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How Content Marketing Helps Make the B2B Sale

Are you a B2B marketer? Then you’ll be interested in the results of a recent study by the CMO Council which found that content marketing significantly affects the path to purchase for business decision-makers. A whopping 87 percent of B2B buyers say online content either has a moderate or major effect on the vendors they choose.

Marketers are realizing the importance of content marketing: The study found that on average, B2B companies were devoting about one-fourth of their marketing budget to content creation. However, the study, “Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field,” says there’s still a long way to go, because most B2B marketers are still only doing random and haphazard content generation, rather than following a clearly laid out strategy.

As you develop content for your B2B customers, here’s some information to keep in mind.

B2B buyers said the most useful sources of content in the research stage of the purchase process are:

  • professional associations and online communities (47 percent)
  • industry organizations and groups (46 percent)
  • online trade publications (41 percent)
  • seminars and workshops (41 percent)
  • trade shows (35 percent)

The most useful types of content are:

  • professional association research reports and white papers (67 percent)
  • industry group research reports and white papers (50 percent)
  • customer case studies (48 percent)
  • analyst reports and white papers (44 percent)
  • product reviews (40 percent)

The characteristics buyers find most valuable in online content are:

  • breadth and depth of information (47 percent)
  • ease of access, understanding and readability (44 percent)
  • originality of thinking and ideas (39 percent)

What do they most dislike in online content?

  • too many requirements for downloading (50 percent)
  • blatantly promotional and self-serving (43 percent)
  • nonsubstantive and uninformed content (34 percent)

Takeaways for B2B marketers?

  • Make it easy to access your content. Include minimal requirements for download and make it easy to unsubscribe from followup emails.
  • Seek to disseminate your content in as many of the valued channels as possible, whether by writing guest posts or articles, or contributing to industry events and conferences.
  • Make sure your content is unbiased and not overly promotional. If you lose perspective on this, have an impartial person read it to see what they think.

To download the free white paper, visit the CMO Council website.

Image by Flickr user buddawiggi (Creative Commons)


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