B2B Buyers Say They Rely Most on White Papers, Case Studies and Webinars to Make Decisions

by Karen

The 2013 B2B Content Survey from Demand Gen Report has a number of interesting findings. One of them is that “… more than 68% of respondents [B2B buyers] rely MORE on content than they did a year ago; and just 1.4% say they rely less on content.

B2B Buyer SurveyA notable trend because it indicates that to an extent, B2B buyers are overwhelmed by the volume of lead generation content (per the survey). Yet they still seek “… trustworthy content that focuses on hard data and demonstrable value, rather than still-typical sales messages.

Speaking of hard data, here’s a graph with some of the survey results. It compares a variety of lead generation content types/formats and how their popularity shifted from 2012 to 2013:

Most Popular Lead Gen Content with B2B Buyers

One reason the white papers and case studies remain popular and even grew in popularity (or remained essentially even) … is because that when DONE CORRECTLY, they do “focus on hard data and demonstrable value, rather than still-typical sales messages.”

Same holds true for correctly done webinars, ebooks and blogs which all have over 50% of B2B buyers using them – and trusting them – when researching products and services and solutions to their problems.

As you see in the graph . . . case studies, webinars and white papers are the top three with white papers in the number one spot.

However, don’t forget the trustworthiness factor: 71.6% of the B2B buyers in the survey also say they now “… place a higher emphasis on the trustworthiness of the content they view.” And many do not agree that vendor-generated content can be trusted!

Does this mean you stop creating your own content? Of course not. That’s absurd. Just deliver what buyers want.

In other words, in addition to all the other elements and factors that go into writing quality case studies, webinars, ebooks and white papers . . . also consider the following:

Build trust by consistently giving B2B buyers information and data they can use right now. This also includes backing off on the amount of product specifications info; and increasing info related to solving specific business problems.

Present the content in a balanced and objective perspective; and back up what you say by citing your research sources – which also builds trust.

Be generous with the amount of content you share

Make it easy for B2B buyers to find your content. This includes writing headlines and titles that avoid jargon; focus on benefits; and include keywords

Make a version that’s mobile-friendly

Don’t ask for too much contact info in exchange for the content. The survey shows people are not willing to give much beyond name, company and email address. Although they are willing to give more when registering for webinars.

And B2B buyers in the survey also stressed the importance of readability – one of my soap box topics. Nothing is easier to read than BLACK (not gray or charcoal) text on a white background. Also use plenty of white space; larger font; and shorter paragraphs. Make it easy to scan.

So again, you must take the right approach when creating these most sought-after pieces of lead generation content. It’s not about you or your company. It’s about the reader – your prospect and/or repeat customer.

We here at B2B Scribe can help you. We can make it easier for you to create more case studies, white papers, webinars (i.e., messaging, content, storyboarding for webinars) and ebooks (working with you to create and write the content). This also means we can help you publish this sought-after content faster. You don’t have to tie up your staff performing tasks that likely don’t fall within their area of expertise.

Your B2B buyers are relying on content more than before. The challenge you have is creating content that demonstrates values to buyers; creating content they trust; and content with hard data. Oh, and there’s also the challenge of creating enough of it. This is an opportunity for your company to distinguish itself. Take the lead now and deliver what buyers want. You’ll sell more.

Related Posts:

6 Ways to Leverage and Distribute Your Content

How to PROVE the value of your B2B product or service (case studies)

White Papers still work if … (and review the “related posts” too)

Resource for this post: 2013 B2B Content Survey from DemandGenReport.com

Previous post:

Next post: