Original research, quotes from customers and comments from industry experts are the top three elements in content that help build B2B brand trust, according to a new survey.
The report from Vennli, which surveyed 100 senior-level B2B marketers on the role content strategy plays in building brand trust, found that respondents felt that while third-party data from respected research firms such as Forrester or Gartner might have name recognition, it doesn’t do as much to create trust. This is likely because so many companies have access to the same material, so it doesn’t carry the same weight as original research.
“Marketers are faced with the significant challenge of finding a way to build brand trust with their customers,” says Marty Muse, CEO of Vennli. “To do so, they should produce content and messaging that speaks to customer’s pains and needs.”
Fifty-seven percent of respondents named branded content as the best tool to build B2B brand trust. Also highly cited were strong social media presences (44 percent); television, print or digital advertising (40 percent); and references or testimonials from customers (40 percent). Ranking a bit lower were third-party analyst reports (33 percent), word-of-mouth (32 percent) and press coverage (25 percent).
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Sales support documents (40 percent), case studies (36 percent), customer support documents (35 percent) videos (34 percent) and company blogs (30 percent) were cited as the top content choices by marketers surveyed to drive B2B brand trust. What were the lowest ranked choices when it comes to fostering trust? Testimonials (12 percent), podcasts (eight percent), ebooks (six percent) and webinars (three percent) were on the bottom of the list.
“While there is tremendous pressure to focus on content that has an immediate visible impact on the business, such as sales support materials, marketing leaders must strike the balance between immediate returns and building the sustaining value of the brand,” notes the report.
Over 70 percent of senior-level marketers surveyed strongly agreed that content is essential for creating B2B brand trust, and nearly 40 percent saw a need for brand trust to link customer experience and brand improvement.
Building B2B brand trust had different meanings for junior and senior level marketers surveyed in the report. Those in upper level positions cited brand-owned content and advertising as the best tools for creating trust, while those in lower level roles favored a strong social presence and customer testimonials. While this may indicate that junior marketers are younger and favor newer channels, it also indicates a need to improve alignment within marketing teams, according to the report.