Two recent surveys by Demand Gen Report highlight the importance of making it easy for potential buyers to find and access marketing content. Most B2B companies are already using content marketing in some form, so the challenge now is to make content marketing efforts as effective as possible. As it turns out, making content easier to find and access is an important key to content marketing effectiveness.
A successful content marketing program requires several components. Having high-quality content is obviously a given. In addition, it's important to have a sound and documented content marketing strategy, and it's necessary to support the content marketing effort with adequate human and financial resources.
In the drive to improve content marketing effectiveness, it's easy to focus on the "big" issues like content quality and content strategy, and to lose sight of some of the "basic" prerequisites of a successful content marketing program. One of those basic requirements is that content resources must be easy for potential buyers to find and access.
The 2017 Content Preferences Survey by Demand Gen Report shows why findability and easy access are so important. This survey produced 189 responses from buyers of B2B products and services.
The 2017 survey revealed that B2B buyers depend heavily on content to support buying decisions. Forty-seven percent of survey respondents said they were relying on content more than they did a year earlier. The survey also revealed that buyers are extremely busy and are feeling overwhelmed by the volume of content they encounter.
- Thirty-four percent of respondents strongly agreed that they had "less time to devote to reading/research" in the past year. That's up from 16% in the 2016 edition of the survey.
- Forty-six percent of respondents strongly agreed that they feel "overwhelmed by the amount of content available." That's up from 38% in 2016.
Given the abundance of available content, it's highly likely that time-constrained B2B buyers will gravitate to those companies that make it easy to find and access content resources.
Other research by Demand Gen Report shows that many marketers need to improve content findability and make access to content easier. Why Your Website Fails Buyers was based on a recent survey of 196 marketers, and it revealed that delivery of relevant content is a major issue for many companies.
In this survey, less than half (48%) of respondents said they house all of their customer-facing content in a centralized resource center, which would make content easier to find. Survey respondents acknowledged that it can be difficult for their prospects to locate and access relevant content. When asked to rate the accessibility of their content on a scale of 1 ("nearly impossible") to 5 ("extremely easy"), 59% of respondents rated accessibility at 3 or below.
Providing related content resources in "packages" makes it convenient for buyers to consume that content at their own pace. However, only 14% of respondents said they create packages of content assets that are aligned with the stages of the buying process. This represents a major disconnect with buyers because in the content preferences survey discussed earlier, 58% of surveyed buyers recommended that marketers package related content resources together.
The bottom line? B2B marketers need to make it as painless as possible for time-starved buyers to find and consume their content.
Image courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr CC.