B2B: Why Short-Form Content Lacks Authority

Statistically, short-form marketing content does not generate the same trust, expertise, and authority as long-form. An elevator pitch may intrigue buyers, but they will need much more information to make an expensive purchasing commitment. In an Eccolo Media report, buyers were asked what content they found the most influential. White Papers (33%) finished second to Data Sheets (39%), followed by Case Studies (31%), and detailed technology guides/implementation scenarios  (23%). Social Media, infographics, and Blog articles all finished with under 15%, and Tweets came in at only 4%.1


Buyers are 
looking for authoritative data and detailed information — something short-form content can only promote, but not deliver in totality. A DemandGen Report released in early 2016 found that when buyers were asked about the type of content they used in the past twelve months to research B2B purchasing decisions, white papers (82%), webinars (78%), case studies (72%),  and eBooks (67%) finished as the top four choices¹³ — all long-form marketing tactics. As far as short-form content, blog posts (66%) and infographics (66%) finished tied for fifth. And the trend of buyers consuming longer content in order to make B2B purchasing choices is steadily rising.¹³

Data shows that short-form content strategies do not correlate with increased sales of B2B services. Executives looking to overhaul an aspect of their company by making a major services purchase are going to do a lot of research. Banks looking to change their security systems, or health networks looking to upgrade their EHR systems, are reading and researching extensively because millions of dollars are potentially going to be invested in the project. Short-form content is unequipped to transfer that much detail, and to impart the expertise, authorship, and requisite trust — especially when large purchases are being considered.

 

Sources

1 “Eccolo Media 2015 B2B Technology Content Survey Report,” Eccolo Media, accessed June 1, 2016, http://eccolomedia.com/what-content-has-the-most-clout/.