What kind of content will bring you the most success?

Did you know that the average B2B buyer consumes around 13 pieces of content before they interact with any salespeople?

That’s thirteen chances to make or break a deal, thirteen times you need to impress, build trust and show your expertise.

In the channel, content is king. But what kinds of content are the most effective when it comes to lead generation? Can you really see your end customers reading thirteen eBooks? Of course not. The right strategy involves a well-planned cocktail of different content types and topics, tailored to your target audience.

Not all content was created equal, and with some businesses wondering where to focus efforts, we decided to take a deep dive into the different kinds of content you can create to maximize your content marketing efforts and generate more leads. To kick things off, let’s take a look at the what the top performing content types are.

The top performing content types right now

As we’ve already covered, it’s important to get a rich mix of content types when building a content strategy, especially in the channel. But knowing which kinds of content generally perform best can help you to make more informed decisions. We spoke with a leading content syndication site who shared their top performing content and stats on the kind of content that engaged the most. Here are some of the findings:

Research briefs

Of all the different content types on the site, research briefs performed the best. 33% of all top performing content were research briefs. These concise, data-driven documents are ideal for the B2B customer. They are short and easy to read, backed by research and extremely shareable. A research brief is all about taking a long-winded research study and cherry-picking the information that you know your target audience needs. This allows you to connect with even the most rushed and distracted readers, whilst also building trust through research-backed stats and conclusions.

Research reports

Research reports themselves were also high performers, making up 28% of the top performing content. With much in-depth information, reports are a natural next step in the customer journey from the research brief. They offer readers who want more information an in-depth, factual representation of relevant data. Research reports are usually part of a research project, so tend to take a little longer to set up and run, than say a blog or video. However, the data that you collect and the findings in your subsequent report can help inform an entire content campaign, so they are more than worth the extra effort.


Newsletters made up 26% of the top performing content. Regular email updates to potential customers help to build long-term engagement and trust and can be personalized to even greater effectiveness. They provide an opportunity to share product updates, thought leadership content, company news and more. Newsletters help you to keep engaged prospects on-side and give them more reasons to reach out to you. They require a good level of strategy and testing to get right, but once you’ve put in the groundwork you’ll start to reap the rewards. Unlike reports and briefs, newsletters are able to feature direct CTAs, making them more effective at progressing customers along the marketing funnel.

Blogs Articles

Blogs are the elderly statesman of the digital content marketing world. From the first post in 1994, blogs have helped companies to engage with customers and partners. More recently, blogs also became a way to help companies to rise through the search rankings on popular search engines like Google and Bing. 26% of the leading content syndication site’s top content was in blog form. One of the attractive qualities of blogs is that anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can write and publish one. However, you’ll need to appease the SEO gods at Google and Bing if you want to rank highly and get noticed. So, it’s essential to write useful, engaging and entertaining blogs, that are structured well and optimized for use on modern devices like smartphones and tablets. Writing blogs that present your company as a thought leader in your industry can help to build relationships with customers, and develop your rankings for industry specific keywords on search engines. High quality blogs make great content additions to email newsletters and content roundups.


Perhaps surprisingly, videos only featured in 22% of the top content on the site. Despite this, around 7 out of 10 B2B marketers say they use video as part of their marketing efforts. And Google insights reveal that over 40% of global shoppers made a purchase based on a product they saw on YouTube. That’s a lot of stats. And why the disparity between our content syndication site and Google’s findings? Content marketing in the channel usually requires some level of personalization and segmentation. This can be a little more difficult when it comes to video, as editing and finishing can be time consuming. For some, it may be more valuable to use video as ‘pillar content’ (a central, universal asset) with personalized newsletters, ads and written content to support different partners and customers. Video is clearly an extremely valuable area of content marketing, and like the other content types in this blog, if you can engage your audience, you’ll likely find success. Video is versatile and content like how-to videos and explainers helps you to put a human face to your brand, whilst product videos allow you explain complex features more simply with visual aids and animation.

Finding a balance

To answer the question in the title of this blog: no single type of content will bring you success on its own. Deciding which content types work for your business will likely require research and testing. Don’t expect to get it right straight off the bat. A very basic content strategy may include blog posts, an email nurture/newsletter and social media coverage. However, as we’ve covered, publishing research and briefs helps to accelerate the trust-building process, and adding video into the mix can help to pick up more engaged potential buyers.

The trap that some businesses fall into is trying to do too much at once. Start with the basics and get them right. Test different approaches and if they work, try to build them into your strategy. You may also have team or equipment constraints that make it difficult to shoot your own video or conduct your own research. Focus on maximizing your team and strategy to get the most out of what you have, then looking to build on your content creation capabilities in the future.

Building better lead-gen campaigns

One crucial aspect we’re missing here, is how you can build all of this into your lead-gen campaigns to help drive demand and convert leads. Our Demand and Lead Generation Playbook guides you through each stage of the process, including different types of content work best at each stage, and much more. Download the playbook now to begin building a successful lead-gen campaign.
Demand & Lead Gen

Demand & Lead Generation Playbook

Daren Bach

Daren Bach (FCIM)

Chief Creative & Digital Officer
The Channel Agency: Purechannels
Helping Channel Marketing teams unleash indirect revenue through creativity, digital and storySelling.