Change3 Enterprises LLC

Guided by Content

Navigating Through the IT Purchasing Process

Written by Heather Leatherwood on October 22, 2018.

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Does content help the IT purchasing process? Absolutely! The use of content materials has grown thanks to the popularity of social media platforms, video services, and just the Internet as a whole. Blogs, infographics, videos, and more are able to reach a wider audience when shared through social mediums, every minute of every hour or every day. For B2B companies, this influx of content cravings opens new opportunities when it comes to showcasing their products and services to potential and current clients.

 

In fact, a poll by TechTarget found that content does a great deal for the IT professionals, keeping them informed on new and updated technologies, but also revealing how content is providing insights on how those same professionals are navigating through the purchasing process. With so many different options and vendors for professionals to choose from, content can be the map for the purchase path.

 

But how is content influencing this process? And why should marketers, like you, care about the purchase process?

 

The Changing Course of Content

 

As you know, content has become a big driver for both consumers and businesses – they can tell a story, show a challenge that’s facing an individual, and provide insights on how to solve challenges. In 2017 alone, new content was created and shared every minute, including:

 

  • 50,925 videos viewed on Buzzfeed
  • 4,146,600 videos watched on YouTube
  • 3,607,080 searches on Google
  • 600 new pages on Wikipedia
  • 456,000 tweets sent
  • 527,760 shared photos on Snapchat
  • 69,444 hours of streamed videos on Netflix

 

For marketers and professionals alike, this amount of constant content means putting your insights in front of IT buyers who are looking to you to help solve a pain point. TechTarget’s study found that 91% of buyers consume content during the early stages of the buying process.

 

 

This means when IT professionals are looking to purchase new products or services, they start the process by researching and gathering information, most of it coming from insightful and enlightening content.

 

What types of content are IT professionals looking for?

 

For both the early and middle stages of the purchasing process, these are the most effective media types:

 

  • Product literature
  • Whitepapers
  • Vendor comparison

 

The first two – product literature and white papers – are very prominent across the entire purchasing process, but why? Both of these content materials can provide deeper dives into technologies, solutions, services, and thought leadership when it comes to solving a particular challenge.

 

For example, an IT professional might look for reasons they should consider cloud solutions; there are obvious benefits that have been noted for cloud solutions, but IT pros don’t just look at the benefits, they also check any downsides. They like to compare and contrast, see what statistics are saying, what other companies are saying. Product literature and white papers can be wonderful sources of knowledge. IT personnel also look for support from content, to help guide and compare various services – to help grow and meet business initiatives.

 

 

However, being able to narrow down which solution is right for a business can be a challenge, especially for IT professionals who need to contend with both budget restraints and pressure to bring in more complex technology to further those business goals. This is why content can go a long way in paving a path towards the goals professionals are striving for.

 

What Marketers Can Do

 

Knowing that your content holds weight for the buying process, it’s imperative that your content is able to reach and address the needs of your IT audience. Just creating a blog, article, or whitepaper isn’t enough to catch the eye of IT professionals. Here’s some tips to give your content the boost it needs:

 

  • Ensure that you’ve built up your content portfolio and that it's available in a variety of formats.
  • White papers are great ways to present your insights, in bite size chapters that provide actionable next steps throughout.
  • Don’t keep content relegated to one format. Content can come in many forms – whitepapers, infographics, videos, blogs, etc – so be sure you’re targeting each to ensure a wider variety of contact.
  • Keep an eye on the search activities of IT buying teams. This can not only help to see if your own content is part of their searches but can give you an idea on what these teams are looking for.

 

Content has opened a lot of avenues for businesses, connecting both buyers and marketers together through the journey of purchasing new products and solutions. Change3’s content team understands the importance of reaching your target audience by creating relevant material that showcases your solutions. Contact us today for happiness served daily.                        

 

 

References

3 Content Marketing Trends That Will Rule 2018

2015 TechTarget Media Consumption Report: Guided by content – How IT buying teams navigate through the research and purchasing process


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