How B2B Buyers Actually Consume Content

YRSK | Published: 18-01-21
An increasing number of brands are incorporating content marketing to persuade B2B consumers in this highly competitive and fragmented digital landscape. Content marketing consists of emails, social media posts, blogs, whitepapers, infographics, and third-party reviews.

Generally, the B2B customers’ journey is long, multi-faceted, and involves complex decision-making processes. Such trends are particularly evident when selling complex B2B products like software, industrial engines, or automobile manufacturing. 

A natural question that marketers often ask, “How do B2B buyers consume content?” Do they read a blog post and show interest in a product? How long do they take to buy a product? 

There are four buying stages for B2B consumers that also involve content consumption: 

  • Stage 1: Identifying and understanding a problem area
  • Stage 2: Looking for solution providers
  • Stage 3: Sorting out
  • Stage 4: Making the final decision.

Marketers have no control in this process except when their relevant content or advertisement catches a prospect’s attention. 

Generally, prospects respond to content and show interest in a certain way. However, in the B2B realm, content marketing does not work so fast and involves several stages.

B2B Buyers’ Journey and Types of Content Consumption 

The four buying stages of B2B consumers that we discussed earlier involves specific types of content consumption: 

  • Stage 1: Seller website, Analyst reports, Third-party websites, Marketing videos, and Peer reviews.
  • Stage 2: Seller website, Peer reviews, Third-party content, Seller videos, Analyst reports, and Third-party websites.
  • Stage 3: Seller website, Seller videos, and Analyst reports.
  • Stage 4: Vendor website and Peer reviews.

According to the State of B2B Content Consumption & Demand Report for Marketers 2020the buying process of B2B consumers takes about two to six weeks on average. It involves three to four persons for decision-making. 

The report also shows the following data on the percentage of content consumption:

  • Direct content consumption through seller website: 70 percent
  • Email marketing: 41 percent
  • Internet search query: 67 percent
  • Social media: 53 percent
  • Word of mouth: 33 percent

The most valuable types of content that influence the purchase decisions of B2B consumers are below:  

  • Product specifications and features: 67 percent
  • Comparison of products: 65 percent
  • Success stories: 60 percent
  • Content demonstrating value to internal stakeholders: 54 percent
  • Product or service tutorials: 49 percent
  • Guidance on resolving specific problems: 48 percent.

Studies have shown that larger organizations with revenues of more than $250-$500 million, displayed a little different trend regarding content consumption. 

Larger corporations tend to depend more on third-party sources, such as third-party articles/blogs, third-party websites, and analyst reports. The possible reason could be the independent nature of these resources. 

What Information B2B Buyers Seek from Content?

The information that B2B consumers want needs to be more in-depth and with a high-value proposition. 

While formulating a content marketing strategy, you can think about the latest industry news & trends, thought leadership, organizational updates. 

A study by CMO Council, IDG Connect, and Pardot reveals that B2B buyers want new resolutions to persistent problems. Therefore, by focusing on industry-specific issues and providing their solutions, marketers can woo B2B consumers. 

Five Things You can Provide B2B Prospects in Your Content

A piece of data by the Content Marketing Institute shows precisely what buyers want:

  • To develop the business case for making a change.
  • Present content in 90 words or less, why they should not drop you from their shortlisted vendors.
  • In-depth information on the product.
  • Detailed case studies on similar companies.
  • Provide strong reasons to help in selling your solution to internal stakeholders.

You can equip your content marketing strategy based on these findings and make your content effective. 

Before We Go

It is a known fact that content is extremely important for ranking in online searches. It is also crucial for sales support. However, the discussion and various data in this post clarify that both first and third-party content are quite influential to B2B consumers.  

If you have a B2B business, then hiring a reputable B2B marketing company in Mumbai for lead generation, content marketing, and others will boost sales and accelerate your organization’s growth.