- June 22, 2022
- Content, Global
This is part two of a series of blogs on how marketers can better create and optimize content for the EMEA region. You can read part 1 here.
The truth is, people are looking for B2B tech products, and there are types of content that fit best with each stage of their journey. The journey isn’t always linear, but what IT pros need to know along the way and their digital search preferences are very important when crafting a content plan. In this Part 2, we explore the research behind content and journey alignment and how to cater to the searcher’s digital preferences as they navigate purchase.
Numerical Search Preferences
Content can be powerful, but it needs to be created for the right audience, on the most interesting topics, and distributed in the right places to truly succeed.
Your content lives in a larger universe, not just within your own channels. You have an ecosystem of partner channels, paid media channels, organic search channels, and more. You therefore need to understand the behaviors of buyers on these channels, as this drives many decisions that you, as a provider, have to make regarding content.
The search for buyers becomes autonomous
Key findings from TechTarget’s 2021 Media Consumption Survey show that the B2B tech buying journey has evolved over the past few years to be highly self-sufficient and digitally driven, but this has been accelerated by the pandemic.
83% of the research process is now completely independent, without the need to interact with a supplier. And 62% can develop their purchasing criteria and their shortlist of providers based solely on the digital content they find online.
This means that your own channels, like your website and microsites, as well as those of your media partners, will do the heavy lifting to create that positive user and customer experience with your messaging and branding.
Where IT buyers are looking
But where are your buyers looking for content that will help them with their technology purchases?
The good news is that supplier websites are the first destination for content throughout the buying cycle, from early stage to late stage. This means you control much of the customer experience. So make sure your website is designed with the customer in mind with a clear flow and a way for your prospects to easily consume the most valuable information.
The the second most used resource for researching vendors is independent publishers such as Computerworld, ZDNet and TechTarget. 98% of European buyers say they prefer independent destinations, especially in the early and intermediate research phase. This reliance is an increase from what we have seen over the past two years. But it makes sense for early-stage research because publishers offer unbiased, vendor-neutral educational content that helps buyers navigate their research needs.
Without surprise, Google still plays an important role in how shoppers find content. This means you need to make sure your SEO is on point as a provider so that you are easily searchable on Google. But you also want to work with media partners who have a strong presence on Google because they will naturally bring you the right marketing leads.
What content is most useful at each stage of purchase?
Now that you know where shoppers are looking and which destinations they prefer at each stage of the buying cycle, you want to know which types content resonate best at each stage.
There is only one type of content that tops the list for value at every stage of the buyer’s journey – independent articles written by industry experts.
Independent articles can address a multitude of technology issues, including reviewing and comparing vendors and products through the lens of an unbiased third-party expert.
White papers, webinars, and videos all rank high at the beginning and mid-point of search as preferred content types. In the later stages, test uploads, vendor executive interviews, and analyst reports rise through the ranks.
Interviews with supplier executives can be a powerful tool in closing a sale, as the primary decision maker has the final say in the purchase. Once the shortlist has been established by other team members, the senior decision maker will need to be convinced of how the vendor will solve their business issues. Could you include interviews in your content marketing?
What content should you create?
71% of IT buyers still lean towards reading text and PDF content, so you still want to have white papers, e-books, analyst reports, and more. in your content marketing strategy.
Notably, translating content – text and video – into local languages is also important, not because buyers need to read the content in their own language, but because it indicates that the supplier has a strong local presence in their country and can offer local support. This is particularly important for France, the DACH region and Spain.
Webinars and (the fallacy of) digital fatigue
Webinars and digital events are popular B2B content formats. But many vendors wondered if they should keep putting them on because there was so much talk of digital fatigue.
However, only 30% of European buyers say they are tired of attending online webinars and virtual events. In fact, BrightTalk has seen a 29% increase in live attendance over the past 12 months and over 80% of IT professionals are attending at least one virtual event per month in 2020. is an effective type of content to incorporate into your content marketing. and strategy.
Just make sure your media content focuses on topics that will resonate with your market. Intent data can be very helpful in identifying these market trends and topics that drive engagement with your buyers.
How to optimize your marketing and data
To conclude, here are some action points you may want to consider:
First, assess your current user experience. Be objective and empirical about it.
What are the touchpoints, how many are there and where are they in your buyer’s journey today? Where are the gaps and where are people giving up? And how does your organization talk about content and its ROI?
Your organization needs to have the right metrics in place to track content ROI so they know it’s an investment that will ultimately drive revenue.
Second, your user experience will only be valuable if you deliver that experience to the right audience. So assess which digital channels you align with and partner with.
Are you using the right media partners that attract the right audience for you to tap into and influence? Do you have access to intent data that helps identify market trends and what interests your audience? Knowledge will guide and inform the content you create and help you provide a better user experience for your prospects and drive better results for your organization.
If you would like to discuss marketing challenges and strategies, you can contact MOI Global.
If you want to learn more about intent data and how intent platforms can optimize your audience and marketing alignment, contact TechTarget.
This blog provides unique insights and expertise based on our direct experiences in the EMEA market and is designed to be a resource for marketers targeting or working directly in this market.
B2B Content Creation, B2B Content Preferences, Content Marketing, EMEA Content Marketing