Almost two-thirds of customers want marketing content to be tailored to their specific needs and “pain points,” according to a new study published by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). The latest research by the thought leader looked at how the resources published by enterprises influence the purchasing process.
CMI and media company SmartBrief surveyed 1,200 people about their content preferences, with the focus mainly being on business-to-business marketing and how decision makers rely on relevant information rather than content being used to engage with consumers across digital touchpoints.
However, the need to create content that delivers added value and addresses a person’s needs and wants is a common trend across content marketing, and CMI’s study reinforced this viewpoint in a B2B context, as 62 per cent said that they desire research, articles and news that “speaks” to specific pain points.
More than half also said that they like to see product and service specifications, while 43 per cent claimed that they prefer to consume content that is more educational than promotional in nature. The latter is another trend that has been reiterated in both B2C and B2B markets by execs and content experts this year.
In terms of the content that influences purchasing decisions the most, one-to-one peer recommendations lead the way, with 80 per cent of respondents rating it highly. Original research (74 per cent), product reviews (58 per cent), in-person events (55 per cent) and product demos (55 per cent) also feature in the top five. Creative videos are among the most popular traditional content formats.
A separate study from Deloitte and Forbes Insights about the content that can help “CXOs learn and lead” found that premium feature-length articles and reports are the most effective for insights and informing decisions, ahead of business books and data visualisation tools. “Learning takes a lot of time, which is why CXOs need business insights that are comprehensive, relevant and clear,” the author of the report added.
CMI concluded its study by noting that decision makers eagerly want to hear from vendors and brands and that an optimised content strategy can really pay dividends in driving results and delivering the targeted resources that customers need to get ahead.