Case studies, white papers and webcasts are three essential content formats to create awareness, enable small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to research your offerings, drive thought leadership and capture leads. But where do they work best in the sales cycle, how important are they to SMBs, what do SMBs most want from them, what product categories do they work best in, how long should they be, and how do SMBs access them?
To answer these questions – and to help you develop more effective content for SMBs – we recently surveyed 318 U.S. SMB principals. The results are instructive; there are some great learnings on how to develop and promote these important content elements.
Case study preference varies by industry
“Static” still rules
White papers: Not just for tech
SMBs prefer white papers most from banks, followed by technology (hardware) and insurance providers. They seek them least from the travel industry (i.e. airlines, hotels and rental car companies), social media providers and package delivery companies.
Less is more
75% of SMBs prefer white papers to be three or fewer pages, so avoid the temptation to throw in everything there is to know about your product. Make it industry-specific, though; after being “well designed and easy to read,” the most important attribute of a white paper is that “it is relevant to companies in my industry.”
SMBs want webcasts most from local technology solution providers, marketing services companies, cellphone companies and Internet access providers / website hosts. They are most likely to learn about them via your site or email newsletter, or via search.
Brevity is the soul of webcasts
Probably like you, SMBs like their webcasts short. Two in three (67%) of SMBs prefer webcasts to be no more than 15 minutes.