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Study: B2B Execs Prefer Thought Leadership Content Via Facebook Over Other Networks

Facebook’s ongoing focus on content may be bearing fruit, as new research from the content marketing agency Grist shows that more than three-quarters (79%) of B2B C-suite executives were likely to engage with thought leadership content on Facebook, compared with Twitter (73%) and LinkedIn (68%).

The Value Of B2B Thought Leadership Survey is based on responses from 200 C-suite executives from the top 350 organizations in the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE), regarding their expectations of thought leadership content, as well as when and where it is consumed.

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Analyzing and leveraging social media has been an ongoing discussion among B2B marketers. Demand Gen Report’s own 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report shows that more than half (53%) of B2B buyers use social media to research purchase decisions.

Grist’s research highlights the continued challenge content marketers face: creating original, relevant content that is valuable to their target audience. The study shows respondents’ biggest turnoff to thought leadership content was generic, irrelevant content (63%) — followed by lack of originality (58%) and content that focuses more on the advisor than the reader’s pain points (53%).

“This should be the stuff of ‘content marketing 101,’” said Andrew Rogerson, Co-founder of Grist, in a blog post about the research. “Instinctively, every marketer should know this is the wrong way to do things, yet those in receipt of thought leadership are obviously experiencing it every day.”

Other findings from the report include:

  • C-level execs prefer 800-word articles (63%) and 300–500-word blog posts (57%) more than any other content length;
  • Members of the C-suite read, on average, 31% of all the thought leadership content they receive; and
  • Senior-level executives value the thoughts of current clients (57%) over any other source.