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How to Use Research to Create Content That Works

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Hosted By

Anna Hrach

Convince & Convert
About The Content Experience Show:

Welcome to The Content Experience Show where content experience is the new content marketing. It’s not only about reaching our audiences where they are, but engaging them with a personalized experience of meaningful, useful content that they’ll take with them over time. The guests on the Content Experience Show share strategies, tips, and real-world examples of how they’re taking their content marketing to the next level and providing their current and prospective customers with a true content experience. This isn’t just a trend. It’s a movement.

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It doesn't get any better for content marketers. They present a balanced, insightful discussion of current trends and ask all the right questions. Their guest list is a "Who's Who" of content professionals. Outstanding.

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I love listening to marketing podcasts and this one is on my must-listen to list. Very knowledgable hosts and topical discussions.

The Marketing Book Podcast

Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing at Edison Research, stops by the Content Pros Podcast today to discuss strengthening content with trusted research as well as remembering to be curious, and create content you are proud of to resonate with your audience.

Research to Resonate

Tom Webster is a man of many talents. He is a music maven and saucier. He co-authored The Mobile Commerce Revolution with Tim Hayden, a book not about mobile technology, but about mobile behavior. Today, he talks with Content Pros primarily as the VP of Strategy and Marketing at Edison Research.
Edison Research is a custom market research company, solving problems for clients by figuring out their audience. (They are best known for being the sole providers of exit poll data for news networks during elections since 2003.)
The information they provide becomes the content that networks use to entertain and inform their audiences.
There are plenty of people out there who will put up a link and say, “Hey, take my survey,” and then make an infographic stating statistics. Content marketers should know better than to do that or use those faulty numbers.
To actually be helpful, Tom hopes, “Content marketers who are serious about their trade will do the work, do the due diligence to source these numbers to analyze them correctly, and actually help their readers and their audience.
That’s the only way to stand out among the rest.

“When you have 80% of the players at the poker table essentially playing the same game, it gets harder and harder to win.”

Edison measures their success by how often the phone rings (not the most scientific method, but it works). Their clients have their own metrics for success, whether they are looking to grow social presence, awareness, or something else, so strategies change depending on what the client wants. But for Edison as a business, when their research gets picked up by mainstream media, whether offline or on, and places like eMarketer and Statista, that’s when their phone rings.
One thing Tom (and everyone at Edison) prides himself on is finding the “spicy meatball” within data.

“You can’t just do research for research’s sake. You also have to think through what would surprise people to the positive. What, if true, would challenge conventional wisdom?

Tom gets fired up any time Edison can create new facts. Their Share of Ear report, which measured all forms of online and offline audio intake, is an example of some of the groundbreaking work Edison does. The Infinite Dial, an ongoing survey of digital media consumption that began in 1998, is continuously discovering new trends and patterns.
One trend that is coming back around is the desire for content that is more than a one-and-done piece. “There is a renewed interest in thought leadership, and providing thought leadership that is not simply viral, but will have some legs to it. A lot of the content that we are being hired to help produce is designed to be real, flagship, pillar content and not, ‘Oh, I need a blog post.'”
Take a strategic approach to figuring out what you’re good at and what your audience wants to hear from you, and go from there.
Tom encourages content marketers to create pillar content by always asking yourself, “Is this content that you are proud of?” Content needs to challenge, entertain, or come from genuine expertise.  If you can hit at least one of those three every time, your content is going to resonate with your audience.
Bonus: Oracle & Edison Research Holiday Shopping Study
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When he was very young, Tom wanted to be a scientist. Later, he wanted to be a professor, getting an undergraduate degree and pursuing graduate work in English. Eventually he got an MBA, and the rest is history.
Watch the visual notetaking experience by Stephanie Crowley at Chrysalis Studios:

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