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Explore our Business-to-Business (B2B) Toolkit

What are the most popular B2B content formats?

By Dave Chaffey 17 Sep, 2018

Chart of the Day: A review of the content types that engage B2B audiences

How to best engage audiences is a challenge in all sectors, but particularly in B2B marketing where there are so many potential formats that can be selected as suggested by our content marketing matrix.

This new research considers the 5 most popular content types only, but is interesting since it goes beyond reviewing the content that supports B2B buying decisions, but also considers general content consumption by professionals:

This chart shows that if you want to engage your audiences, publishing other types of industry content could be popular. Covering industry trends is significantly more popular with content around to approach business challenges less popular, but still worthwhile. This shows the value in creating an digital value proposition as part of your content marketing strategy. As the visual shows you should think through how your B2B Brand can add value to your audience, for example, offer to…

  • Help me Buy! (Online OR offline)
  • Help me use products
  • Help me do my job / live my life
  • Help me develop / learn
  • Make me look good (to colleagues)
  • Entertain Me!

The research also considers the best content format to deliver this, although only a limited number of choices are given, for examples I would expect to see whitepapers on this list and it’s surprising that case studies and webinars are so low. This is different to research I have seen before.

An engineering sector example of content needs

This is more typical of what I would expect, this is from a survey of engineers content requirements which gives more detail on the type of content.

92% of engineers surveyed said they were more likely to do business with a company that regularly produces new and current content. (IEEE GlobalSpec, 2017)

Here case studies and whitepapers are much higher, but webinars are lower than in some sectors (for example marketing).EEE GlobalSpec’s survey of 890 engineering professionals showed case studies to be the highest ranked type of content marketing for value – with 81 percent of respondents ranking them as either very or moderately valuable.

It also shows the popularity of video content. So, the takeaway here is to do specific research within your audiences to determine their content preferences and deliver a range of content to meet the needs of different individual preferences and use cases.

Research source

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of marketing publisher and learning platform Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. To learn about my books, see my personal site Digital marketing books by Dr. Dave Chaffey. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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