A great B2B marketer understands the utility of an informative and original piece of content. And while blog posts, press releases, and eBooks are all super effective mediums of content marketing, there are even more content formats worth exploring for your business — including reports.
Marketing reports provide a comprehensive snapshot of your brand, your industry, your product or service, and your ability to meet the needs of your customers. It’s a way to do your own research on where your brand is succeeding, all while putting together a piece of content that can then be used for marketing and sales enablement.
Creating a report is an excellent way to increase your brand’s thought leadership and tap into your audience to gain essential insights. You can also use it to gather new subscribers and leads. And to help you do it, we’ve outlined the five steps you need to take to research, write, and promote a B2B report, with helpful tips for making your content count.
The Value of a B2B Marketing Report
Putting together such a thorough piece of content requires time and resources, but it’s definitely worth the effort. A well-done marketing report can offer a lot of value to your business, including:
- Providing you with insight into the practices of your audience
- Providing current customers with information that might be helpful to them
- Serving as a gated piece of content to generate new leads with
- Creating buzz for your brand
Best yet, you’ll learn a lot along the way, and you’ll get a valuable asset to use moving forward.
Steps to Creating Your Report
Putting together a B2B marketing report isn’t as quick as putting together a basic blog post or social media blurb, but it pays to take your time and do it right. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Run a Survey to Gain Insight into Your Report
Your report needs to be backed by real data from real customers, and an email survey is a fantastic way to gather it.
To keep things productive, only make the survey known to your email subscribers instead of simply blasting it out. Going the latter route could lead to spam participants that don’t give you any insight you can actually use. If you decide you do eventually want to gain insights from a larger pool of people, make sure you verify their email addresses first. You could also partner with noted brands and ask them to share it with their audience for participation. In exchange for doing so, offer them first access to the report or provide them with blog content inspired by the report.
Not getting enough action on your survey? Consider giving something in return for participation, such as a small gift card or a discount on your services or products.
Step 2: Organize Your Assets
There’s the report, and then there’s the dissemination of the report. While you’re gathering all that survey data and turning it into useful content, set aside time to put together all of the assets you’ll need to make this a high-value piece of content. This includes:
- A landing page
- Ways to track engagement
- Outline of KPIs
- UTM links for various channels you’ll promote on
- Images for social, email, and digital ads
- Promo copy for email and social campaigns, website banners, etc.
You might not be able to cement all of these assets in place ahead of time but do at least have a plan so you can hit the ground running once your report is ready.
Step 3: Write Your Report
Once you’ve received and reviewed your findings, put them together into a smartly formatted report. Use graphs, pie charts, and lots of data-backed copy for content that’s authentic and easy to consume. This will include your survey results, but possibly also data you’ve gathered from other types of internal research (it all depends on the overall topic of your report).
Step 4: Share and Promote the Report
Use a gated landing page to allow people to download the report in exchange for their contact info, and include an opt-in box for your newsletter while you’re at it. You should also share the report with customers and survey participants via a dedicated email campaign.
Keep the content gated, but do engage in broader promotional tactics as well, including social posts, paid ads, and possibly influencers who can include the report in their content or help spread the word.
Step 5: Put it to Use for Sales Enablement
Partner up with your sales team and encourage them to use the report in their outreach. Aside from containing information that supports what you’re doing, it will also elevate your brand authority and show current and potential customers that you truly do have your fingers on the pulse of your industry.
To make your report the gift that keeps on giving, consider updating your research and results yearly and expand the report as needed to best meet the needs of your customers and your business.
Are you ready for a smarter way to engage with your customers?
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