The Marketing Strategist:
B2B Content Marketing: Good, But Can Always Get Better
The accepted wisdom is that buyers of B2B services and solutions are drowning in poor quality, offering-centric content that doesn’t provide value. A 2018 Forrester survey on what technology buyers think about the materials they get from their technology suppliers shows that 57% find the materials useless.
But ITSMA’s 2018 How Executives Engage survey (PDF) of buyers of high-consideration services and solutions tells a different story. In ITSMA’s survey, senior executives who buy services and solutions valued at $500K or more recognize their solution providers for providing valuable content. Sixty-five percent (65%) agree or strongly agree that solution provider content provides valuable guidance, and 64% say the content is of excellent quality.
Room for improvement
That’s not to argue that content can’t be improved, of course. Solution provider content is not always easy to consume. Our survey findings show that 55% want solution providers to make the research process easier and 52% state that they are overwhelmed by the volume. These numbers jibe with the Forrester data point, in which 66% of respondents complained that vendors provide too much material to sort through. Although less of a problem, 42% of the solution buyers in the ITSMA survey struggled with provider content because it was boring.
Make content consumption effortless
So the good news is that solution provider content has improved. But are we using it to our best advantage? Are we consistently and persistently communicating our content—the thought leadership and ideas—through multiple channels, including the web, events, client engagement programs, SMEs, and sellers? Are we making it easy for our audiences to find and consume our content?
Solution providers need to find ways to ease the buyer’s effort. Buyers who don’t regularly engage with a company’s marketing content, executive programs, sales people, and subject matter experts are not likely to buy. We have to make it easier for them to consume our content and buy.
Learn more about ITSMA’s research on the opportunities and challenges B2B marketers have reaching potential buyers and influencers: How Executives Engage: Connecting with Customers at Every Stage of the Relationship Lifecycle.