Last month, IDG Enterprise released their 2012 Customer Engagement survey for tech consumers. From 1,025 respondents, IDG determined that “IT decision-makers (ITDM) download an average of nine informational assets throughout the purchase process.” In fact, “one-third (34%) of respondents indicate they are ready to be contacted by a salesperson after consuming two to four pieces of content.”
This means that content plays a key role throughout the buying process.
But when do you deploy your content?
Here’s the breakdown provided by MarketingProfs:
1st Stage: Start of Purchase Process: Feature articles, technology news stories, how-to articles and whitepapers.
2nd Stage: Middle of Purchase Process: Reviews, recommendations and third-party research (such as IDC, Forrester).
3rd Stage: Nearing End of Purchase Process: Assessment tools (such as ROI calculators), product demos, and demo literature.
Since consumers have become self-reliant in determining the value of products themselves, they do not always need to go to the vendor for the necessary information. As illustrated above, third-party research, outside reviews and peer recommendations are taken into account. The Internet is full of available information, and it’s important that tech companies must be open and available with their own content.
Here are 5 tips you should remember when creating content:
1. Be Non-Biased
Your content should be persuasive, but not overly promotional. There are other products out there that are similar to yours; offer an educated and informed description as to what makes your services unique in contrast to your competitors’.
2. Be Consistent
You have case studies, blog entries, white papers - maintain a consistent tone and perspective in all your content. Once you’ve established yourself in your market, continue to do so to dominate your field.
3. Be Forward
As Yesler determined, “Thought leadership is the new currency for attracting buyer interest.” You should be an expert in your field to build the trust of your consumers to grow and retain them. Join in on the newest ideas and innovations in your industry, and be a part of the conversation.
4. Be Open
A part of being unbiased and informative is to be open about your product. Be knowledgeable when addressing your services, including their limitations and how you are going about to make your brand more efficient and helpful.
5. Be Informative
Overall, ITDMs place more value on educational content (articles, reviews, and case studies) (24%) than they do transactional content such as brochures, FAQs, and documentation (21%), peer dialogue (19%), vendor dialogue (18%), or independent authority dialogue (18%). (MarketingProfs)
Keeping along those 5 tips, brands will be able to create reliable content for their consumers and clients. Both quality and quantity play an important role in terms of content marketing. Consumers read “two to four pieces of content” before speaking with a brand representative. Ardath Albee from Marketing Interactions says it best: “I wondered how many of those assets were sourced from the vendor they decided to buy from?” Later, she determined that brands should generate a lot of content.
“Don't just stop at the number 10.”
What do you think?
When you’re determining content, what do you look for? When you’re generating content, what do you keep in mind? Comment below; I’d love to hear from you!