Optimizing your marketing content for B2B technology buyers

A survey shows that the top best practices for optimal marketing to B2B technology customers include creating a variety of content, delivering high-quality writing, and providing easy access to all of your content online.

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At last week’s Northern California Business Marketing Association marketing strategy roundtable, Lorie Loe, President of Eccolo Media, shared best practices for optimizing your marketing strategy, based on insights from the Eccolo Media 2009 B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report. Her company surveyed B2B tech buyers on which content buyers use most often and are most influential, how they like to receive the information, and how decision makers differ from influencers.

A few highlights from the report that you can put to work today:

1. Create a variety of content in a variety of formats.

White papers were a highly used collateral type, were considered the most influential in the buying process, and were the most frequently shared type of content. Product brochures and case studies were next in line in use, with case studies being more influential than brochures. Video and podcasts trailed, but video consumption is definitely trending up and should be a part of your content strategy whenever possible. Most important is to provide a variety of formats to capture all types of customers.

2. Write copy of the highest quality.

Technology purchasers find high-quality writing to be very important for all types of content, even more important than content written by an analyst, which can often be a huge expense. Well-written copy created in-house or by a qualified vendor is more influential even than third-party sources. Content is most heavily used during the pre-sales cycle, long before anyone contacts your firm, so make sure your collateral puts you on the customer’s vendor shortlist.

3. Provide all of your content on your website, where it’s most often used.

Be sure that it’s easy to locate, access, and download your content. And since content forwarded by a personal contact is the most influential channel for technology purchasers, make sure everything on your website is easily shared by keeping file sizes small and including automatic sharing technologies whenever possible. Also, be sure to include email marketing and social media as outlets for your content as those channels continue to grow.

Bottom line?

You should provide high-quality information about your company, your products and services, and what it’s like to work with your organization in a variety of formats to help your B2B technology customers connect with you in the way that works best for them. This means creating white papers, case studies, podcasts, videos, brochures, and other pieces that are easily shared via email, are available on your website, are part of email marketing campaigns, and are posted on your social media sites and blog.