Unlike cold calling, follow-ups, product demonstrations, and sales pitches, customer engagement traditionally falls under the marketing umbrella.

It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to foster engagement with buyers and customers through social media, content marketing campaigns, targeted messaging, and more.

But according to new research by Pardot, sales has more invested in their buyers’ engagement levels than they might think.

Buyer Engagement

Pardot’s survey of over 400 consumers suggests that buyer engagement using credible, authentic content is critical to sales success.

  • When it came to making a purchasing decision, survey respondents indicated that trust in a brand’s content was three-times more important to them than trust in a brand’s employees.

  • On brand loyalty: 64% of customers said that “content authenticity” and “the helpfulness of content” are major factors in their decision to stay with their solution provider.

These statistics only serve to bolster the argument for the use of content throughout the sales cycle to help educate buyers and nurture them to sales-readiness. However, the study goes on to qualify the type and quality of content matter.

  • 82% of those surveyed indicated that the type of content affects their perception of how credible the information is.

  • 63% of all respondents have engaged with content at some point in their career only to be disappointed by what they received. Of those who have been disappointed, 97% indicated that the experience either slightly or seriously affected their trust of the brand.

The lesson behind these two stats? Bad content may be more detrimental than no content at all.

A Joint Effort

Content creation and distribution is where marketing and sales can really come together to impact engagement levels. By creating helpful, authentic content aimed at each stage of the sales cycle, marketing can empower sales with the resources they need to move their buyers from one stage of the sales cycle to the next. And by using this content, sales can help educate their buyers, improve engagement levels, build trust, and increase the likelihood of an opportunity turning into a closed deal.

Take a look at the full research report, 5 Engagement Questions — Answered, to learn more about how your buyers and customers are engaging with brands — and see what marketers and salespeople can do to to help.

The study reveals:

  • The most and least credible types of content, as viewed by consumers
  • The most and least credible channels for content distribution
  • What criteria can influence a consumer to become a fan, follower, or subscriber of a brand
  • How your audience's trust is impacted by ghostwritten content, and more. 

Click the banner below to read the full report.