creative demand generation

For B2B marketers, building a relationship with prospects is key to success. One of the reasons content marketing has become so popular in the last few years is because the buyers journey is now often 70-90% complete before a customer talks to sales – so B2B marketers have to connect with buyers throughout that whole journey.

As a result, content has taken the place of sales is being the first step in building a relationship with customers. It drives trust and helps facilitate the connection your next potential customer makes with your company, while establishing your company as an expert and a trusted source.

Ok, so you know you should be creating content. But what should you make?

When you’re spending valuable dollars and time creating content, wouldn’t you like to know which type is the most effective at driving and converting leads? DemandGen Report just came out with their 2015 study on B2B buyers’ content preferences. They shared some fascinating insights that can help B2B marketers create more compelling, conversion-optimized content. DemandGen Report highlighted the growing power of visual and interactive content; how information overload affects B2B buyers; and the general types of content B2B buyers prefer.

91% of Buyers Prefer More Interactive/Visual Content

The most exciting finding for us (not surprising) is that 91% of buyers prefer more interactive and visual content (up from 88% last year).

In the past, content marketing may have meant writing an article, whitepaper, or blog post, but buyers are looking for something new. When there is so much content out there, standard articles and blog posts just don’t grab attention like they used to.

Visual pieces, like infographics, are typically top performers because visuals are easier for the human brain to digest. Visuals are great at making something complicated seem simple, and stand out from text-based content.

One of the reasons interactive content has become so popular is because users are able to directly engage with it and get a personalized outcome. Interactive content allows for a two-way conversation – buyers don’t want to be “talked at” by your content, they want to be able to participate.

Want the best of both worlds? Create an interactive infographic.

83% of Buyers Feel Overwhelmed by the Amount of Content Available

Another interesting finding from DemandGen Report’s survey is that buyers continue to feel overwhelmed by the amount of content available. Takeaway? Your content needs to stand out.

Focus on creating a smaller quantity of truly high quality content. Easier said than done, right? The key to helping your audience choose your content – getting them to want your content, in fact – is to tailor it to that buyer’s specific needs and interests. It should be precisely relevant to what they’re looking for, and the value they’ll receive from your content should be clear. Indeed, DemandGen Report’s survey found that buyers “want content that educates them rather than pushes product features.”

You’ll want to map your content to your buyer personas and create differentiated content based on the stages of the buyer’s journey. Think about ways to make your content fun while also being educational, and let your voice come through to show prospects your human side.

Consider creating a bundle of content that’s easy for the prospect to digest. By offering leads a variety of content, they can pick out what most interests them and won’t feel forced into reading or interacting with just one type.

Buyers Prefer Prescriptive and Foundational Content

optimize content for b2b buyers

Have you noticed how popular posts like “7 Steps To Win More Business” and “3 Ways to Boost Your Revenue” have become lately? Those posts are popular for a reason – people want them. DemandGen Report found that 86% of buyers prefer these types of posts, perhaps because they offer actionable steps that will help those buyers solve a problem.

That’s what content marketing is all about – offering resources to solve our prospects’ problems, building that trust and credibility that will (fingers crossed) lead to a sale.

Foundational content is the same way: blueprints and toolkits are preferred by 88% of B2B buyers, again likely because they add so much value for the buyer. As content marketers, we have to remember our prospects are paying with their information – so they’re looking to get something of fairly high value out of the exchange.

How does interactive content work for B2B?

Yes, B2B marketing has a reputation for being “boring-to-boring.” Interactive content is a great way for B2B marketers to get creative.

Create a calculator, an assessment, a contest, or survey, or design a quiz. Interactive content can turn a boring topic into a fun and engaging way to get leads to notice you.

If you want some inspiration, check out more ways interactive content can generate leads for your business here.

With so much content out there, you need to offer buyers something that will capture their attention and that they’ll be happy engaging with. DemandGen Report’s survey found that interactive content is what B2B buyers are looking for – why not give it a try?

Learn more about interactive content and why it works.

This post was originally published on the SnapApp blog