There is no doubt that content is accelerating the buyer journey but did you realise it can also put buyers off?
According to a study by Edelman and LinkedIn, 49% of B2B buyers are put off and sometimes actively remove the vendor from the shortlist as a result of poor content.
The problem is the focus on quantity rather than quality. Sure, you need a consistent editorial calendar that provides a steady stream of content that's aligned to your key messages and SEO. However, tick box content marketing serves no purpose than to fill a void in your content calendar.
The first thing to do is to think buyer first. Does the content serve a purpose? Does it add value to the buyer? Which stage does it align to?
The second thing to do is to think about the author. Are you encouraging your employees to impart their expertise? Are they answering customer questions? Are you creating a knowledge pool of content that could attract buyers to your website? Are you focusing on authenticity?
There is no doubt that content is now key to the B2B buyer journey. However, don't be under the illusion that quantity is what delivers results. A well thought-through content strategy is what will convert your prospects into opportunities. With the support of your employees, you'll also add credibility and authenticity into the mix - the basis of a trusted relationship.
Edelman collaborated with LinkedIn on the study of more than 1,300 business decision makers and c-suite executives to explore how thought leadership influences the B2B purchase process. Over 80% of respondents said strong thought leadership pieces had increased their trust of an organization, and 51.5% cited it as a major element they use to vet potential partners. Half were willing to share their contact information in exchange for content of interest, and 31% of decision makers and 42% of c-suite execs said they had reached out to content providers to follow-up if they were impressed. Of course, this can go both ways: 49% said their opinion of a company had decreased after reading poor quality content, and a third had removed a company from consideration based on their thought leadership output.