When small business owners are looking to purchase new technology or other products for their companies, they frequently rely on trusted blogs.

When small business owners are looking to purchase new technology or other products for their companies, they frequently rely on trusted blogs. While recommendations from personal friends and colleagues still have the most sway, according to a survey from Ivy Worldwide, blogs, forums and other social communities are the second most influential when making purchasing decisions.

On a scale of one to five, entrepreneurs ranked trusted blogs and social communities at 3.52, MarketingProfs reports. This outlet trailed only personal recommendations (3.71) and outranked traditional advertising formats (2.26) and consultations with salespeople (2.4), highlighting the influence that blog content can have on business-to-business transactions.

B2B entrepreneurs might take this as a cue to publish blog content as a part of their broader marketing efforts. As Ivy Worldwide notes, advertising and traditional media may be effective tools for developing awareness, but highly relevant and valuable content has more influence on actual purchase decisions.

Several B2B firms, especially those in the technology industry, already use content marketing to reach prospective customers. Brafton reported earlier this year that 94 percent of B2B computing and software firms leverage content as a part of their marketing efforts, with one-third of responding entrepreneurs saying they use content to move consumers through the buying stages.