Tips, tools, and best practices for B2B marketers.

What content do your buyers value?  Marketers and buyers aren’t on the same page.

According to a recent study by MarketingSherpa, there seems to be a disconnect between what marketers feel is valuable to their buyers and what buyers say has value.  In order to determine what content had the most value, MarketingSherpa asked B2B buyers and B2B marketers to indicate which types of content they felt was worthy of registration.  

Where they agreed:
  • Both marketers and buyers felt whitepapers still had the most value (assuming the content is good of course).  
  • There was also agreement on the perceived value of analyst reports.  But that’s where the agreement ended.
            content-1_1.jpg 
Where they disagreed:
  • Marketers placed a heavier value on demos, podcasts, and online videos than did their buyers.  
  • Buyers placed a heavier value on case studies, product literature, and archived articles than their marketing counterparts.
  • One of the most striking differences was in the perceived value of demos, webcasts, and podcasts.
            content-2_1.jpg 

So why the big differences?  

It makes sense that marketers would place a heavy value on rich media assets like webcasts, podcasts, and videos because they tend to cost more and take more time to create than other types of content.  It may be that in marketers’ minds, their value can’t be detached from the time and effort it took to create them.

From the buyers’ perspective, they’re looking for information that helps them make an informed buying decision.  They want product details (e.g., literature), insights into why your solution is better (e.g., whitepapers), and comfort in hearing how others have succeeded using your solutions (e.g., case studies).   

They also want to get a good idea of what your product does early on in the decision process (e.g., demos).  Since this is a key factor in helping them understand what you have to offer, they likely expect to have access without registration.  

What does this mean for me?

The take away here isn’t that you should add registration for product literature and case studies (whitepapers yes).  Or, that podcasts and webcasts have no value.  Instead what’s revealing is the type of content B2B buyers value.  

According to what they said, whitepapers, case studies, analyst reports, and product literature are at the top of their list (in that order).

Armed with that knowledge, take a fresh look at your site and your content from your buyer’s perspective.  Do you have what they want?  Is it easy to find?  Are you promoting the most valuable content across your site?  

(Charts from MarketingSherpa, 2008-09 Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide).

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