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Share insights, they said. Create thought leadership, they said. You’ll see great returns on your investment over the long term, they said.

The promise that content marketing will fuel demand generation over the long term is still valid. However, brands that aren’t seeing results may need to hold a mirror up to their work and ask a tough question: if I were in the target audience, would I trust this content?

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To gain a better perspective on this question, Informa Tech conducted a survey asking executives and directors responsible for making B2B technology buying decisions to select the two most common reasons they’re disappointed with gated B2B content. The question was part of the 2023 Informa Tech Trust in Marketing Index , which measures the state of the overall relationship between marketers and B2B technology buying decision makers.

Based on their responses, here are the top five reasons B2B technology buying decision makers are disappointed with gated B2B content, and how marketers can adjust to improve trust with this vital audience.

The content was too general

At 42%, content that’s too general was the top complaint amongst survey respondents. It’s a big problem, but also a straightforward fix. B2B marketers may assume stats they find in the first few pages of Google results are ideal to include in their gated content, but those stats are often significantly overused (especially in industry niches that are more narrow). Creating surveys or doing deep-dive interviews with your core audience – even if you only have the budget to do so annually – are ideal ways to bypass the crutch of relying on oft-repeated data, as you can generate proprietary insights your audience will want to know about.

Content that lacked specific examples

This is slightly different from the “too general” complaint above. While that focuses on original insights, this feedback – selected by 31% of respondents – suggests marketers often don’t do a good enough job closing the loop on relevancy. This is where inserting snippets of your case studies and success stories in the midst of your most compelling content can be especially powerful. Connecting those dots can significantly boost your brand’s credibility.

Content that was low quality and/or filled with errors

While the fix is obvious, it’s notable that this issue is prevalent enough to be listed in the top two reasons for disappointment by 27% of survey respondents. If anything, this should serve as a reminder that B2B marketers must invest in strong writers and editors if they’re putting in the time and effort to create gated content that will stand up to their competitors on a quality level.

The content was overly sales-focused

Leaning too much into a hard product sell was also mentioned by 27% of respondents. While it can be difficult to resist, marketers must have the confidence that B2B technology buying decision makers are already curious about a brand’s products or services if they’re taking time to download gated content. And when you consider that only 5% of the modern B2B buyer journey is spent working with a brand’s sales team, letting your gated content stand alone as thought leadership as opposed to making it into a de facto sales brochure becomes a lot clearer of a strategy to endorse.

 The content did not deliver on its promise (bait and switch)

This concern – which was selected by 25% of survey respondents – may be the most troubling on the list. That’s because it conveys one of two sentiments in decision makers’ minds: either the marketing team that produced the work wasn’t up to the task of creating quality content, or they misled their audience on purpose. The good news is the antidote is simple: ask more questions. Make sure everyone is bought in on the quality, clarity and ability of the content to deliver what it promises at the outline stage, again the draft stage and once more before setting the content live.

The 2023 Informa Tech Trust In Marketing Index  explores what B2B technology buying decision makers really think about topics like content excellence, personalization, targeting and timing. Download it today to learn how your marketing team can gain an advantage with this key target audience.