B2B buyers are overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. More than half in Demand Gen Report’s annual B2B content preferences survey said that, which doesn’t surprise me so much as confirm what I already knew: It’s becoming far more difficult for businesses to break through the noise.
That same Demand Gen survey also found that B2B buyers are growing pickier about what they’ll spend time reading while researching solutions to their problems. They don’t want a litany of product features; they want you to focus on their business and the value you will bring them and they want you to support that with third-party data, research and examples (like case studies).
We’ve all heard the data from multiple sources that says that anywhere between 60% and 75% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they even reach out to a sales rep. During that time, according to the Demand Gen Report, 40% say they read about three to five pieces of marketing content, and nearly 40% more say they engage with five or more – from blog posts and whitepapers to case studies and webinars.
Here are some other key takeaways from the report:
Offer up multiple types of content. While blogs and whitepapers are the most consumed content type by B2B buyers, podcasts are growing in importance at the very start of the buyer’s journey, and case studies are highly valued. Offer up webinars at the mid-stage of a buyer’s journey.
Make it easy for your prospects to share. Buyers will share valuable blogs with their colleagues, and they use email and LinkedIn as the primary channels to do so. But while it falls behind LinkedIn in popularity in B2B channels, Facebook is growing in importance to buyers, more of whom told Demand Gen Report that they are using it this year compared with last.
Don’t waste your prospects’ time. Buyers in the survey say they are willing to spend no more than five minutes reviewing most content types. So make every word count. I’d argue that if you have a piece that requires more than five minutes to read (like a whitepaper), make sure every point made in it will help drive your prospect forward in the buying journey. If it doesn’t, leave it out.
Make it easier to access content. Don’t ask for so much information when you want to collect a lead in exchange for a whitepaper, for example. That said, the survey found that prospects are willing to give more information when registering for a webinar.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Most of the respondents frequently or occasionally access information while researching from their phones.