Study: What content do industry leaders consume? – Info PR
Your content is only as important as the person who reads it.
That means many content creators are looking to attract high-level
executives with the decision-making power to buy services or change an
organization’s trajectory. You want to speak directly to top-level leaders
and affect their choices; that means offering them something they want or
[RELATED: Get the skills you need to become a trusted advisor to leaders.]
In a new study
Greentarget, a strategic PR firm, and the Zeughauser Group, researchers asked more
than 100 executives where they found content and what kinds of stories made
Email’s enduring importance
The study reveals that executives still rely heavily on email to learn
about the latest trends and topics in their industry. Fifty-five percent
report consuming content from emails daily, and 52 percent report relying
daily on traditional media such as newspapers.
Don’t sleep on new platforms, though. Thirty-five percent say they check
social media daily.
You might get good SEO results from your content marketing strategy, but
data suggest your owned media isn’t reaching executives unless it’s
filtered through another source. Only 3 percent report checking vendor
publications daily, demonstrating that earned media still should be the
focus of your B2B public relations efforts.
What executives value
For leaders, traditional media still is the top dog when it comes to
reliability, trustworthiness and clout. Asked what content sources are most
valuable, 35 percent cite outlets such as The Wall Street Journal.
Industry association publications rank close behind with 32 percent and
trade publications at 26 percent.
Social media fares poorly when it comes to trust, a possible indication of
the erosion of confidence in online content. Only 17 percent say social
media is a valuable source for their industry.
Vendors get no love for self-published work. In terms of value, vendor
publications rank lowest at only 3 percent, showing that executives hold a
healthy skepticism for what you print about yourself.
Preferred content types
Do executives want to read articles with insight and solutions into their
most pressing problems, or would they rather watch explainer videos that
demonstrate how to implement new solutions? What kind of time do they have,
and how do they want to spend it?
The survey suggests that executives overwhelmingly prefer written articles
as a content format, with 64 percent ranking article with a high preference
and only 3 percent giving them a low preference.
About half (49 percent) say they prefer news alerts, and 44 percent say
they want to see infographics. However, there is no magic formula when it
comes to creating content. Even though 44 percent rank infographics and
interactive charts as preferred, 7 percent of respondents dismiss both
Content marketers should take note: Every executive has his or her own
preferences. If you are looking to grab lots of attention, cast a wide net
with multiple types of content.
Different content formats have discrete benefits. For example, articles
rank high for being educational (65 percent), but videos rank best for
entertainment value (48 percent).
One thing all the executives could agree on: Content should be useful.
According to the survey, the best way to hold leaders’ attention is to
offer educational value, have good sources, be timely and have a good
headline. Leaders are less swayed by other metrics that might appeal to a
different audience, such as popularity (quantity of social media shares and
likes) or overall length of a piece.
Executives might be willing to read a long piece—if it has value for them
and captures their attention early.
Relative merits of social media
Around 32 percent of respondents say that they don’t use social media at
all. However, that doesn’t mean you should shun social media efforts. Most
(52 percent) respondents say they use social media to stay abreast of
important industry issues.
What executives say on social media is a small sample of the overall
population. Only 16 percent say they actively engage online.
Article Prepared by Ollala Corp