Being cash-strapped doesn’t mean you can’t employ the exact same tactics that the big boys and girls do to gain attention and fuel their content marketing efforts. On the contrary! Being in this marketing situation forces you to be more frugal, and find thrifty ways to effectively reach your target audience.

It’s one reason we love data-oriented content marketing. Or, to put it in layman’s terms, white papers, reports and other articles that use original research to showcase interesting (and new!) findings. Not only is it something any business can do (and yes, we mean any business) but it’s a proven way to win free press mentions and get great content for your blog and social media channels.

This process starts with sourcing original research and bundling it into a great research report. This juicy document then gets pitched to the press and gets sliced and diced into smaller content nuggets for your blog and social media.

Just follow the eight-step process:

  1. Topic Selection: Choose a topic that’s relevant for your business. For instance, if you sell car rental software, you could choose a topic that tackles car renter perceptions. Make sure whatever topic you choose circles back to your core business and the product or service you offer.

  2. Survey Question Selection: Since this tactic is all about leveraging original research, you’ll need to develop a series of questions to use in survey. Keep your questions short and simple, and think through questions that might yield especially interesting or unexpected findings.

  3. Data Collection: You’ll need people to answer your survey questions. You’ll want to use an independent research company to field your survey. There are some great options out there like Survata or Pollfish that help you field just a few questions cost-effectively.

  4. Analyze Data: Once your data comes back, it’s time to look for interesting tidbits of information.

  5. Craft Report: Armed with your new research findings, you’ll need to sit down and write a report that summarizes your findings.

  6. Report Pitching: Original data gives you the opportunity to reach out to press outlets who will (hopefully) want to share your information. They’re always looking for great stories. Now you having something new that they can report on.

  7. Create A Content Waterfall: The report you create is likely several pages long…which means you can slice it up into smaller pieces for standalone blog posts, and slice it down even more for individual social media posts.

Take a look at the presentation below to be taken through this process in a bit more depth.