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I recently saw an interesting study about how organizations are using more content to influence purchases, but according to Demand Metric’s Lead Generation Benchmark Report for 2014 (http://www.salesfusion.com/white-paper/demand-metric-lead-generation/) , this content clutter is leading visitors to content fatigue which can lead to less engagement.

The numbers show that content is one of the best ways to influencer buyers during their purchase path (and earlier in the purchase cycle) , but there needs to be some innovation in with how content is presented, and new forms of interactive content to stimulate engagement –  interactive content versus passive content.

The difference between the performance of passive versus interactive content at producing conversions is dramatic, says the report. In the study, interactive content converted buyers moderately or very well 70 percent of the time, compared to 36 percent for passive content.

Here are some key findings from the study:

  • Interactive content (apps, assessments, calculators, configurators and quizzes) generate conversions moderately or very well 70 percent  of the time, compared to just 36 percent for passive content
  • Comparing interactive to passive content, interactive content is somewhat or very effective at educating the buyer (93 percent  versus 70 percent), differentiating from competitors (88 percent  versus 55 percent) and being shared (38 percent versus 17 percent)
  • The most frequently encountered problem with content marketing efforts is “content doesn’t create enough opportunities for interaction and engagement”, experienced by 58 percent of study participants
  • Fifty-five percent of organizations in this study are allocating 15 percent or less of their marketing budgets to content creation and marketing. The study found no relationship between increased spending on content and increased content effectiveness.

It also seems that it’s crucial to influence buyers earlier in their decision making process.

  • During their journey from need to purchase, only 25 percent of buyers reveal their interest to vendors early in the process
  • Ninety percent of the study participants believe that it is somewhat or very important to engage buyers earlier in their journey
  • And respondents said that the buying stage where content is most effective – early stage (42 percent), middle stage (44 percent) and late stage (14 percent)

The study concluded that content marketing effectiveness isn’t about how much is being spent on content, but rather how it is being spent.  The report says, “The organization that publishes an assessment app that does in five minutes what hundreds of competing white papers attempt to do will quickly eclipse the passive content.”

So what you are looking for in content is obviously bang for the buck. Big impact doesn’t mean spending more on content but rather producing high-quality content that engages purchasers and helps influence their decision, while engaging them earlier in the process. Sounds right me.