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2018 B2B Buyer Trends: Boosting User Success for Martech Companies

B2B buyers are interacting with more content than ever during self-directed research. How can martech companies leverage this trend to deliver ROI for a modernized 2018 B2B user base?

According to Demand Gen’s 2018 B2B Buyer’s Journey Report, content continues to be a deciding factor in the success of marketing and sales efforts. Buyer demand for content intensifies marketers’ need for effective tools that support content creation.

To help you meet user demands, we contextualized the data on B2B buyer behavior with the following three tips distilled from our collaborations with leaders in the martech space.

User Workflow Optimization
2018 B2B Buyer Trends: Boosting User Success for Martech Companies — User Workflow OptimizationImage via Shutterstock.

61% of decision-makers said the length of their B2B purchasing cycle has increased

45% said they’re spending more time researching content from more sources (compared to 2017)

To keep up with buyer preferences for self-directed research, your B2B users need a creative workflow that is fast, intuitive, and scalable.

At their core, technological solutions are designed to accelerate a user’s capacity to produce work. However, we’ve all experienced moments when technology does the opposite.

The difference between comes down to a core principle in user experience design called cognitive load. Cognitive load describes the mental effort needed to use a platform. The less of it users experience on your platform, the better.

For example, Wix knew that searching, licensing, and downloading were cognitively demanding tasks that got in the way of the creative process. To solve this issue, Wix first relied on a selection of Shutterstock images to populate their existing templates. However, it quickly became apparent that images alone were not enough.

In 2014, Wix integrated the Shutterstock API to leverage the quality and volume of our full image library as well as the workflow improvement our API created for their end users. By eliminating friction in the creative experience, Wix built a loyal user base and continues to dominate the website builder space.

Immediate Access to Premium Multimedia Assets

2018 B2B Buyer Trends: Boosting User Success for Martech Companies — Immediate Access to Premium AssetsImage via Shutterstock.

65% of winning vendors provided informational content that was easy to consume.
54% of buyers reported using social media as a research channel in 2018 (vs. 20% in 2012.)

61% of winning vendors provided higher-quality content.


Martech companies can support their B2B user base in creating effective content that is adapted for different distribution channels with ready-to-use assets.

Not all content is created equal. In fact, the brain processes images 60X faster than words and according to research by Promo, 70% of people that watch a video online sometimes or often visit a company’s website.

In addition to content performance, multimedia assets make it easy to adapt content for different social platforms. After all, social media posts need graphics, videos need b-rolls, and audio recordings need music tracks.

Slidely helps users create visually stunning video content that drives social shares, makes lasting impressions, and increases engagement. However, they knew that most companies don’t have the resources to create high-quality videos in-house. To support user success, Slidely integrated with the Shutterstock API to provide immediate access to over 10 million video clips ready for users to turn into impactful videos that deliver ROI.

Customize User Experience

2018 B2B Buyer Trends: Boosting User Success for Martech Companies — Customize User ExperienceImage via Shutterstock.

98% of marketers agree that personalization makes a strong or extreme impact on advancing customer relationships.

76% of decision-makers want content that is directly relevant to their company.

B2B users have an imperative to personalize their content. Help them produce high-performing collateral with a user experience tailored to their preferences and behavior.

In 2018, B2B buyers expect personalized content experiences and B2B marketers expect personalized content creation experiences. Taking this point to heart, IBM Watson Content Hub has developed AI services to surface appropriate assets from Shutterstock’s library quickly.

However, you don’t need to have AI capabilities to customize your users’ search experience. Instead, you can leverage Shutterstock API’s default keywords, operators, and meticulously documented metadata to filter search results and deliver the most relevant assets for every search.


Meeting your user’s needs involves extending your sphere of concern to encompass how they must meet their customer’s needs.

By focusing on workflow optimization, providing ready-at-hand assets, and increasing customization, you can differentiate your platform based on remarkable user experiences instead of features alone. Doing so increases retention and user success which, in turn, allows you to help more users convert strangers into customers.

Cover image via Monkey Business Images.

Looking to learn more about content marketing? Try out these articles:

Getting Management Buy-In for Your Content Strategy
The 5 Essential Steps of Successful Social Media Marketing
Design for Non-Designers: How Business Owners Can Master the Basics
Aligning Your Team to Create a Consistent Visual Brand Identity
The Science Behind Branding and Consumer Choice

The post 2018 B2B Buyer Trends: Boosting User Success for Martech Companies appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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