How Much Content Is Needed For Content Marketing?: Guiding Principle Number Four

Tech marketers constantly ask my team and me, “How much content is necessary in a content marketing plan? “ It’s a vexing question but one that can be answered with the fourth guiding principle.

Guiding Principle Number Four: Content 3x3

Buyers and influencers of high consideration B2B technology solutions typically use about three distinct content types during the awareness, the consideration, and the purchase phases of the buying process — a total of nine pieces. Before you go out and generate more content or start cutting down what you already have to hit this average, keep in mind two previous guiding principles that affect your content strategy. Guiding Principle Number One stated that you are likely to have a minimum of three to four key influencers for your solution. That means you’ll need to ensure that you’re applying the 3x3 to each buyer and influencer. Don’t panic though, it doesn’t mean you need to go out and create 27 to 36 different content pieces. Guiding Principle Number Three highlighted the 3:1:1 ratio, which means buyers and influencers typically find 70% of the content that they consume on their own. That doesn’t mean you can’t create content for them to find, but it means you don’t have to create all 27 to 36 pieces. Also, look for reuse or shared content between buyers and influencers.

 So the next time you are deciding on how much content to create, remember the 3x3 — it will serve you well.

About the data: These data points come from the Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator database and decision tool that helps tech marketers reach and influence their buyers. Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator measures how tech buyers and influencers consume marketing across awareness, consideration, and purchase. The data is collected through more than 20,000 interviews per year, covering 20-plus technology categories, across 11 geographies, and annually influences more than $4 billion in marketing program spend.


The 70%

Hi Daniel,

Do you have any insight on where people actually find the 70%? I mean in terms of balance between the vendor's website, review sites, analyst sites, magazines, events etcetera?

The interesting challenge for a marketer is that even though you may not proactively reach out to prospects in that 70% , you still need to find and influence those other 7 to 8 touchpoints they use to get their information.

Any insight would be much appreciated.


Your comment

Hi Otto,

Good to hear from you and thanks for the comment. The reality is that those "sources" that people use vary by geography, their role/title, the technology that they're purchasing, along with the stage of the purchasing process (awareness, consideration and purchase), etc. Ideally, the marketing engagement plan would align with the buyer's unique journey and the corresponding marketing sources/vehicles he/she wants to consume. If we look broadly across all titles/roles, all technologies and all stages of the buying process, here's the order based on percentage of buyers/influencers who use them (not necessarily the impact that source/vehicle has.)

1. Websites
2. Vendor sales people
3. Consultants/SIs
4. Tradeshows
5. Printed publications
6. Webinars/webcasts
7. Electronic newsletters (email)
8. Support forums/discussion boards
9. Industry Analysts
10. Virtual events/virtual trade shows
11. Community Marketing (Including discussion forums)
12. Blogs
13. Online Videos
14. Linkedin
15. Facebook
16. Twitter

(Source: Forrester's Q1 US and European Social Technographics Online Survey for Business Technology Buyers)

If you'd like, feel free to schedule an inquiry with me and we can chat further.

Cheers, Dan