The most recent research by The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council reveals that in order to build content authority, you have to expand your content across various formats and platforms.
It's universally acknowledged that a diversified portfolio will protect you from financial risk. Well, the philosophy of diversification in finance applies to content marketing as well - to build content authority, content marketing strategists need to expand their content across multiple formats and channels, as different B2B content buyers use, share, and rely on a broad range of content formats and sources, The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council suggests in its most recent research.
The report "The Content Connection to Vendor Selection" was conducted by CMO, in collaboration with NetLine, a B2B performance-based integrated marketing company that provides lead generation. The report reveals that while content marketing strategists are looking to develop relevant content by segmenting their audiences, there's no single sharing circle pattern that dominates the vendor journey.
Among the 352 business content buyers surveyed, 35 percent of them say that content sourcing and purchase decisions are driven by execution-level executives (from the middle out), while 30 percent say that primary content is sourced by junior or mid-level managers first, and then is shared upward to senior management who make the final purchase decision (from the bottom up). By contrast, 29 percent responded that senior management consumes content first, and sends information downstream for product identification and final purchase (from the top down).
"Don't just assume that thought leadership is only consumed by the CXO you are targeting in your sales approach," says Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing at The CMO Council. "Position your content as an authority leader, sharing your organization's knowledge with the industry."
The report points out that these three circles (from the middle out, from the bottom up, and from the top down) are accompanied by six distinct personas that consume different types of content. Therefore, there isn't one specific form of content that will lead to a purchase decision. The research divides B2B content consumers into six categories, including:
So how to target B2B content buyers and accelerate the content sales process? "What this research shows is that it is not about identifying an executive or segment you want to reach, but developing an authority leadership platform from which your content expands upon across multiple iterations, formats, and delivery channels," Miller tells ClickZ.
Meanwhile, she provides some suggestions based on the findings in this research, including:
To complete the research, CMO and Netline surveyed 352 respondents across 30 different industry sectors during January 2014. You can request this report from CMO to see more insights.
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Yuyu Chen is an Editorial Intern at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.
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