Content materials that offer “practical advice” are what technology buyers, like those in your IT contacts list, want to read the most, among other things. This is according to a recent study cited by the Content Marketing Institute where the respondents consisted of both vendors and buyers in the tech sector. As a subset of this group, the prospects in your IT contact list most likely share the same preferences.
This post takes a look at the content that your IT prospects want to read in your B2B email marketing blasts and discusses some ideas to help you meet their content demands.
The survey mentioned by CMI reveals a lot of useful information on the things that make up quality content from the point of view of tech buyers and sellers. About 65% of respondents prefer to read best practices; 59% want “competitive comparisons” while 54% are attracted towards how-to guides. From the tech vendors’ side, 64% use facts/figures as foundations for their offer, 62% include business/technical aspects, and 58% use recent developments.
Another area that the above study sheds light on is the effect of content age on readership. About 41% of tech buyers want to read information that is at most one year old, 28% accept information between 12 to 18 months old, and 31% say information more than 18 months old is still valid.
These data points give you some insights into the types of content that email recipients in your IT contact list care about. To ensure that their preferences get delivered in your B2B email marketing campaign, you may find the following pieces of advice quite helpful:
1. Start telling, stop selling. The research pointed out by CMI finds that 77% of tech vendors are guilty of excessive marketing promotion. The figures show what tech buyers want to read, and promo material isn’t one of them. That’s why recipients in your IT contact list should receive email messages that tell relevant stories instead of constantly focusing on your products’ features and functions.
2. Map your emails to specific buyer profiles. Again, the importance of proper contact list segmentation becomes quite obvious when you consider matching content relevance with specific audiences. Clearly, some recipients (such as end-users) need greater technical depth than others (IT department head). Information to help you map content to various contact segments can come from other sources in your business or form a reputable IT list vendor.
3. Ground your content to reality. The same study reveals that 44% of tech vendors fail to deliver real-world material in their content. Buyers want to know that your tech solutions do actually work in reality and wouldn’t care much about your product in idealized situations. Give practical examples and advice to the subscribers in your IT contact list.
4. Update/Repackage existing content. It’s perfectly understandable that developing fresh, relevant content is difficult. But updating and repackaging published content can help you get around this difficulty. Keep in mind, though, that “repackaging” and “reusing” are not the same actions, and the latter should be avoided at all costs.
5. Evaluate your content strategy regularly. The term “quality content” doesn’t refer to a static concept. What is considered quality content today may no longer be such in the future. That’s why content marketing experts suggest to regularly analyze the effect of your content strategy on marketing results to see if your approach needs to be reconsidered.