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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2019-07-10

Content creation requires a big investment in both time and budget – and it has often been cited as one of the most costly line items for CMOs. Although I’ve seen plenty of content such as whitepapers, videos or webinars generate high-value response rates, I’ve also seen others miss the mark.


That’s why a new study by technology provider NetLine, “2019 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand Report for Marketers,” piqued my interest. I found the report, which analyzed more than 4 million content downloads, both interesting and relevant in providing insights into how today’s audiences consume information.


Here are 4 key takeaways from the report to keep in mind as you work to drive better ROI for your campaigns:


  1. Quality over quantity: When looking at content consumption by job level, the report found that content recipients are faster to consume the materials they’ve requested and are taking longer to return for more. This implies that audiences are becoming more discerning and savvier about the content they request and how they spend their scarce time consuming it. That’s why it’s never been more important to focus on content quality over quantity, and be precise in creating titles, graphics and overall materials that resonate with your targeted audience. In other words, put yourself in the shoes of your prospects: would you invest the time to read or view the content you or your marketing team has created?


  1. Size doesn’t matter: The report shows that audiences from large enterprise companies and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) alike demonstrate high engagement levels of content consumption. The implication here is that while prospects from all sizes of companies like to consume content, you must ensure your content is relevant and on point for your particular target. For example, while you might initially seek to reach C-level executives, be sure to find out whether this audience is the actual buyer, influencer or user of your product or services. In reality, your ideal target may be quite different – and lower down in the organization than the C suite. Upon deeper analysis, this may require you to use an ABM (Account Based Marketing) approach, where you target coordinator, executive, director and VP levels with personalized messages simultaneously, knowing the decision-making process is a group dynamic.


  1. Speak to people: While the report breaks down content consumption by various industries, the higher-level takeaway is that everyone in these industries is a human being, and your communications should be designed accordingly. Purchase decisions are made by people who have lives and interests outside of technical specifications, feeds and speeds. To best reach them, I recommend personalizing your email campaigns and content, and, just as importantly, creating content that is informative, interesting and even enjoyable and fun.


  1. Get a holistic view: The report concludes that, while a request for content can identify a prospect’s engagement, intent and stage in their buying journey, this isolated action in itself may not complete the buying journey. To fully assess readiness to buy and improve lead conversion, you’ll likely need to leverage additional engagement data to enable a holistic view of your buyers. While NetLine offers solutions along these lines, we at OMI have many years of experience and various data services that can enable you to be successful in targeting, reaching and converting your prospects into paying customers.


Creating content will always involve a balance between being as specific as possible, while at the same time being relevant to the widest audience as well. At the end of the day, you must be honest with your audience – and yourself – that you are providing real, valuable guidance towards solving the real-world challenges shared by your prospects and customers.


Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.

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