How do I get bloggers to write about our research results?
Hi Dave, love the blog. My question for you is what is the best way to get bloggers to utilize and write about my research. I work for a company called VideoBloom and I do a lot of research on online video that I'm trying to get bloggers to write about. I read your response on how to get bloggers to write about your company, but does that approach change when you have research to offer them? Thanks!
Let me start with a wry quote and then talk about the challenges and opportunities you face with VideoBloom. The quote is from journalism circles:
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story."
I think that the first challenge you face in the blogosphere is that most bloggers don't want to write entries based on facts and research. Of all forms of writing, blogging is one of the most personal and people that approach it that way don't want to be slowed down by having to consider research, even if citing it might strengthen their argument.
The greater issue you have, however, is that your company isn't a research firm. Compare your site to Forrester Research, a well-known online research company. Why are they well known, though? Not because of their research, per se, but because they have a couple of world-class bloggers and social media practitioners, namely Charlene Li and Jeremiah Owyang. Why is that important? Because they're part of the community, members of the blogosphere. This is a huge part of getting people in the online community pay attention: being part of the community in the first place.
A third issue is that VideoBloom isn't a research firm. As a commercial venture with a salesperson who is doing research, it's difficult not to suspect the research results. It's like a detergent company announcing that 78% of customers prefer the new detergent. Of course they do: companies aren't going to release research data that doesn't promote their own product or service. This means that there's a natural resistance that you're going to meet when you talk with bloggers because while you're thinking "this great research will be interesting to your readers" the blogger is thinking "I don't want to be a tool, unwittingly advertising your firm without benefit".
And so, finally, I think that the best way for you to get people to pay attention to your video-related research is for you to start blogging about the research on your own weblog, and for you to also be participating in the discussion on other sites where your research can help illuminate the conversation. Be skeptical of your own research, however, and present it as "here's an interesting finding we saw" rather than "here are the facts".
That way you'll be contributing to the greater discussion, rather than pushing out your research-based marketing message.
Hope that's helpful. Bloggers, leave a comment: do you write about research results, and if so, how do you find about them in the first place?
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