B2B professionals are under increasing pressure to optimize profits with fewer resources. When they venture in the marketplace to acquire new products and services, sellers must be ready for them. These prospects have limited time to spend on the research and decision-making process. The results of Pardot’s State of Demand Generation report suggest that one way to make a quick connection with a prospect is to offer up content designed for the exact stage in their buying process.
When business professionals look for a new product, they start their research by using the follow sources:
- Google 71.67%
- Personal network 15.58%
- Yahoo 5.53%
- Bing 2.76%
- Social networks 2.01%
- LinkedIn 2.51%
The typical research process involves going online 2–3 times for 70% of professionals. Virtually all, 98%, of searchers say that they refine their terms as they get deeper into the buying process.
Because of the time constraints they face, these buyers are looking for clearly-written content that quickly comes to the point. When they encounter content such as whitepapers or case studies, 70% would prefer to have the information contained in 5 or fewer pages. The survey also indicates that the amount of time spent researching a product is correlated to the purchase price, in 89% of these cases. Basically, the higher the ticket price, the more time spent on research.
Pardot analysts say the best types of content for each stage in the buying process are:
- Stage One – Informative blog posts (not overly promotional) and industry articles, designed to educate the prospect
- Stage Two – Video testimonials and webinars showing the strength of specific product offerings
- Stage Three – Comparison documents showing why the seller's brand is best, sample RFPs to assist buyer in evaluating the competition
Do you agree? Do you use a similar content strategy to move B2B prospects through the purchase funnel?