I just came across a survey from Regalix from earlier this year, and published by eMarketer, that asked B2B marketers to indicate which content types are most effective at each stage of the funnel. I have long maintained that marketers need to envision a content funnel that sits next to the buyer’s funnel and matches each stage with appropriate content. This survey makes me happy because now we have some broader responses of exactly what types of content should be paired up with each stage.
Compare your own data to this survey data to see if your effectiveness numbers match these content types. If you are looking to shore up certain parts of your funnel, try using these tactics to do so.
The survey consisted of 285 senior marketing executives and business leaders. 72% were from North America. The most common titles were manager (40%), director (27%) and VP (17%), so these really were marketing leaders.
Social Media (83%)
Blog Posts (81%)
This is the top of the funnel. It’s where most content marketers live. Social media, blogs and infographics are all content types with wide reach. Blog posts are the perfect type to solve prospects’ problems and social media helps with the distribution. Infographics are easily shared on social media and can drive people back to your site to learn more about you.
White Papers (78%)
Web-based Events (72%)
Buyers are narrowing their search down to a handful of vendors, so they want to know how your products or services will solve their problems. It is at this stage where they will learn enough to reach out to your company after reviewing your content. This content gets more specific. White papers show a point of view of your B2B company and how you address problems. Websites are the tried and true method of getting product information. And web-based events let you show off your subject matter experts and your partners. This is a good way for buyers to determine company fit.
Case Studies (47%)
Research Reports (39%)
Purchase is where the rubber hits the road from a content perspective. Some of this content is passed on from the sales team as they are dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s to close the deal. Senior executives indicate that the website is still the most effective content type to help at this stage. That one doesn’t sit so well with me. If prospects are still going to your website this late in the funnel, they have some unanswered questions. You need to find out what those are. The rest of these make sense. Case studies show other customers with their problems solved. Research reports, especially those of the analyst variety, can help justify a decision when a buyer is almost there. And finally video is a great medium to see your people and your customers talk about your products and services. That’s what this stage is all about: your products and services.
Social Media (39%)
Web-based Events (36%)
Once you have converted a prospect to a customer, it is time to keep them informed and happy. Newsletters and email keep them informed about the latest activities, product updates and relevant information. Social media points them to the most important content you are sharing. Mobile is a relevant content type as more executives spend more time on their smartphones. Web-based events are not usually conducted for customers, so this one surprises me being so high.
Social Media (47%)
Blog Posts (33%)
When your best customers become advocates for your company, brand and products, social media is the best way to communicate that advocacy. Both for them and for you. Blog posts also seem like a great way to share their love for your products and services. And of course, these are the ones who are tapped to speak in customer videos, so this makes a lot of sense as an effective tactic.
When you review the complete chart below, note that when there was duplication (social media sites vs. social media posts, blogs vs. blog posts) I took the higher performing content type.
Photo credit: Flickr