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October 3, 2018 | By

5 Things Prospects Secretly Want from Your Content

Why aren’t more people reading, watching and sharing my amazing content?

If you’ve asked yourself this question, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there — you carefully plan, produce and promote your content, and when you take a peek at the analytics, it’s the data equivalent to hearing crickets. No one seems to care 🙁

The solution is to really understand your audience and give them exactly what they want. Easier said than done, right?

To help you get inside the minds of your audience, we did some research. In fact, we surveyed over 3,000 professionals to find out about their habits, preferences, and motivations when consuming content for work-related reasons. Here’s what we discovered:

(You can download the full report here.)

1. They want ENGAGING content

You’re probably thinking, “duh.” But we’re not just talking about subject matter; we’re talking about the format. Face it, no matter how great your 30-page ebook is, it’s not super engaging.

Of the major content formats, professionals said they find videos, webinars and interactive content to be the most engaging types of content.

B2B Content Preferences

What’s really interesting is that videos and webinars were also in the top three for most popular content.

popular B2B content formats

Videos and webinars scored high in both popularity and engagement, meaning these formats should be high on your list of content priorities. Webinars and videos may be harder to create than a blog post for example, but the increased audience engagement is worth it.

2. They want THIRD-PARTY VALIDATION

This is an important insight when creating content for the bottom of the funnel that is intended to directly influence buyer behavior. While vendor-produced content plays a role in the path to purchase, buyers are most influenced by analyst reports and case studies. Analyst reports are a trustworthy source of information, while case studies offer the peer-validation buyers are looking for.

When thinking about the content you need for the later stages of the customer journey, offer your audience a mix of your own content and third-party validation. Make analyst reports and product reviews readily available, and don’t forget to showcase your customer stories.

influential content types

3. They want to LEARN something ACTIONABLE

What motivates your audience to engage with content?  A whopping 95% of professionals said they want to learn new knowledge or skills. This means that typically professionals aren’t searching for content to stave off boredom or get a point of view on industry trends. They want to learn something they can use in their job.

(However, we found that executives had a higher preference for industry trends and news than did managers and individual contributors.)

content motivators

4. They want CONVENIENCE

People are busy. They want to be able to consume content when it’s convenient for them. That’s why most people prefer on-demand over live content.

B2B content preferences

While live webinars or live streams are still a great way to engage with your audience, be sure to record your webinars and events, so you can create on-demand versions for those who want to view the content on their own time.

Apply this principle across content types and make your content available when and how your audience wants to consume it.

5. They want SEARCHABLE content

People often discover new content through their colleagues or from email, but most of the time, people actively search for content.

Trend in content consumption

If you want your content to be found and viewed by potential buyers, make it easy to find, and that means investing in SEO and paid search.

Often marketers hide away their best content in PDFs where few people can find it on their own. Make sure your valuable content is crawlable by search engines, or try promoting your content with paid search using the keywords your audience is searching for.

If you’re interested in learning more about our findings in B2B content engagement, read the full report!

 

B2B Content Engagement

 


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