In this blog, we'll explain how we're looking to transform B2B content for our clients and help them to break through the noise.
Did you know: B2B decision makers now spend more than 57% of the purchase cycle engaging with content before they even speak to a sales representative?
Plus, research from Forrester shows that, on average, consumers will consume 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision.
The B2B customer journey is changing significantly - decision-makers have tighter budgets than ever and are under scrutiny to ensure that the solutions they choose provide ROI for their business. This has left businesses looking for marketing solutions and the best ways to reach their target customers.
As a result, B2B marketers need to get up to speed quickly on the solutions and approaches available to help them drive business growth.
B2B marketers are facing huge challenges with such a crowded market and so many other businesses trying to grab the same customer’s attention.
📕For more information on how the B2B customer journey has changed, take a look at our ebook: Digital Marketing and Today’s B2B Buyer: New Rules of Digital Marketing.
In this blog, we’ll explain how we’re looking to transform B2B content for our clients and help them to break through the noise.
Instead of just thinking about how you can push content out in the hope that someone’s going to read it, think about how you can utilise content marketing across the full funnel to guide customers from just a visit to your website or seeing your brand on social media until they reach their end goal.
The end goal doesn’t always have to be a sale; it could be booking in a demo, downloading a piece of content or anything else you’d like them to complete when they visit your website. The goal should either be a conversion or to gather contact details so that you can stay in touch with prospects through your email marketing campaigns.
The marketing funnel is the process your customers take when researching, comparing, and finally making a decision to buy your product or service. Each stage of the funnel has its own purpose and provides a way to keep pushing the customers in your pipeline from awareness to conversion and post-sale.
Remember that, with B2B sales, this journey is not linear and can take a lot longer than B2C which means it’s even more important to provide content across all stages of the funnel.
By creating content across the marketing funnel, you make sure you have touchpoints with potential customers at the exact moment they’re looking for information from you. By making sure your content’s there, you put your brand in front of them instead of your competitors.
At the top of the funnel, customers are gathering information to solve a problem within their business or trying to find out more information about a particular product or service. At this stage, customers will be looking around at their options, getting familiar with your business and what you can offer them over your competitors.
This is the very starting point of the customer journey and is where you’re going to have the most competition. The majority of customers are not ready to buy yet and they probably haven’t even heard of your business yet.
Here, the goal is to attract potential customer’s attention, provide the answer they’re looking for, educate them and very gently show them how your product or service can help them.
If you can solve a potential customer’s problem through valuable content, at no cost to them other than their time, you’re going to attract their attention and start building a relationship with them.
The most effective content at this stage is educational content. Trying to directly sell your business here isn’t the right way to go and can turn potential customers off. Try creating these types of content:
ACTION POINT: Think carefully about your customer’s pain points. What are they actively searching for and how can your product or service help them? What expertise do you have that can give them the information they need to understand how they can go about solving their problem either now or in the future.
By the time customers reach the middle of the funnel, they already have an awareness of who you are and what you can offer. They’re not looking for introductory content anymore. They’re aware they have a problem and they’re looking for a fix.
You’ve grabbed their attention and now you need to provide them with more information to help them trust you and want to buy from you instead of your competitors.
This stage of the funnel is all about nurturing customers to help drive them closer towards a conversion.
Content types include:
At this stage, rather than just educating, you can start to show prospects the benefits of using your products and services and give them a chance to engage with you even more.
People who are already aware of your brand are much more open to this type of content because they’re more likely to be comparing and researching the options available to them so testimonials and showing them how other businesses have benefitted from your offering will help them to weigh up their options.
ACTION POINT: Think about your client's success stories and how you can present these to your potential customers. Knowing the results that others have achieved by working with your brand can provide a huge incentive for future customers to choose you.
Once they reach the bottom of the funnel, potential customers are almost ready to buy. They just want to finalise their decision, so they’ll be looking for the ways your product or service will provide them with a good return on investment, and they will be looking to sell this to the other decision-makers in the business too.
This is the stage where you can really set yourself apart from your competitors.
Customers at the bottom of the funnel are ready to make a purchase. They’ve done their research, and they know exactly what they need. They probably already know which business they want to buy from too.
This is where your sales reps will come in alongside the marketing you’ve done. You need to win their trust and build a relationship with them so that they know enough to convert. Consider what you can offer that your competitors can’t or go the extra mile when it comes to customer service to stand out.
Content such as:
People at this stage are in buying mode, so you need to ensure you’ve provided them with enough information to want to pick up the phone to you. Once they pick up the phone to speak to your sales team, they need to provide them with excellent customer service to continue building the relationship you’ve worked so hard to create. This will also stand you in good stead for the future and encourage them to buy from you again in the future.
ACTION POINT: Make sure your sales team or sales process is ready for these leads to come through. If you’re not quick enough to respond or don’t contact prospects correctly, prospects might decide to go to your competitors. You’ve spent so much time, and it’s taken so much effort to get to this point; you don’t want to lose those hard-earned relationships at the last hurdle.
The B2B buying cycle is more complex than ever before. B2B buyers behave similarly to B2C customers by researching and purchasing online. Taking these changes into account will help you to reach them more effectively and providing content across the marketing funnel will be key to making sure you provide them with the right information at the right time.
Looking at the content you already have and how it fits into your customer’s buying journey, and where you might have gaps is one of the best ways to give your content marketing strategy a boost.
If you want to know more about how content marketing or other digital marketing services could work for your business, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org