Creating content that influences purchasing decisions


Business leaders search for content that speaks to specific needs and pain points, educates (rather than sells) and makes their search for product specs easily accessible. Those are the latest findings uncovered in new research conducted by SmartBrief and Content Marketing Institute.

In a survey of over 1,200 senior business leaders across 18 industry verticals, SmartBrief and CMI sought to understand how content influences the purchasing process and what sources and types of information decision-makers rely on when researching and deciding on vendors or manufacturers.

Key takeaways
Decision-makers do their homework before bringing a vendor in to discuss a project. Over 65% use sources other than manufacturers/vendors to collect information to help make purchasing decisions.

The most influential content is niche, speaks directly to their pain points and avoids being promotional. “Vendors should understand the type of information that customers are seeking and try to meet that need,” said Michele Linn, vice president of content at CMI.

Next to direct peer recommendations and product reviews, the most influential sources include original research, in-person events, case studies and educational webinars.

Grounding your content in data gives your information credibility.

Purchasers share information with other influencers. Thus, it makes sense to ensure your content is accessible and shareable.

“Buyers need clear product examples, specs and pricing as they evaluate providers. Just be sure to make it organic to the story—over promotion will kill your message,” said Kanoe Namahoe, content specialist at SmartBrief.

This article first appeared in

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