Between blogs, video, and social media, technology marketers have plenty of pillars on which to build their overall B2B content strategy. But what if the content they’re creating isn’t quite tailored to the preferences of their audience?
That’s a question we wouldn’t blame you for not spending tons of time on. Your marketing operations, though sometimes difficult to define, do play a direct role into sales, which can result in marketers feeling pressure to “just publish something.”
Unfortunately, that also might mean that what they publish isn’t what actual technology buyers want to read or watch.
So we recently conducted some market research among technology purchasers to learn more about their specific content preferences. We hope the below information helps you in your quest to create quality marketing content that makes impressions on your buyers!
Who we surveyed
The overwhelming majority of those surveyed work in education or corporate environments, with 44% answering the former and 18% the latter.
Just over 10 % said they work in healthcare — the rest, in government, non-profit, retail, and hospitality sectors.
Almost 40% of them said they work in IT/AV/other technology management for their organizations. Just under 20% work in security. The rest hold job titles in administration/executive positions, operations, marketing & sales, and human resources.
The best type of content to use in this channel
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, technology purchasers in the enterprise/government/education spaces want to see product demo videos and product reviews when they’re narrowing down options for purchase.
This mirrors so much of our research thus far which suggests tech buyers in these channels don’t want manufacturers to pull any punches: they simply want direct, easy-to-comprehend information presented with minimal bells and whistles.
A product demo video is the perfect opportunity to provide that information, so long as it clearly illustrates the information that buyers in these markets would most need to know before committing to purchase.
Obviously, posting a review of your own product is likely unwise, but marketers can still take advantage of tech buyers’ preference for product reviews with a strong focus on PR (see our market research on where tech pros look for information here).
Product comparisons are dicey — some buyers might see content like this as unreliable coming from a manufacturer, same as if they’d published a review of their own product.
Just because webinars, downloads, and blogs scored lowest in these rankings doesn’t mean marketers should consider them a waste of time (after all, these three content types are extremely valuable for lead generation and SEO).
Their lower-placement needs to be seen via the framing of this survey question: of course tech buyers will want to first look at content that is either short-and-snappy (product overviews) or peer reviewed (product reviews from trusted peers).
Allegiance to the words of their peers
Something important we found in this research is that many tech buyers in this channel want to see that their peers approve of a product, software, or service before they invest in it.
At least 60% of those surveyed said they find industry associations like CompTIA helpful in learning more about a product.
This means manufacturers and software companies should consider direct sponsorships with these organizations. But in terms of content, it may behoove them to share product-agnostic thought leadership and product category topical content within these groups where appropriate.
For example, if you see a similar question pop up on their dedicated Facebook or LinkedIn groups, it could be worth it for a product engineer or representative to provide a straightforward, technical answer in the form of a direct response or blog post.
The importance of video
If there’s one big theme or takeaway for marketers targeting technology buyers in 2022, it’s this: video is important!
…Yes, even a platform like TikTok is becoming a valuable tool for some B2B companies, which stresses the importance video plays to the present and future of marketing.
Nearly 75% of those we surveyed said they want to see more video content coming from manufacturers. This alone should be enough to start a very serious conversation about the role video plays in your company’s marketing strategy.
But the evidence in support of increased video content doesn’t stop there…
How-to videos edged out all other responses when we asked tech buyers what kinds of information they prefer to receive from manufacturers and software providers.
What kinds of videos should you create?
Now that we’ve (hopefully) convinced you of video’s importance to the tech marketing, let’s unpack just what types of videos might be most effective in the enterprise tech market.
Unsurprisingly, tech buyers seem to favor the direct approach that product demo videos bring:
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with these videos for them to be successful. Just provide the essential information that your buyers would need to know, presented by someone who knows what they’re talking about (a product engineer is a decent choice).
If you’re still unsure about what to cover, interview a few existing customers about what they’d like to see in your next product video. They likely won’t be shy telling you exactly what to include (and what not to include).
Whatever you do, don’t make a video essay. Keep it relatively brief; ideally, between 2-5 minutes in length.