If you thought your research days were over when you graduated from high school or college, think again. If you create any kind of content as part of your role, your arguments should be well-supported with data.
Why is research so important? It makes your claims credible, your content authoritative, and helps you earn more social shares and backlinks.
In fact, an analysis of over one million articles from Moz and BuzzSumo revealed that research-backed content generates more shares and more backlinks than other content types.
The thing is, finding the research to cite is tough sometimes. The original source data can be hard to track down and citations might be incorrect or missing, among other issues.
For all of you content creators, bloggers, SEOs, and market researchers, we feel your pain. So we put together a comprehensive list of sources with original research data about all things marketing. Bookmark this blog post to have ideas handy for where to go when you need a stat to support your claim, or if you’re looking for great sources to learn about forthcoming trends in the marketing world.
Nielsen specializes in consumer media research on topics like TV, internet, social media, and app user behaviors. Whether you write blog posts about social media behavior or report to your team about trends, Nielsen is a great place to start your research. It frequently publishes new data in its Insights section marketers might find useful to cite, such as:
Bloomberg News publishes business stories and data on a variety of topics, including global technology and digital media news. Bloomberg breaks a lot of technology and marketing news stories, which makes it a great resource for covering newsjacks, creating timelines, or simply keeping up with what’s new in digital media. Here are examples of Bloomberg content you might cite:
Research organization Gallup conducts public opinion polls about business and technology, among a variety of other topics. Recent, original survey results provide excellent data to cite, and Gallup provides meaningful insights in addition to the raw survey data. Below are surveys it conducted about brand marketing:
The Pew Research Center conducts nonpartisan surveys and research on trends and habits among internet and technology consumers. Another source for poll results, Pew publishes lots of valuable information you can cite. Make sure you cite properly -- instead of “100% of Americans use social media,” phrase survey data as “100% of Americans surveyed use social media.” You might find these Pew survey results useful:
Ipsos conducts market research and analysis of a variety of global audiences and their consumption behaviors. Research from Ipsos is great to cite to provide global data instead of data only from your home country. Here are two of its latest reports that intrigued us:
Every year, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs conduct massive surveys of B2B and B2C marketers in North America and distill the findings into reports full of original, useful data about how marketers do their jobs in the current year. We cite these surveys, and we think you should too:
Ahrefs offers SEO marketing tools and a blog that includes original research and analysis. If you’re in the business of search engine marketing or linkbuilding, Ahrefs is a must-bookmark. Here are a couple of fascinating studies on the blog we recommend:
Marketing agency Fractl publishes interesting research about growth and content marketing strategies, including linkbuilding, writing, and social media. We love that Fractl visualizes research results in infographic format, too. Check out some of its latest studies here:
WordStream provides online advertising software and tools, and the brand publishes helpful marketing advice and original research on its blog. WordStream constantly evaluates and analyzes its own practices and publishes its findings, which is highly useful whether you write about online advertising or do it yourself. You can cite WordStream’s SEO data from studies like these:
Market research company eMarketer publishes research data about all things digital media -- from social media, content marketing, SEO, and mobile device use. It publishes research data from markets around the world, so it’s a highly comprehensive resource to cite. It also publishes lots of projections for the future of different industries, which is useful information whether you’re publishing an external blog post or reporting internally. Read a couple surveys and estimates below:
Marketing and advertising research company comScore produces data and insights into media and technology trends. Lots of its research focuses on consumer habits and market research in regions around the world. Additionally, comScore produces content in written, visual, and audio formats for its followers who want to consume data in different ways. Here are a couple new studies we recommend:
Siege is a content and SEO-focused marketing agency and publishes fantastic advice, case studies, and original research on its blog. Its research takes a closer look at the science and data behind common content marketing strategies, which are useful whether you create content or want to learn how to do it better. Here are two of Siege’s “closer look” research articles:
Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Examiner publishes tons of content about how to do social media, and how to do it well. Once yearly, he publishes the results of a social media marketing survey of over 5,000 marketers, which offers valuable insights into how your peers and competitors run social. Check out the free report below:
Marketing analytics company TrackMaven publishes lots of actionable research data about its own practices and those of other content marketers. Its research does a great job of answering the tough questions not all marketers have the answers to -- questions like “why aren’t my efforts driving results?” Here are some of TrackMaven’s latest research results:
Mobile research and analysis platform dscout publishes fascinating research about how people interact with mobile devices and apps. From user experience to how excessively we use our mobile devices, dscout’s research covers it all -- check out some of its insights here:
Chute helps brands publish user-generated content (UGC), and its research dives into UGC on different social media platforms and how consumers use and create content about the brands they interact with. One of its biggest initiatives analyzes branded hashtags on Instagram so brands can see how people interact with them on social media. Check out Chute’s database of Instagram hashtags and other research below:
Content marketing platform Contently publishes blog posts, webinars, and research about how to create organic and ad content consumers will actually engage with. Its analysis goes beyond organic content marketing and dives into newer trends, such as native advertising and content distribution, as in the examples below:
You may already be familiar with what we do here at HubSpot, but just in case: We’re an inbound marketing and sales platform. We publish free, original marketing, sales, and business technology data, and we’ve rounded up a list of go-to marketing statistics for easy sharing and reference, all of which are linked below:
We’ve taken some of the legwork out of the research process for you here, but make sure to always do your due diligence. Fact-check all data points you find, make sure your sources are reliable and credible, and cite your stats properly. For the latest free research on all things marketing, subscribe to get the latest reports and surveys from HubSpot Research.
What’s your go-to source for research data? Share with us in the comments below.
Originally published Mar 2, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated December 11 2018