A B2B Marketer’s Introduction to Surveying Your Audience

 In B2B Engagement Marketing, BrightTALK Academy, Content Marketing, Demand Generation, Uncategorized, Webinars

Metrics and benchmarks give B2B marketers reasons to invest, alter, and evolve their strategies. Understanding how your target buyers research new solutions, cope with challenges, and spend their budgets is key to tightening your sales process and closing more deals.

However, the specific research you might need isn’t always available. So what does a savvy, modern marketer do? Conduct their own survey.

But where do you start? This week, we hosted a webinar where we shared how to conduct research for revenue-generating content. In this post, we’ll share an overview of some of the techniques we highlighted in the presentation. (You can watch the on-demand webinar for a more in-depth discussion.)

When shaping your research, consider these three key questions:

What does your audience want to know?

Of course, the data you collect should be beneficial to your company and represent your brand’s interests.

But it’s just as important to make sure that whatever you produce is something your prospects and customers would want to engage with. If it’s not relevant to their industry, role, and/or company, they won’t spend the time interacting with it.

In other words, your research should be worth downloading, reading, and acting on. This type of content successfully:

  • Captures the unique interests of your prospects and/or customers
  • Shares specific ideas relevant to their interests
  • Offers insightful takeaways that your audience can use

What do you want to do with the results?

Before even creating your questions, think clearly about what you want to do with the data once you collect it. There are countless ways to design your survey — depending on how you want to frame the results.

Are you looking to show other potential buyers where they stand in relation to their peers? Or are you trying to help them understand market shifts and how they can stay ahead of the curve? Will your final product be prospect-centric or customer-centric?

When designing your questions, answers, and analysis metrics, consider questions such as:

Which formats will you use to distribute it?

Typically, research is presented as a static, downloadable piece of content, such as a white paper or eBook. This format works because it lets your audience download it and refer back to it as they need to.

But there’s so much more you can do with your research to reach your audience in the format of their preference. Don’t limit yourself to a single format — your audience is active on different channels and websites, and it’s crucial to meet them where they are.

Other ways to distribute your research findings:

  • Webinars. Online events add a human element to research that can sometimes be dry or dull on its own. You can bring on internal and external experts to add commentary and analysis around the results, making them more meaningful and memorable for your audience.
  • Videos, infographics, and blog posts. Short-form ungated content is an excellent option to highlight a snippet of your research and hook your audience, before asking them to provide their information for the complete report or webinar.
  • Direct mail. With the rise of account-based marketing, direct mail is experiencing a resurgence. Get your content directly in front of your best prospects and customers by sending them a beautifully designed hard copy of your report.

b2b research

These three areas are simply things to consider if you’re interested in conducting original research. Other determinations to be made include who will do the survey, how you will poll your audience, and which channels you will use to distribute the results.

Watch the on-demand webinar to learn more.

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