Money & Business

Study: Association Content Is Most Trusted Among Buyers

By / Jun 6, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Online research and white papers from professional associations and industry groups was rated more valuable and trustworthy among business buyers than vendor content, according to a new study on content marketing.

It’s no secret that marketers are unsure of the most effective uses of content marketing, but a new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is shedding light on what kinds of content have the most impact on buyers.

According to “Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field,” research and white papers from professional associations are the most valued and trusted sources of content among B2B buyers.

Industry-group research and white papers were the next most trusted sources among the more than 400 business buyers surveyed, followed by customer case studies, analyst reports and white papers, and product reviews.

“Peer-powered organizations, including professional communities and industry groups, offer brands the opportunity to access powerful insights into customer audiences, as well as trusted channels for content engagement,” Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, said in a statement.

The value and trustworthiness of vendor content was rated much lower by respondents. Only 9 percent of business buyers highly valued vendor white papers.

The disparity in trust may stem from the more promotional approach vendors take. Among the top reasons respondents disliked B2B content, “blatantly promotional” and “nonsubstantive” came in at numbers two and three. The top reason for disliking content was complicated downloading requirements.

The study, conducted in partnership with the online B2B advertising network NetLine, also found that 87 percent of survey respondents said online content had a major or moderate impact on vendor selection, highlighting the growing importance of content as a marketing tactic.

Content from professional associations was rated the most valuable in terms of shaping purchase decisions, followed by content from industry groups, online trade publications, seminars and workshops, and tradeshows.

“Relevance and trust drive better content performance across the purchase funnel,” Neale-May said.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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