How to create a high-quality research report with Erin Balsa

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Episode Summary

Writing high-quality blog posts requires talent and top-notch research skills. But, unfortunately, many writers lack the basic knowledge of what it takes to do proper research. As a result, we have the internet packed with articles providing inaccurate or outdated information.

Therefore, in order to eradicate this practice, managers need to educate their writers on how to look for reliable information sources and adequately implement collected data into their work. Otherwise, they can cause the company to lose customers’ trust because of low-quality content published on their websites.

In today’s episode of Content Logistics, our host, Camille Trent, chats with Erin Balsa, the Director of Marketing at The Predictive Index. Erin and Camille discuss the importance of proper data research, the difference between blog posts and research reports, the steps required to create research reports, and why B2B companies can benefit from them.

Guest Profile


Key Insights

Episode Highlights

It’s Hard to Find Good Data That You Can Trust

”As a writer, that’s how I started out in my career, looking for research, and it’s impossible to find the original source because a lot of writers don’t know how to properly cite their sources. And they’ll just find a top 10 listicle that blurts out some stats, and they’ll link to that. And you can’t do that. You’re supposed to always cite the original source.

If you can’t tie down the original study where that statistic came from, you can’t prove it. And that’s why we have so much misinformation out there on the internet today.”

There Are Many Moving Pieces to Juggle When Doing Original Research

”The one thing that derails the process is if people don’t have super clear expectations and there’s nobody project managing everything tight and running a very tight ship that can easily go off the rails. And unless you know what you’re doing, it’s hard to dive in and wing it. It’s not the kind of content piece you can just wing an expected result.”

I’m a Fan of Doing Strategic Gating

There are different ways you can do strategic gating. For example, you might put some of the report on a page. So whoever wants to read it, they’re still getting value. And then whoever wants to read the rest, or some people just like to download the PDF and then they’ll give you their information more willingly.

They don’t feel trapped. They have no other option; it’s either leave the page or give their information. There’s a third option. Spend two minutes reading this information that’s ungated, and then make your decision whether you want to dive in deeper or hit the back button. And either way, at least I know that you’ve interacted with our content.”

B2B Companies Can Benefit From Research Reports

”They help pin you as a thought leader in your industry, which can be a lot less important for B2C. Typically you want to have a little bit of a budget, and if you don’t have your own team of data scientists or data analysts, you can farm that part out to a research firm.

Whether that’s Qualtrics, Dynata, SurveyMonkey even has the ability to purchase an audience. Because, number one, it can be hard to secure an audience on your own. And number two, it can be hard to know how to properly clean data, make sure it’s valid data, and get everything right to actually write.”

Prerequisites for Writing Research Reports

”I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone that doesn’t have a good fundamental understanding of marketing and content strategy approach. You’re not quite ready. But if you’re already doing things like blogs and eBooks and videos and all the basic things, I say – do it.

You’ll for sure struggle a bit at the beginning because there are some growing pains, but once you do one or two of these, you’re going. You have your template; you have your systems; people know what’s expected of them. And there’s such a huge benefit in so many ways of doing this report.”