One of the best sessions I attended at this year’s B2BMX conference was Ardath Albee‘s discussion about content bingeing. Last year, we published a post about Content Bingeing in a B2B World; it was interesting to hear another voice on the topic.
One of the themes of Ardath’s presentation was the goal of buyers to make faster decisions. They seek the best way to solve a problem or understand the value of a solution. The challenge is finding enough good information to collapse the sales cycle, but deficient content experiences on many research sites slows the process. Buyers uncover a nugget of information and, if they are a serious buyer, immediately look for deeper information on the topic or information in a different or more relevant format.
At ComBlu, we witness this phenomenon when mapping trigger-specific journeys for our technology clients. A technical decision-maker, for example, may find a product or a solution description that piques their interest. The buyer, however, still needs deeper information about migrating to this solution or insights about its application in a particular industry. Often, the seller fails to organize its information in a suite of related content, thereby frustrating the buyer while searching for additional insights. Migration checklists, peer reviews, industry-specific use cases, comparison tools and third-party analyst reports would keep the buyer engaged and onsite. According to Albee, only 42% of buyers say it is easy to find the next best piece of content.
LookBookHQ states that B2B buyers who content binge are 2.4x more likely to be sales ready. In addition, a content preference report from Demand Gen indicates that 87% of buyers choose a solution provider that provides them with ample content to navigate through each stage of the buying process. That same report found that 93% of buyers want brands to package like content together.
B2B buyers today want to binge on demand. They want to indulge in a topic in excess and are not interested in searching for related pieces of information. In our experience, few brands use these tenets to drive their content experience. Albee offers some interesting insights:
- Group content by what people want to learn or need to know. Brands should build content portfolios that are easy to find and help solve problems.
- Create activation hubs for specific content missions or experiences. This allows the brand to become a content anchor, which is the first place a person finds useful information. The anchor becomes the go-to source for certain types of information and all future sources are compared to the original anchor.
- Facilitate information sharing across the buying committee. A content activation hub enables sharing between decision-makers or influencers. The hub allows you to track what was shared with whom and how each engaged with the shared content.
- Develop activation hubs for accounts as part of the foundation for ABM, another huge topic of discussion at the conference.
- Measure engagement to detect bingeing activities. Traditionally, brands measure engagement by number of people who view a page. This should switch to pages or assets per person in the buying center.
Content represents the brand in a customer interaction. B2B buyers today expect consumer grade experiences. They want recommended or aligned content and experiences to appear organically as they navigate and search for information. When time-starved B2B buyers “content binge”, they consume multiple pieces of content because they have a real, current need. Serving up one piece of content per click does not accommodate someone in research mode. They get frustrated and will move on if they cannot find deep enough information easily.
Engaging your customers is at the heart of successful marketing programs. For more than 20 years, Cheryl has been building and executing content and thought leadership strategies designed to do just that. She is excited to be applying that well-honed skill to a help companies like Microsoft, Cisco, 3M, Intel, Capital One and Barclaycard tap into their stakeholder communities and build sophisticated content strategies.
Her experience base spans a range of industries – from technology and financial services to retail, travel, consumer products and healthcare. Cheryl has served as an integral member of her clients’ marketing teams, providing counsel on marketing and brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, product introductions, and event management.
Prior to joining ComBlu, Cheryl spent 10 years leading corporate marketing for large, complex organizations.