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The 2 Most Versatile Types Of Content For IT Buyers

By Octopus Group on 21st April 2015

75% of chief information officers value vendors who publish their own content over those who don’t, according to Tech Heads. The argument to invest in content creation is clear, but what style should it be in? What will give you the most bang for your buck?

How-to blog post, data analysis, infographic, Q & A style interview – there are lots of formats to choose from, but some are more effective than others. In Tech Heads we identified the two most versatile content types for IT buyers.

We asked IT directors to allocate information sources to the three basic stages of their decision making process: search, short-listing and selection.  Here are the results:

IT director content preferences for buying stages

Expert opinions and recommendations are the only two that are common to all three stages.

Expert Opinions

Buyers are looking for genuine insight from sellers.  The Rain Group’s research ”What Sales Winners Do Differently” indicated that this kind of expert opinion is found in sales winners who do the following 10 things:

  • Educate with new ideas or perspectives
  • Collaborate
  • Persuade that results will be achieved
  • Listen
  • Understand needs
  • Help avoid pitfalls
  • Craft a compelling solution
  • Accurately depict purchase process
  • Connect with buyer on a personal level
  • Deliver paramount value relative to competitors

Recommendations

Buyers are looking for strong trust signals and so the more relevant recommendations you have the better.  This is especially true for the individual seller who should make sure they have a strong and up to date set of LinkedIn recommendations on their profile.  HubSpot blogged about 3 core ways in which LinkedIn recommendations can help sellers generate value with their buyers:

  • Customer Value: Build trust by building up a set of customer recommendations because the best recommendations for sales professionals come from your customers, not your boss or colleagues
  • Upgrade Value: An opportunity to upsell customers by reconnecting with them when asking for a recommendation.  The act of requesting the recommendation is in fact a form of outreach which can result in new deals
  • Reference Value: A library of case studies you can use in places other than just LinkedIn (such as email, presentation or proposal)

For more insight into content consumption and buying habits in the IT sector, download Tech Heads

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