Online marketing content ranks high with buyers

White papers … they’ve still got it going on, if you know what I mean.

A recent study by TechTarget revealed that white papers are still king among buyers. Their Media Consumption Benchmark Report dispelled any questions surrounding white papers and if they still have any pull as a marketing tool.

While TechTarget serves the high-tech market and the results should be examined in that context, many of the main points can be helpful in other markets including the HR technology industry.

Michael Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers, recently highlighted the key findings of the 47-page report on his blog. Here’s how  buyers view white papers:

  • To evaluate a solution, people turn to white papers first. More than half of respondents rely on white papers more than newsletters (51%), trials (46%), product literature (41%),  articles (38%), webcasts (48%), case studies (26%), podcasts (9%) and virtual trade shows (8%).
  • Buyers frequently read white papers: 52% of buyers read an average of 5 or more white papers in a three month period. Buyers consume more white papers than any other type of media available.
  • What buyers don’t like about white papers: that they’re too product focused or too long.
  • The majority (80%) of buyers view white papers as an effective source in the decision making process, more than any other marketing tool.
  • White papers come in above all other marketing forms for gaining awareness and consideration among buyers. Almost half of buyers (47%) use white papers to gain awareness and 36% use them when considering a solution.
  • Buyers like to share white papers. White papers are the most forwarded material among buyers, as 42% either frequently or very frequently forward white papers to colleagues and friends.

The report is hard evidence that buyers value content that helps them solve problems and are more inclined to engage with your brand when they find that content helpful.

For more information on the power of white papers and content marketing, read these related posts:

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One response to “Online marketing content ranks high with buyers

  1. Excellent summary. Thanks.
    We’ve found that white papers are still ‘pulling’ for our clients (mostly tech companies).
    How they perform post-download, however, varies widely.
    The really well-conceived ones – those that sell a new idea and support it credibly – keep working long after download.
    They can also be exploited through blogging and online PR – a super-effective tool for spreading the love.

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