How many times have you salvaged a crummy day by catching up on your favorite show or diving into the latest series from Amazon or Netflix? Adorned in your favorite pair of sweats and armed with your snack and beverage of choice, you get comfortable and prepare yourself for a major entertainment moment.
“Just one episode,” you say.
One hour passes, then two, then three.
Similar to an old-timey film, you see the sun through your window as it slowly sets. You blink and feel like it’s immediately replaced by the moon. Yep, you spent your whole day bingeing on content.
I find the term “bingeing” to be a bit cringe-worthy. (My guess is because it sounds very similar to “belch.”) But the reality is that we’re seeing more people adapt bingeing behaviors in their personal lives — that’s why it’s aptly called “The Netflix Model.” But B2B buyers are adapting this behavior in their professional lives, too.
B2B marketers are capitalizing on this movement by creating content hubs, assembling tailored toolkits and even embedding myriad callouts promoting supplementary content within their static assets. But before you determine the best way for your organization to embrace content bingeing, you need to understand why this movement is happening. Here are a few key reasons why content bingeing may be the future of the B2B buyer experience:
- Attention spans are shortening, and they’re overwhelmed with options: Yes, this is the all-too-common fact that articles call out, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that your buyers are time-starved and often inundated by the amount of information at their disposal. This is kind of a “well, duh” fact, so I’ll just close this point out with this: 77% of buyers who participated in Demand Gen Report’s 2017 Content Preferences Survey say they have less time to devote to reading and researching, while 88% say they’re overwhelmed by the amount of content available. Content toolkits, hubs and other experiences that enable them to binge, and can help make the content discovery and consumption experience a lot less daunting.
- No two buyers are alike: This point actually ties closely to the preceding one. You have to accept and adapt to the fact that your audience is hopping between tasks and likely has at least 10 web page tabs open at a time. At the same time, though, you need to understand that your audience is extremely different. (Another “well, duh” point, I’m sure.) What drives Emily to open a marketing email may be vastly different than what captures David’s attention. One of your leads may want to read one really detailed, foundational piece of content, while another person may only have time to skim through a series of short, more visual pieces that get to the point quickly. You not only need to have a diverse content library that addresses all of these preferences, you need to give them the power to access as much or as little content as they want at a time.
- Relevance trumps entertainment value: Of course, creating relevant content that’s also entertaining is always the ultimate goal. But how many times have we toiled over how we can make an asset edgier and make it “go viral”? (I absolutely abhor the term “go viral,” but that’s a topic for another day.) Because we have such a narrow view of the content and experiences we want to create, we end up focusing on gotcha-marketing tactics like click-bait headlines and leveraging influencers just for the hell of it. Really, though, your buyers are just looking for more relevant content experiences. In fact, 58% of buyers want related content packaged together, according to the 2017 Content Preferences Survey. They also want vendors to organize content by more personal parameters — for example, by business role (67%) and industry (64%). These preferences play well into the bingeing concept. Just like Netflix organizes film and TV recommendations based on past behaviors, preferences and top genre/theme categories, your brand has the opportunity to tailor content experiences based on buyer-focused parameters.That’s why many folks are saying content bingeing is critical for successful account-based marketing (ABM) strategies.
- Buyers don’t want barriers: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped engaging with a brand because it was too difficult to access their content or they kept throwing forms in my face. This is an ongoing reality for your buyers as they research pressing business issues and potential solutions. They want brands to break down the gate and implement methods such as content packaging/bundling (58%) and single-click access (71%). By creating a content bingeing experience, you can group as many content assets together as you want, bundling them based on specific trends and topics, and incorporating a mixture of different formats and assets aligned to different buyer stages.
B2B buyers are becoming more empowered and have more options at their fingertips. Rather than fighting this, and their newfound media consumption habits, brands need to think of new and creative ways to publish and group their content. Has your marketing team embraced the content bingeing phenomenon? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below!