B2B buyers have changed
The status quo won't cut it
The digital experience mandate
The B2B buyer has changed: self-education plays a much bigger role in the buyer journey than ever before and buyers expect a consistently good experience at every turn
Buyers are seeking and finding more information on their own and across a variety of touch points — they are in control of their own journey.
Information abundance makes it harder to be heard, let alone remembered. Digital experiences have never been more important.
Brands need to deliver consistent, high quality and relevant experiences optimised for the given context of each interaction.
What the research shows...
- B2B buyers are typically about 60% of the way to a buying decision before actively engaging with sales – CEB
- 62% will consult online sources to learn more about a product – Hubspot
- Buyers seek out 3 pieces of content about a vendor for every 1 piece sent by a marketer, and 1 piece sent from sales – Forrester
- They engage with potential solution providers through 3-5 different channels – Forrester
of Forbes Global 500 executives say that experience is the new B2B battleground
When responding to the digital experience mandate, the formats, tools and processes typically used to deliver content prove limited in increasingly problematic ways
Back and forth and back we go
Current content creation processes easily become disjointed and cumbersome – requiring the efforts of different teams to create, design, amend, vet and sign off before it can be published.
If a change is needed once a document has been published, it has to go back to the design team for edit and potentially to development to be republished.
There’s no control of versions that have been downloaded, so flawed or incorrect content can remain in circulation indefinitely.
Did it make an impact?
The reading experience of PDFs and long scrolls are passive and monotonous, and prompt scanning more than deep engagement.
PDFs in particular offer very little information about how readers engage with the document, other than whether they opened or downloaded it. As such, it’s hard to judge how relevant the contents ultimately is, whether to create more like it, or how warm the lead is.
Limitations of the PDF
Production bottlenecks in design
Disjointed systems and process
Dense and static legacy formats
Killing the PDF
Time's up buddy.
New digital first formats (like this one) and the software that powers them are here to help businesses
take control of their content and deliver more impactful experiences
Deliver more sophisticated, innovative experiences and achieve deeper engagement
Improve content relevance and lead nurturing by strengthening reader insight
Improve efficiency and reduce costs by in-housing creation without the need to expand internal teams
Prove the value and impact of content on the bottom line through more robust analytics
Deeper engagement, deeper nurturing
Increase the number of leads that convert into sales opportunities by delivering more innovative experiences designed specifically for digital readers
Lead and client nurturing will benefit greatly from the death of PDF. It's here at the middle of the funnel that white papers, ebooks and thought leadership come into play – all content types that tend to be in PDF format.
Improving how we nurture our relationships – in particular the content with which we do so – can have a tangible impact on the bottom line.
Done well, it increases the volume of sales qualified leads and the size of the sale by about 50%. Converting a nurtured lead is also 33% cheaper than non-nurtured.
Digital content that delivers a visually rich and interactive reading experience is proven to be more persuasive and memorable than static, text-heavy documents.
Top content types for nurturing
- On demand webinars
- Thought leadership
- Interactive content
Source: Demand Gen Report
more people will be persuaded by an argument if it is presented in a visually rich format versus text only
Deeper insight, better targeting
When tailored to the individual interests of the reader, content is far more likely to generate trust and likability, improving the quality of sales opportunities
Digital first formats offer more detailed engagement tracking, and therefore more information about how a content piece is used by a reader.
See what readers skip through and where they dive deep. If something gets all the attention by a subset of people, give them more of that.
3 in 5 say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are more likely to purchase from them.
Pair insights-driven content with email automation and you open up the full potential of personalisation in b2b.
Beyond click rates
We can track whether a PDF document has been opened or downloaded, but not how it’s actually been read:
- How long are people engaging with the document?
- Which chapters or sections do they engage with the most?
- How many times do they interact with the content?
- Do they share it with anyone?
Alternative formats can answer these questions, and much more.
Turn marketing into a revenue driver
Optimise ROI and prove the impact of marketing activity on the bottom line
By using analytics to hone content and distribution strategy, marketers can deliver different experiences to different people and by doing so strengthen the relationship between brand and customer.
Content engagement and documented behaviour can be attributed to progression along the buyer journey, and ultimately to revenue. Marketing will become more accountable, but also more able to prove their value.
Return on investment
By understanding what content is contributing most to business wins, we can create more like it, improving the return on investment from each individual asset created by marketing.
If we empower teams to create and edit content, speeding up the production process, we can be more responsive and efficient with the content we create – again impacting ROI.