Recent research from the CMO Council showed that 87% of B2B buyers say online content has a major or moderate impact on vendor preference and selection. So making sure your website has up to date and interesting content is vital to your business.
The report, which was based on a survey of more than 400 B2B content seekers around the world, also found that valued content is widely shared within buyer organisations. Some 28% of respondents share content with more than 100 colleagues and 59% forward content to more than 25 people. We all know how important word of mouth referrals can be to our business, good online content can have an amazing multiplier effect in the same way.
Of course your content has to be a trusted source or it will have the opposite effect. Research and papers from professional associations were unsurprisingly the most valued and trusted type of content, cited by 67% of survey respondents. By comparison, just 9% said vendor white papers were highly valued. Other trusted content included papers from industry organisations (50%), customer case studies (48%), analyst reports (44%) and independent product reviews (40%).
Looking at these responses and thinking about actual content there are some simple things anyone can add to their website. Product reviews are simple to access and add. Customer case studies also score very highly as trusted content and they are a very powerful marketing tool. We all have customers we love to deal with so approach them and write up a case study of how you work together and why they like doing business with you. Add a couple of photos and bang, you have a great story for your website.
Not everyone makes a great case study but they could make a great testimonial so collect as many of those as well and photos of the people supplying them too if you can, again it’s all good content.
As my old marketing professor used to say, ‘people buy from people’. So make sure you have content from real people, it’s more trusted and believable than your own content saying how wonderful you are.
The things people most dislike about content are: too many requirements to download, if it’s blatantly promotional and self-serving and non-substantive or uninformed. So just make sure your content isn’t overly promotional, a case study should tell a real story. Also avoid complex registration processes as people will leave your site.
Scoring highly on what people value were ease of access, understanding, and readability and originality of thinking and ideas.
So the main things to remember are keep it simple, keeping it interesting and keep it real, remember your content can impact on your sales