The results of the 2014 survey are not terribly surprising. For the most part, they are similar to the findings of DemandGen's 2013 content preferences survey, and they are also similar to the results of several other research studies, such as the 2014 B2B Technology Content Survey conducted by Eccolo Media. Still, the 2014 DemandGen survey provides several insights for B2B marketers. Here are a few of the survey's major findings:
- Content is more important than ever - Three-fourths (75%) of survey respondents said they rely on content more than they did a year ago.
- Desktop and laptop PC's remain the primary tools for accessing business-related content, but mobile phones and tablets are growing in importance - Ninety-five percent (95%) of respondents said they frequently use a desktop or laptop PC to access content, while 56% said they frequently use a mobile phone, and 42% indicated that they frequently use a tablet.
- Buyers trust user-generated content most - Sixty-five percent (65%) of respondents said they frequently give more credence to content that includes peer reviews and user-generated feedback. Forty-three percent (43%) of respondents said they frequently trust content that is authored by a third party and sponsored by a vendor, and only 13% said they frequently give more credence to content that is created directly by a vendor.
The authors of the DemandGen survey report noted that the popularity of white papers fell by 5% in 2014. However, the survey also revealed that B2B buyers still rate white papers as the most valuable type of content. The 2014 survey included this question: "What do you feel are the most valuable online content formats for researching B2B purchases? (rate on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 = most effective)" The table below shows the percentage or respondents giving each content format a "1" rating.
One important takeaway from the DemandGen survey results is that white papers authored by third-party experts are still one of the most powerful and effective types of marketing content that B2B companies can use.
You can get a copy of DemandGen's 2014 B2B Content Preferences Survey report here.