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Buyers Want To Trust Content. But Do They Value Yours? [New Research]

B2B tech buyers want trustworthy content. They also need to find value in that content.

Many find that combination illusive, according to a new research report from Informa Tech (registration required).

How can B2B marketers fill the trust gap so buyers might engage more, take more actions, and be more likely to become customers? The answer is pretty simple. Well, maybe.

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain, or keep reading for the highlights:

Informa Tech provides market insight and data to businesses around the world (and, full disclosure, is part of the same parent company as Content Marketing Institute.)  

Its new research report, the 2023 Trust in Marketing Index, looks at marketers in the United States and the United Kingdom. It measures the trust level of B2B buyers purchasing tech solutions in the content and marketing they consume from vendors.

Content value disappoints B2B buyers

The headline of the 2023 Trust in Marketing Index? B2B marketers do a decent job across some areas of trust and not so much in others.

Three out of five B2B decision-makers say they generally trust what they get. That’s good news, but the subsequent finding isn’t so great: 71% say they are often or sometimes disappointed in the value of B2B gated content.

71% of #B2B tech buyers say they’re often or sometimes disappointed in the value of vendors’ gated #content according to @InformaTechHQ #research via @CMIContent. Share on X

Most marketers also get the timing right. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed rate the timing of content as good or outstanding. And they hold similar opinions about targeting – 62% say it’s good. Of course, that also means almost 40% of decision-makers don’t think the content’s timing and targeting work well.

The report reveals that content becomes trustworthy when it comes from a trusted source, with a high level of detail, and is shared by trustworthy individuals.

What busts the trust? Dated or duplicative content that leads with a sales pitch or is followed by a sales call immediately after they complete the form.

Gating thought leadership content is a big mistake

When it comes to gating, the report found that fewer than half (41%) of senior technology decision-makers exchange their data for gated content once a month. 

“B2B marketers are creating good stuff, but they still have a lot of work to do around gating content. They need to think more about which content should be gated and how they use the first-party data provided by the reader to convert them into a lead or opportunity,” Robert says.

Putting B2B thought leadership behind a gate is a big mistake brands make. “That visionary, paradigm-shifting content usually comes at the beginning of the buyer’s journey,” he says. “The audience hasn’t even decided that they should change, and yet the business pesters that audience for how much change they would like to purchase today.”

Gating #content at the beginning of the buyer’s journey doesn’t make sense. The audience hasn’t even decided if they should change via @Robert_Rose @CMIContent. Share on X

The 2023 Trust in Marketing findings validate that B2B marketers must use their content to get better insight into the intent and stage of the audience. Gaining that knowledge allows you to build trust over time and deliver valuable experiences that move the customer along at their pace.

Always remember, it’s the customer’s journey, not your brand’s.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute