Or any other writer to produce white papers and other marketing collateral? A new study from the CMO Council and B2B advertising network NetLine, “Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field,” says the answer is yes.
It found that that:
- A whopping 25 percent of marketing budgets spent by CMOs is largely squandered.
- B2B marketing organizations need to bring more discipline and strategic thinking to content specification, delivery, and analytics.
- The big challenge is how to make the content relevant and how to deliver it.
What Works, What Doesn’t
Their survey of more than 400 business buyers across a wide range of global industries, found that 86 percent said online content plays a “major to moderate role in vendor selection.” Which is why vendors are throwing so much business to writers like me these days.
But when asked what are the most trusted and valued sources of online content, only nine percent said “vendor white papers.” That suggests that not just 25%, but as much as 90% of corporate content marketing budgets could be a waste.
While B2B marketers spend $16.6 billion each year on digital content marketing, “Their content [tends to be] over technical, product-centric, and self-serving,” Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, told CMO.com.
So what do B2B buyers want? Their top four picks in the survey were:
- Breadth and depth of information.
- Ease of access and understanding.
- Originality of thinking.
- Timeliness of content.
And what they hate the most:
- Too many requirements for downloading (such as registration forms LINK)
- Blatant promotion.
- Nonsubstantive or uninformed.
- Overly technical or complex.
- Poorly written.
Are We Really Doing So Poorly?
Most of my clients get the need for quality and try to help. Before writing, I push for their most original, timely, useful insights and ask every dumb question I can think of to make sure I can answer it in the copy. And, of course, I relentlessly polish the wording to make it easy to read.