Content preferences – what business to business buyers want from your brand

Business to business buyers want less sales messages and more research-backed content, according to the 2022 Content Preferences Survey Report.

The research, carried out by On24 and Demand Gen report, surveyed 174 B2B executives to find out about their content consumption habits and preferences.

Content is critically important to the buying process. The majority of B2B buyers (61%) are consuming three to seven pieces of content before talking to a salesperson about a purchase.

When asked what makes content memorable and would trigger a sales call, respondents said that research matters. They are looking for content that:

  • Uses data and research to support claims – 51%
  • Tells a strong story that resonates with my stakeholders responsible for the purchase – 49%
  • Is packed with sharable stats and quick-hitting insights – 41%
  • Is research based – 41%
  • Appeals to our values – 34%

The data shows that buyers want higher value content when researching a purchase, including research, case studies and thought leadership. The most valuable content formats and sources for researching B2B purchases are:

  • Research/survey reports – 43%
  • Case studies – 40%
  • Webinars – 40%
  • B2B media/news publications – 37%
  • Whitepapers – 34%
  • E-books – 34%

If you are looking to improve the quality of your content, then ease off the urge to sell and focus on the value of our products and services. Buyers wants credible content that is easy to access and easy to consume. These are the best ways to improve content quality, according to the research:

  • Curb the sales messages – 39%
  • Create shorter content – 37%
  • Don’t overload content with copy – 36%
  • Use more data and research to support content – 36%
  • Focus less on product specifics and more on value – 32%
  • Make content easier to access (single click) – 31%
  • Add more insight from industry thought leaders – 30%

As the report authors say, “Buyers want high-quality, easy to access content that is backed by data and filled with quick-hitting insights, with webinars and research reports among the most popular right now.”

These findings are echoed in the July 2023 edition of the Learning and Performance Institute’s L&D Dashboard, which provides insights on inhouse learning team performance and capability as well as the strengths and weaknesses of learning providers.

Like the findings of the Content Preferences Survey Report the LPI findings show learning providers struggle with marketing collateral and how to bring products to market.

The LPI says the biggest challenge faced by learning providers include:

  • How to effectively bring products and services to market.
  • Marketing collateral that is not always well-written and presented, claims that are not routinely substantiated, and the voice of the organisation not always being represented in a professional and accurate way.
  • Client engagement and delivery processes are not always in place and, if they are, there are gaps in understanding and documentation.

There is a clear theme here: learning vendors struggle with creating credible, accessible content that communicates value.

We know that finding the right content partner with industry expertise is the number one challenge for vendors. If that’s you, then we can help. Find out how by dropping us a line at

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