Content marketing tends to follow a playbook: content is created, qualified leads are identified and sales grooms them into buyers.

But where does content go after a prospect gets their hands on it, and before they decide to buy?

A recent study from The CMO Council finds that nearly 95% of B2B organizations share content internally before making a final purchasing decision. The specific roles that content is shared with varies company to company, however the survey shows almost all content is shared in one of three ways:

1. From the Middle Out. 35% of survey respondent said decision makers research vendor content, make the purchase and then inform management regarding the reasons behind the decision.

2. From the Bottom Up. 30% said junior or mid-level staff share relevant vendor content with senior management, who make the call on whether to buy.

3. From the Top Down. 29% of respondents said that decision makers discover content, and push it to mid-level staff for further research and purchasing.

Of course, not all content makes it past the initial phase of research. B2B buyers are looking for specific types of content and insights to guide them through the buying process.

According to 65% of respondents, research reports and studies are the most valued and influential type of vendor content – followed by technical data sheets (50%), analyst insight (46%), whitepapers (35%) and articles found in third-party publications (30%).

What’s more, the right content plays a key role in additional purchases following initial contact. More than 85% frequently or sometimes pursue digital content for information on complimentary or add-on products, and 92% see content as validation of their decision or a way to maintain a relationship with the vendor.

Smart marketers know their buyers, the content they find valuable and who customers share content with before making a final purchase.

Check out this post for more content marketing tips.

 

By: Robinson Hicks Twitter: @RMHicks