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Original Research Moves the Needle for B2B Content Marketers

B2B customers want insights to guide decision-making

January 23, 2017

Content marketing is gaining traction with B2B companies, though many practitioners admit that developing effective materials can be a difficult process. Where should B2B marketers focus their efforts then, given that content marketing is a time-consuming and production-intensive process? According to a new research, creating original research is the best move B2B marketers could make.

Types of Content Created vs. Considered Most Effective According to US Content Marketers, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

A survey of B2B executives conducted by Clutch in September 2016 asked about content marketing tactics, and found that original research and data are the most effective B2B marketing approaches.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents in Clutch's survey said they created research, infographics or original data as part of their content marketing efforts. Respondents also said these exact content categories were the most effective.

Most Difficult vs. Effective Types of Content to Create According to B2B* Marketers Worldwide, June 2016 (% of respondents)

Other surveys of B2B marketers' content marketing tools point to the importance of original, research-focused content for driving key business goals. A June 2016 Ascend2 study, which examined the most effective types of content for B2B marketers and weighed effectiveness against the difficulty of creating the content, found that research reports were considered the most effective content format of any category mentioned in Ascend2's study—but they were also among the most difficult to produce.

What is it about research that makes it such important marketing tool in the B2B sector? Education is likely part of the appeal, as B2B customers are often looking for insights that will help aid with their own business decision-making. Helping customers better understand the value of complex, technology-driven B2B products is another factor, as such research can often help illuminate the products' potential applications for customers.

In fact, in a January 2016 Demand Gen Report of how US B2B buyers thought content aimed at them could be improved, many suggested they wanted more insight from industry thought leaders (96%) and "less focus on product specifics and more focus on value" (92%).

—Jeremy Kressmann

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