B2B buyer journey and content preferences 2018

“Buyers have become more discerning and selective in this content they opt to consume”

As B2B purchases are more complex, it’s vital that you have a look at a few of the latest B2B buyer trends on the market. Buyers have become more selective with regards to this content they consume, to create their buying decision.

While B2B buyers continue steadily to depend on trustworthy and credible sources, expert opinions and their peers to see and educate themselves, their content preferences keep fluctuating as time passes, with various new content formats being introduced in to the market. According to Demand Gen Report’s annual survey on content preferences, B2B buyers are “becoming more discerning and selective in this content they opt to consume”.

Majority of the respondents (88%) said that content producers have to focus less on content around product specifics and much more on the worthiness which can be brought to the business enterprise. Around 75% of the respondents agreed that content producers should use more research and statistical data to aid the claims manufactured in their content.

The key outtakes from the survey also highlighted that blogs were cited among the most consumed content types, with 71% of respondents stating they regularly read blogs while on the buying journey.

As plenty of marketers would say, there’s now an information overload online. With so many various kinds of content available, it’s crucial to know where all of them fit on a buyer’s decision making journey, integrated with the marketing funnel. Which is exactly what the effect from this content preference survey shows us. The survey was answered by around 170 B2B marketing representatives, in senior positions, across multiple verticals, possessing more of your choice maker powers.

The survey results also showed:

  • 49% of B2B buyers said they rely more on content to handle their research and make buying decisions
  • 64% said they prefer podcasts because the the surface of the funnel content
  • 48% of respondents said webinars were their top choice & most valuable content format in the mid-stage of these buying journey
  • Buyers are prepared to spend no more than five minutes reviewing any content format
  • 66% of B2B buyers strongly concur that companies should ensure it is simpler to access their content — from fewer form fields to even single-click content options.

Interestingly, webinars also topped the list including content types that buyers are prepared to spend most frustrating. Webinars were tied with white papers as top buyer content preferences that buyers were ready to share their information for, with around 75% of respondents stating they would share more info to get webinar content. The popularity of webinar content could be attributed to the initial content, usually delivered by industry-led experts, which in turn causes a feeling of FOMO – concern with really missing out, within the consumers.

For late-stage content, the most-preferred formats were ROI calculators (48%), case studies (40%) and assessments (40%), regarded as most valuable to help make the final buying decisions. This highlights the necessity of more descriptive, value-driven content types in the bottom end of the funnel, consisting specific, data-driven insight into how certain tactics will probably benefit their business.

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David Linder

MA in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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