New Report Gives Marketers More Data on How to Best Reach Audiences

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I still clearly recall Tracy Samantha Schmidt, principal of Socially Authentic, telling us last year that she has had great success—an over-50% open rate—with a Sunday night "memo" that goes to executives. "It takes two-minutes to read and we really think value. CEOs are thinking about work at 7 pm on Sunday. I'm totally against putting everything on social media at 9 am Monday morning."

Most surveys might tell you that Sunday is the worst day to send an email, but the audience you're sending to matters greatly when considering your content and the times you're sending. A new report from Connectiv member NetLine titled The 2018 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand Report for Marketers provides B2B marketers with data from thousands of campaigns, breaking it down in many ways including by audience.

Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group which helped compile the study, said that this report can "help marketers understand not just what kind of content to create but also how to design various touchpoints and follow-up strategies..." 

Here are some takeaways from the report:

Use "tips" in your marketing. When sending to people with "manager" in their title, the single most popular content of the previous 12 months carried a "tips" theme; also popular was best practices in the form of what not to do. The most successful e-book conversions included the words, learn, train, lead and success in the title.

Follow up quickly when sending to managers. "Managers take the least amount of time to consume requested content, which means an improved follow-up by your sales team can happen within a day or two, and the contact will be able to connect better with reps. Also for targeting managers, the top-ranking genres of content focus on: productivity, interview best practices, leadership and security."

Allow for more time when targeting C-Level. C-level wants to consume content, but they don't always have the time. Part of that consumption gap may be the product of the type of content they request. An e-book is more of a time commitment than a whitepaper, yet the former is a popular format among C-level pros.

Organize content into digestible formats which can be easily viewed on mobile devices. And make it simple for your audience to request more content that establishes a dialogue. Clearly the top theme among job levels concerns time management and optimization of productivity.

Target and segment. "With so much content being funneled to managers and C-level, industry and sub-industry targeting can convert more of the exact leads you need. In addition, 73% of respondents indicated a greater focus on quality of leads over quantity of leads, and 53% responded that they intend to expand their content library to drive campaigns."

Humanize, humanize, humanize. "B2B marketers can easily overlook the humans behind the consumption of their content—while professional concerns are the focus, content that speaks to the person behind the decision-making can have the ability to capture and convert. Storytelling and disruptive content can start from understanding the types of professionals in the market and speaking to their interests."

Make your content/information easy to share. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 82% of influencers share info via email when researching a purchasing decision. Buyers are doing a lot of leg work before they ever speak with someone in your organization.

Serve content that addresses pain points. Executives, directors and managers have increasingly less time for follow-ups and further research generated by your content. Target influencers who have a vested interest in consuming content that advances the objectives typical of their roles. Marketers can appeal to multiple influential job levels by serving up content that addresses the reader's pain points, resonates and offers a solution to their needs. 

Download the report here.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…