Customer-Centric Content Key to Strategy
Content marketing converts six times higher than other methods, making it essential to any successful B2B marketing plan. Despite that, 70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. The fact is most marketers don’t have time to create content let alone a strategy for how to use it.
Smart marketers hack this problem by employing a customer-centric content creation strategy, allowing them to do more with less content. To do that, you need to know as much as you can about your prospects. To get you started, here are some facts about today’s B2B technology buyers:
B2B Tech Buyers – Who are they?
The 2016 US Census Bureau American Community Survey indicates there are 5.8-million technology buyers in the U.S. and >43% of them are IT professionals. Since up to 6 people are involved in buying decisions for 79% of companies, knowing more about their demographics is key:
- >50% are between 25 and 44 years of age
- 87% have been working in IT for more than 5-years
- 25% are female
- A greater ethnic & nationality diversity is represented within them versus the total workforce
- 22% have an advanced degree, compared to 12% of the total workforce
- 41% will change jobs in the next 12-months
What kind of content are B2B tech buyers looking for?
Since 51% of B2B buyers find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of content available, they are increasingly selective in what they choose to consume. Research agrees thought leadership is the most useful type of content:
- ~80% of buyers say they prefer content that “addresses their business problem” versus product details or technical information.
- 88% of buyers agree that content producers need to focus less on product specifics and more on the value that can be brought to their business.
- ~50% of marketing executives say thought leadership differentiates their company from the competition.
How do B2B tech buyers find content and interact with it?
Because there is no shortage of content sources, B2B buyers have to be particularly discerning about where they get their content. When we talked to B2B tech buyers for our 2016 survey, we found:
- 43% of B2B buyers say third-party (publisher, marketing partner) email is their favored method to learn about technologies for the first time.
- 43% of buyers say they prefer to download vendor content from third-parties.
- ~60% of B2B buyers say peer discussion and search engine browsing are their top methods for researching, once they’ve been alerted to a new solution.
- 77% of buyers say they prefer to download follow up that offers supplemental content or the chance to provide feedback.
Buyers tend to avoid engaging with a vendor before they’ve finished their own research. When asked why they don’t go directly to a vendor site, 73% say sales follow up is “too pushy.” They like to learn how a vendor can help them, but don’t want to be sold to or pushed into buying a product.
By leveraging this information and adding the details of your prospects, you can employ a customer-centric content creation strategy, giving you time to be strategic about how you use your content. We hope this information helps you. If you have any thoughts on how to make content marketing easier, let us know and we’ll add them here.