What makes content engaging for a B2B audience? It’s a question that we’ve been pondering, so we put it to leaders in tech, AI and analytics and now we’ve written a report on our findings. It isn’t quite ready to go, but we wanted to tell you a bit about our key finds ahead of its release. We’ve discovered three key criteria behind successful B2B content marketing strategies that target this audience.
We’ve spoken to over 250 senior leaders working in the tech, AI and analytics sector to help us understand the factors that shape high-value, group-based buying decisions, and the role that content plays in this decision-making journey.
The respondents are divided into two groups: decision-makers and decision-shapers. Decision-makers are those who are ultimately responsible for choosing new technologies to invest in, while decision-shapers are those who research technologies and consult on decisions, but who do not hold ultimate responsibility for taking investment decisions.
Our conversations have highlighted a factor which is often overlooked in content marketing strategies — content often targets decision-makers, when in reality their decisions are made with input from multiple parties.
So how can we make sure that content is made to engage with these leaders? Turns out that to achieve this goal, content must be visual, varied and valuable.
The first interaction with a potential customer is vital, especially when competing for attention with a range of other content. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so an eye-catching graphic is a key consideration.
Trust is also fundamental when trying to connect with decision-makers. Leaders might be short on time, but they need to be able to trust that the content they’re consuming is well-researched, so make sure not to lose the substance of your content when you’re creating the visuals. Attention to detail is just as important.
Our report found that decision-makers and decision-shapers consume content differently, with decision-shapers preferring to look at a company’s website, while decision-shapers are most likely to find B2B content through social media.
This highlights the necessity of a varied content marketing strategy. To have the greatest impact on the decision-making process, companies must target these leaders with diversified content across their website and social platforms.
The visuals might draw your audiences’ attention, but adding value will help you keep it. Leaders were unequivocal in their answers: content needs to be useful to them in their jobs if they’re to keep reading.
So what would be the best format for this content? Leaders voted for videos as their most popular format, closely followed by infographics. While these should be staples in any content strategy, we were still intrigued to find that we mustn’t overlook the importance of printed material. 67% of decision-makers said that they regularly read printed magazines, and 60% of leaders read all of the materials provided at industry conferences.
Putting the pieces together
The results are in — visual, varied and valuable content will draw and retain the attention of leaders, and therefore has the potential to influence buying decisions. Beyond that, we’ve also been reminded how important it is to choose your format and channels with care, as these factors will determine which buyers you are able to reach. But that’s not the extent of it! Look out for the full report to get even more lowdown on how to create engaging content that hits the right target.