Straight from the Horse’s Mouth – Content Buyers Want

Marketers in B2B create a lot of content. We write, we design, we create videos, and post content all day long, but what content really matters to our buyers? Before you jump in and write another eBook, learn what content your buyers need and want. Think about where there may be a gap in your current content strategy. Does your content fill a void? Are you helping buyer’s solve challenges, or are you contributing to the “content noise” that has become deafening these days?

Horses MouthIt’s not easy to make your content stand out. However, it’s not as hard as it may seem. The trick is to build content that buyers want and need. So how to do that? Simple. Ask them what they want. Ask them what pains them or what their challenges are. And get creative in how you ask them. Create a short survey to assess their challenges, post a quiz on LinkedIn, call them or schedule a brief in-person meeting while at an event to get their answers. Most people are happy to share their thoughts on something as long as you are not trying to sell them anything. Word to the wise…do not even mention selling, or your solution while conducting a survey or you will lose credibility, as well as any potential customer down the line.

ANNUITAS, like many organizations, wanted to learn more about our buyers. We wanted to obtain a better understanding of what drives Enterprise B2B Marketers focused on demand generation across a variety of topics including marketing technology, organizational design, content marketing, buyer personas, lead nurturing, measurement and a few more. Most of the research and studies we found skewed towards SMBs and start-ups and although that data was helpful, it wasn’t our audience. So, we created our own study, asked the questions we thought were most pressing, gathered the answers and analyzed the data.

The results are well worth the effort. We use the data we gather to better engage our buyers, to create content that helps them solve their unique pain points. In addition, the data has been helpful to other marketers in terms of benchmarking their own performance and in understanding how other enterprise marketing organizations run their demand generation.Here’s what we found from the 2015 study:

2015 B2B Enterprise Demand Generation Results

  • 5% report their content aligns to buyer pain points
  • Only 7.3% rate their marketing personnel as highly effective
  • 4% report quality of leads as primary measure of success
  • Only 10% report being very effective at achieving demand generation goals
  • 65% report effectively using marketing automation for pipeline contribution
  • Only 45% of respondents use buyer personas when planning demand generation programs

The 2016 ANNUITAS B2B Demand Generation Survey just launched and we’d love to gain your insights if you are an Enterprise Marketer in an organization with $250+ million in revenue, please take a few minutes to fill out the questions. The data we gather helps us all understand the challenges faced in demand generation a little better. Not to mention, benchmarking is not easy to come by for the enterprise.

If you’re interested in building your own survey, keep in mind that it takes some effort. Use the information you already have on your buyers to develop questions that will provide greater insight. Keep open-ended questions to a minimum. Consider keeping surveys anonymous to encourage greater responses (not everyone is comfortable sharing their demand generation challenges). Ask the questions you need, but be wary of survey fatigue (too many questions can mean form abandonment). For more survey-building tips, read the post from MarketingTechBlog as it covers all the bases and then some.

At the end of the day, the more we understand our buyers, the better we can engage them and help them. If our content and engagement results in a sale, even better. Find out what your buyers want and need to know by asking them. Get the answers straight from the horse’s mouth-just ask them.

Author: Erika Goldwater CIPP/US @erikawg Vice President, Marketing for ANNUITAS

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