Perhaps surprisingly, IT-sector marketers lead the way in content marketing, and here’s why “the rest of us” should follow.
Research indicates that most marketers in the computing/software industry consider content marketing a must:
- 94% of use content marketing strategies
- 83% deploy case studies (cross-industry average: 55%)
- 69% use webinars and webcasts (cross-industry average: 42%)
What do IT-sector marketers know that apparently half of us don’t? Based on my own conversations with IT marketing professionals, the answer is: nothing.
The target audience drivers that lead IT marketers to apply content marketing strategies so frequently are the three main issues that have always distinguished B2B marketing of any kind from consumer marketing:
It takes more education to understand B2B products and services and the impact their integration will make on the organization. Naturally, buyers are much more likely to purchase a product they understand. The education required is provided by relevant, engaging content delivered to the right people at the right buying stages over time.
Long buying cycle.
Speaking of time, it generally takes 18-24 months from approach to purchase for a significant IT spend to be made. While the B2B purchase timeframe in other industries will vary, we can usually count on months of outreach and nurturing before purchase.
While our targets are making comparisons and championing their favorites, our main conduit for staying top of mind is the timely delivery of relevant content.
IT products and services often have a high price point, and their integration can affect all areas of an organization. But even less substantial and less expensive B2B products tend to require buy-in from multiple departments. In short, B2B purchases have always required a high burden of proof, in terms of ROI as well as performance.
And how can we assist our champions on the customer side? By providing a steady stream of content they can wield to justify their purchasing recommendations.
It seems IT sector demand generation marketers are simply paying 20%+ more attention to the basic principles of B2B marketing than “other” marketers.
Do you have a different view? Are you the rare IT sector marketer who doesn’t prioritize content marketing? Let’s hear from you in the comments.
PS: Here’s my source for content marketing adoption figures.