Recently, I sat down with Aberdeen Group’s CMO-in-Residence, Trip Kucera to discuss the value of third party research in content marketing. As Trip talks to B2B marketers every day about their content marketing strategies and challenges, his insights are particularly relevant on what the best practices are for the Best-in-Class. Here are just a few of the key points we gleaned, but for even more insights, you can check out Trip’s latest post about third party research on CMO Essentials.
Andrew Moravick: Trip, as marketers, we often find ourselves churning out a wide variety of content in an even wider variety of formats. What makes third party content special?
Trip Kucera: In short, the value is that someone else is making the case that your customer should care instead of you. Moreover, a CMO Council study from earlier this year found that research reports and analyst insight were two of the top five content types buyers prefer. In my report Content Marketing and The Road to Revenue: Answering the Questions my research shows how third party research content serves the information needs of buyers throughout their journey.
AM: A big part of content marketing is delivering value to our buyers. In terms of buyer needs, what are some of the benefits of third party content?
TK: Across any industry, competing vendors create a world of competing claims. Third party research gives buyers a consistent, well-vetted point of reference. Even if marketers don’t agree with all the findings, it can help buyers organize their thoughts and challenge their own assumptions.
AM: Clearly, third party content has its perks, but what kind of challenges come with it as well?
TK: Traditionally, research content isn’t designed with marketing in mind. Third party research can connect your products and services with a broader world, but it needs to be woven into the overall story that’s being told through campaigns and content marketing programs. Research, of course, shouldn’t be your stand alone story either. It should extend your story, support your premise and help build your buyer’s vision.
AM: Along with standard content marketing efforts, are there also ways marketers can use third party research for sales enablement as well?
TK: When marketers establish common ground on the challenges their buyers are facing, illustrate what problems they should prioritize, they can then arm your consultative sellers with hard hitting research-validated facts and stats to close the deal.
AM: Do you have any final thoughts or recommendations on third party content?
TK: Overall, using 3rd party research in content marketing should feel right. It shouldn’t be a replacement for branded content, which is critical to establishing your own voice and leadership, but can be instrumental in starting the conversation by borrowing on the brand of the firm, and building the credibility of that branded content through appropriate and timely citation of establishing proof points.