By Kim Gusta
UBM TechWeb recently published an interesting report on what technology buyers want from their vendors’ content. As you might image, it didn’t involve requests for more product datasheets.
Rather they want fact-based, best practices-oriented content that helps them make purchasing decisions. Although this research is focused on the technology industry, the results can be applied to most any complex, B2B purchasing cycle.
(To see the what buyers don't want in your content, visit my post: "Technology Buyers' Biggest Marketing Turn-offs.")
Complex purchasing decisions often involve long sales cycles and multiple decision makers. Offering your buyers research that backs your marketing claims makes you more trustworthy than your competitor who offers none.
Keeping your content fresh and timely is key. Especially in complex sales, buyers want the most up-to-date information to help make purchasing decisions. In many cases, it’s a career risk for them to recommend a particular solution to their company’s buying committee. Help them feel confident the information they’re using to base a recommendation is the best one.
Old white papers don’t cut it anymore. You need fresh, relevant, timely content that’s up-to-date. This means you’ll need a real plan in place for producing content on an ongoing basis and ensuring your older content either gets updated or is pulled off your website.
I recommend assigning someone the responsibility of inventorying your content at least semi-annually using a simple spreadsheet. Track when pieces were created, when they were last updated, and note an expiration date when you’ll pull the content from your website.
Not surprisingly, buyers want meaty information that helps them make buying decisions. The challenge for vendors is that this type of content can be tough to create as it often takes a product expert’s help.
Consider enlisting your product manager or a crack sales engineer’s assistance in creating content that addresses best practices, competitive comparisons, and how-to information. This type of content is high-value and often passed along by buyers to others in their organization who are involved in making the purchasing decision.
What do you think are the key attributes buyers want in content? Do you agree with UMB's research results?
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