands looked to cash in on the recent solar spectacle by piggybacking on keyword phrases like “solar eclipse” and “eclipse glasses”. In fact, on 18 August alone, brands – including the likes of CNN, Fortune and Bustle – posted 4,000 new articles relating to this topic.

This highlights the value of choosing timely topics for your content marketing activities. You don’t need to be in the pinhole projector business. You just need to be able to draw a link between the event and your own pre-defined content themes.