PDF downloads are a common digital marketing tactic of B2B companies, but marketers are hindering themselves if they only accept certain types of email addresses.
A majority of marketers leverage downloadable documents or presentations as part of their content marketing strategy, according to a 2015 study by the Content Marketing Institute. In a poll of more than 1500 global B2B marketers, 82% responded that they use case studies to promote their company, 71% leveraged white papers and 65% used online presentations.
Furthermore, 49% of B2B marketers offer downloadable research reports, 39% eBooks and 26% print magazines, according to the study. On average, marketers use just over a dozen different types of content marketing tactics.
While in-person events were ranked as the most effective B2B marketing tactic, more than 60% of marketers agreed that downloadable content such as webinars, case studies, white papers, videos and research reports were an effective recruiting tactic for B2B industries.
Downloads are not only a popular and effective content marketing tactic, but also an opportunity for brands to collect contact information in exchange for the desired documents. Most B2B companies send downloadable content to a subscriber’s email address once it’s been collected, which establishes a potentially fruitful email marketing relationship.
As of June 2016, 15.3 million Americans were self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A third are unincorporated, meaning that they are more likely to communicate with a personal email address as opposed to a corporate account. An additional 53 million Americans identify as freelancers or independent workers, according to a 2014 study by the Freelancers Union.
Considering that Gmail is the most popular email client with more than a billion users, companies are shooting themselves in the foot if they refuse to collect that holiest of grails of contact information: email.