The Value of Independent Third-Party Content

Kurtis Kendall

Senior Copywriting Strategist

Independent, third-party authored content is the #1 most valued content by tech buyers, TechTarget and Enterprise Strategy Group’s 2024 Media Consumption Study reveals. Additionally, 87% of buyers say that credible, non-biased sources are essential when conducting research and building a vendor shortlist. And in the age of generative AI, this desire for high-quality, trustworthy content is only growing.

Buyers are relying even more on analyst and independent experts for trusted information

This chart from the 2024 Media Consumption Study reveals data showing that buyers are relying even more on independent content for trusted information.
Buying teams are relying on independent, third-party content more than ever for technology purchases.

Source: TechTarget, 2024 Media Consumption Survey

Why is third-party content considered more valuable and trustworthy?

Independent media sites and analyst firms like Enterprise Strategy Group, IDC, Forrester, Gartner and Omdia are essential to today’s community of tech buyers as they research solutions. This is because even if the content you produce on your own is amazing – and you provide compelling, complete and transparent narratives that address every question a potential customer may have – the reality is that the information is still coming from you as the vendor, hoping to sell your solutions and compete with other companies for market share.

Discerning buyers always consider the source of the information they’re consuming, and this is where independent analyst content enters the picture. Third-party analysts can tell your story from their perspective, which helps to garner audience trust for your brand. Using their voice allows you to leverage that firm’s reputation and market expertise in the building of your brand identity and go-to-market strategy.

Why is third-party content so effective at engaging buyers?

  • In TechTarget lead generation promotions we see, independent analyst-authored content achieving a 30-35% better response, on average, than vendor-authored content in outbound promos.
  • In both the early and late stages of their research journey, the top media type buyers leverage is independent technical advice.
  • Content isn’t consumed by a single “buyer,” rather buying teams – consisting of nine members on average with individual responsibilities and perspectives. This type of content serves as a single source of truth for these buying teams to make decisions.

Therefore, trusted third-party content is essential to today’s buying cycle, so we recommend you meet your target audience where they are by serving up this independent research content in your campaigns and content engine. Doing so will likely result in better audience engagement for you.

Third-party content in the age of AI

Tech buyers have serious concerns with AI around trust. Given the emergence of AI-generated content, in the same survey of tech buyers, over 90% agree with the phrase, “I prioritize information from trusted experts over content that might have been authored by ChatGPT or generative AI.”

This makes independent content even more important, as people want high-quality, valuable content they know they can trust to make tech and business decisions.

Why third-party content is your “secret weapon” in your content library

Beyond the high audience engagement factor, third-party content accomplishes what even the very best vendor-authored content simply cannot on its own: a vendor-agnostic and neutral voice that validates topic and market trends, creates trust with vendor-neutral product comparisons and reviews and empowers buyers to navigate any market hype. These independently produced assets are, indeed, high-value assets for your business. Utilizing third-party content garners audience trust while growing brand awareness, providing unbiased topical information and technical advice, and differentiating yourself from competitors.

In this vein, adding more third-party content is one of our top tips we recommend to clients to improve their content syndication campaign(s). If your campaign relies heavily on content produced in-house, this creates a gap in authorship diversity. And with a growing audience appetite for third-party content, as the data above illustrates, this missed opportunity plays an increasingly important role in bolstering campaign performance.

Promoting content from multiple sources – in addition to establishing trust with diverse authors and giving unbiased topical information and technical advice – is essential to a well-balanced content strategy.

The bottom line

The TL; DR is this: the value of third-party content is threefold: Buyers crave analyst-authored, vendor-neutral resources, so utilizing this content allows you to capitalize on audience engagement – it balances out what may otherwise be a vendor- or solution-centric content footprint – and it establishes trust with buyers who rely on third-party expertise to make their purchasing decisions.

If you’re looking to implement third-party content, start here by learning how our team of market experts can assist you.

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