Bredin Report: What Content Works Best for SMB Consideration?

We recently fielded an SMB Pulse survey of 500 principals of U.S. companies with up to 500 employees. Among other things, we wanted to understand the content formats that SMBs use most to research products and services – in other words, which types of content you should use at the consideration stage.

As is often the case with marketing to SMBs, the answer depends on who you are targeting. SMBs with fewer than 20 employees (very small businesses, or VSBs) are most likely to use video on your website to better understand how your offerings can help them achieve their goals – 23% of them are very likely to use that type of content. After that, they are equally likely (at 22%) to read an article or a Facebook post.

SMB Research Content Preferences

How likely are you to use each of these content formats from vendors like Adobe, Amazon, Dell, Google, Intuit, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Salesforce, etc., to research or assess products or services for your business?

SMB Research Content Preferences


Like VSBs, SMBs with 20 to 99 employees (small businesses, or SBs), are most likely to use video on your website to research your offerings – although at 43%, they are significantly more likely to do so than VSBs. They are next most likely (41%) to turn to LinkedIn, or an interactive tool such as a calculator or configurator, to assess how your product or service meets their needs.

SMBs with 100 to 500 employees (midsize businesses, or MBs) are most likely (58%) to read a research report to assess your offerings. SMBs are highly interested in the opinions and experience of their peers. Research is a great way to showcase the payback of your offerings, since it highlights impartial, real-world SMB results. MBs are next most likely (55%) to assess your offerings via a LinkedIn post or an analyst report.

Content consumption increases with company size: SBs are significantly more likely than VSBs to use every surveyed content format, and MBs are significantly more likely than SBs to use almost every format. Busy VSBs are difficult to engage with content, meaning that it is critical to provide them with short, easy-to-understand content on an ongoing basis. SBs and MBs are more willing to engage with longer-form content to dig into the benefits of your offerings – but it’s still imperative to make your content comprehensible and relevant.

Need help understanding and/or engaging SMBs? Bredin can keep you up to date on evolving SMB needs and challenges through quick-turn, actionable market research. We can also help you develop high-value content and social posts to boost SMB awareness, brand perception, leads, conversion and revenue.

About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.