Top Performing B2B Content

October 8, 2015

One of the biggest challenges modern marketers face is knowing what type of content to invest in. The lure of infographics is strong whilst the temptation to author meaty whitepapers can be overwhelming, but what content really works? And more importantly, what content is the most effective for B2B marketers?

As part of our Summer 2015 Modern Marketing Survey we asked 32 senior marketers to share their successes with different types of content – specifically we asked ‘How Effective’ was each type of content at driving results (10 being most effective)

Early vs Late Funnel

But not all content is consumed equally. To add a more realistic dimension we then asked them to rate effectiveness at different stages of the buyer’s journey; Discovery stage, Consider and finally Justify.

B2B-Content-Effectiveness

The Survey said…

Unsurprisingly the results prove one important fact – we cannot simply state that one type of content is more popular or effective than others through the funnel, something we all kind of knew anyway. The only content type that remained consistently high across the stages is Blogs – with most other types peaking or dipping at one of the stages.

Some key observations:

  • Blogs are a strong performer and is commonly a low cost solution
  • Tools/Calculators and Whitepapers are strong performers at late funnel ‘Justify’ stage
  • Live Events fail to get much traction at all (or is this a symptom of poor measurement, silo departments?)
  • Webinars are very effective mid-funnel

Getting your Mix Right

One this is for certain, developing profiles and buyer’s journeys for your audiences is a critical step in nailing your content strategy. Without these critical insights you could easily focus on pretty ‘set-pieces’ of content that are misaligned and costly. It’s clear from our survey that customers expect to follow a narrative and story-arc, they expect a different experience and style of content as they progress through (or around) your brand.

Low-Cost but Effective

Another important observation is how you can focus your budget, get more bang for your buck and make your dollar/pound/euro stretch a little further. Blogs are great performers, especially when promoted on Social Media channels. They’re a good investment that is reusable, multi-purpose, affordable and promotes thought-leadership (as well as a human aspect) to your company.

The Proof is in the …Final Stage

Our final observation sits around the final stage. Not all of our respondents had effective content at the late stage. This justification stage is critical, often a salesperson is now involved and its the final act of getting them across the line and converting to a sale. Early stage content is pointless, they’ve bought in, they know the product – they just need the evidence to say yes (or convince their boss to write a cheque!).

This is where some companies struggle, they have some case studies (which are always important) but don’t necessarily invest in the tools, calculators and reports they need to nudge the customer to say yes. Many content companies still focus on the early ‘lead-gen’ style content and this, IMHO is a mistake.

So as a quick checklist, have a think about these:

  1. Develop content for specific stages of the buyer’s journey
  2. If in doubt, Blogs work and are quick and cheap to develop
  3. Be cautious spending big bucks on expensive videos and live events, that money could be used more effectively
  4. Use social media (especially Linkedin) with your blogs
  5. Don’t neglect end-stage meaty content in favour of sexy early stage content

Justin.Hall@protocol.global
Protocol

If you want to discuss how we can help your company develop its Content Strategy, email us at enquiries@protocol.global

 

 


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