How to Outsource Research for Content and Projects

by | November 17, 2020


Every business executive knows creating consistent top quality content for marketing projects is not a walk in the park. Yet your business’s success is highly dependent on premium, high-quality content that elevates you into an authority in your niche and drives traffic to your website. If you are looking to publish rock-solid content consistently, it is vital to incorporate a thorough research culture to provide helpful information that meets the current needs of your market. 

Research allows you to accurately gather essential data on your target market’s needs and desires and use the information to create content that targets an audience and addresses their needs. That is where outsourcing research for content and projects comes in. Outsourcing research comes with many benefits, including the utilization of top-notch skills not available in-house and savings on time and costs.

What types of research can you outsource?

There are several research types to outsource to the right research company. These include:

Primary research

Primary research revolves around the collection of data directly from an original source. This is the data collected firsthand by the researcher for a specific research purpose or project. The sources can include past and current customers and the target demographic audience. Primary research can be quite costly and time-consuming. However, experienced researchers leverage modern tools to collect data while cutting on costs and saving time.

Qualitative primary research

Qualitative primary research employs various methods to gather critical information from your target audience. Researchers use interviews to get data on essential things such as innate interests, dislikes, trends, and emotional factors that affect buyer behavior. Additionally, researchers can also collect data from focus groups of six or more persons led through research questions by trained experts.

Quantitative primary research

There are times researchers want more numerical data that goes beyond the interactions and opinions with the target audience. They will conduct primary quantitative surveys to gather data from large groups of people to understand the thoughts and actions of the current or target market.

CATI surveys

Another technique to collect essential data for your content and projects is through computer-aided telephone interviews. CATI techniques offer a powerful and effective way to generate large volumes of data from your existing and target market. The researchers customize a CATI survey for your business by creating an objective brief, survey draft, a call script, and a lead list that they use to find contact prospects. The right researchers to outsource CATI data collection should have resources and technologies to conduct telephone interviews and customize the whole process to fit your specific market.

Secondary market research

Secondary market research involves analyzing significant volumes of data from secondary sources often found online. Ideally, a researcher can do web-based research quickly and in real-time thanks to modern research tools and other resources such as social media, online news sources, and organic search results. Some of the secondary research sources are:

  • Competitors
  • Business information centers
  • Regional planning organizations
  • Libraries and public information centers
  • Insurance companies
  • Chamber of commerce
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Books and publications
  • Federal government resources
  • Discussion groups
  • Marketing departments of local colleges
  • Financial institutions

Tips for outsourcing research  

Know what to outsource

It is essential to know your content and project needs firsthand before you outsource research. Design a content marketing strategy and assess the skills of your in-house team to determine what to outsource. Any part of the research that your in-house team cannot handle effectively has the potential to be outsourced. It is also advisable to determine the workload of your team. Although some members of your in-house team could be experts in a given niche, they may have time to collect data effectively, and outsourcing part of their work will significantly speed up your content creation process.

Determine current content marketing trends

A great way to maintain the quality of outsourced content research is to know the current market trends and needs. You want the researchers to collect data for content relevant to the market trends, news, and what the market is talking about at the time. It is also important to regularly use current, trendy social media sources frequented by your existing and target market as primary sources of data. Check out the trending research tools used often by other content marketing experts and competitors to get an idea of the latest happenings.

Provide a template for deliverables

Create and provide a company style guide or template for your researchers. The template should include information on the structure, format, grammar, and tone of the research paper. It should also include important information such as the specific areas the research should cover and the data sources. A company style guide or template will help the researchers maintain consistency throughout data collection and writing of the reports. It is also imperative that you provide clear and specific instructions to ensure the maintenance of quality. Clear, concise, and detailed instructions help the team stay on course and deliver a well-researched report that meets your needs. Instructions can cover questions such as:

  • How long should the research content be?
  • What are the key sources?
  • What areas and keywords to include?
  • What images to use and how many
  • What is the preferred research type?
  • Should they include quotations, references, and links?

Use researchers who understand your industry needs

You should also consider how well the research firm’s style matches up with your business needs for content. It is important to determine the methods that each research firm uses, such as interviews, focus groups, journal research, and whether it meets your needs of data collection. Focus on working with researchers who can perform tactical and strategic analysis across multiple niches.

Key Takeaway

Outsourcing parts of content research frees up time and allows your in-house employees to focus on more in-depth and challenging research areas. But you need to understand how to effectively outsource research to get killer content that you will integrate into your marketing strategy. If you need help finding an experienced, skilled, and offsite research firm that offers top-notch services, contact Zirtual.