The days of just utilizing ads that ask prospects to take a chance on a product are over. This is not to say that making an “ask,” does not work, but B2B buyers are looking for more when it comes to deciding to purchase from a B2B company.
Today, B2B buyers —much like consumers—want to feel the companies they work with can add value to what they do. Outside of just buying a product, they want to feel as if the B2B company will help them solve related problems in their organizations.
Many times, B2B marketers have to help move these individuals through the sales funnel to conversion by implementing strategic and savvy content marketing practices. According to the 2018 B2B Buying Disconnect report by TrustRadius, on average, respondents used five different sources to decide if they wanted to buy from a B2B company. So, even with B2B buyers, content is king. How can B2B marketers take advantage of content marketing to turn leads into conversions? Read on for six ways.
Develop an Informative Email Newsletter
According to Statista, in 2017, 53 percent of B2B marketers said email is the most influential B2B marketing tactic. When one thinks about the possibilities of email, it makes sense. Instead of delivering messages to the “social media” void with the hopes of reaching interested parties, email puts relevant content in front of those intended to see it.
Email is an excellent way to share any other content B2B marketers create whether it be blogs, case studies, or product reviews. Collecting emails also allows marketers to invite potential customers to webinars and live Q&As.
Create Regular Blog Content
Blogging is a popular form of content marketing, and while it may not be the deciding factor in whether a B2B buyer decides to make a purchase, it can definitely help potential buyers along the funnel.
A stat by Hubspot revealed that B2B companies that blogged over 11 times a month had almost three times more traffic than those blogging once per month or not at all.
Blogs are an excellent way for B2B marketers to go into more detail about the purpose of products, how buyers can use them, and even highlight favorable customer experiences. Again, B2B buyers want to know they can trust a B2B company to help solve their problems, so addressing common industry issues is a great idea as well.
Make the Website Informative and Easy to Navigate
TrustRadius’ 2018 Buying Disconnect Report found that 48 percent of B2B tech buyers they surveyed felt vendor websites were influential in their decision to purchase.
It is easy to be so focused on other forms of content marketing that marketers forget that their website is likely the first impression for prospective buyers. Prose needs to be engaging and concise while pages should be easy to navigate. Websites are also a great place to include testimonials, short videos that highlight products, blog postings, and case studies that spotlight the customer experiences.
In the sales funnel, websites can be the point of awareness and provide information that helps buyers make a final decision.
Show Them What Products Can Do
According to TrustRadius’ survey, 64 percent of buyers used Product Demos to decide to purchase from a B2B company. Eight-eight percent of buyers stated these demos were an influential form of content. Again, potential buyers want to know how a B2B company can solve their problems and help them in their own profit-making efforts.
Showing what these products can do gives buyers direct insight into how they can implement a product. It can also let buyers know if a product is not a good fit. While the goal may be to attract as many customers as possible, a B2B buyer will always appreciate honesty.
Steering a potential buyer the right way even if means losing a sale speaks volumes and increases trust. It might also inspire them to come back one day or refer the company to someone else.
Include Testimonials and Reviews
Outside of demos, user reviews were the second most used information source by B2B buyers. It is no secret why sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, or other review sites have become a popular source of content for consumers and B2B buyers alike.
People trust people, and allowing customers to talk about their experiences with products lets potential B2B buyers have a reference point.
These testimonials can be used in blog posts, email newsletters, or even have their own location on the vendor website. B2B marketers can go even further by reaching out to their long-time customers and enlisting them as ambassadors to share experiences and reviews through video.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
While email and websites are shown to be one of the best lead generation tools for B2B marketers, social media is still vital in securing leads. According to Statista, there are over three billion active social media users as of January 2018.
This is too large of an audience to pass up for B2B marketers. Eighty-three percent of executives that choose a vendor on behalf of their company use social media in their decision-making. Social media can put B2B marketers in front of new prospects and can even increase brand awareness.
Many B2B buyers also use social media to educate and inform the masses of what they do. If B2B marketers make social media a primary content marketing resource, Facebook and LinkedIn are excellent platforms to focus on because of their high probability of attracting users for professional reasons.
Consumers and B2B buyers alike are looking for more than just a sales pitch. B2B buyers don’t want to feel as if they are just being “sold to,” they want to know that B2B companies are ready to show how they can help them.
Content marketing lets B2B marketers tell a story of how their product is the best option for solving a prospect’s problem. While 93 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing, only 45 percent have a formal content marketing plan in place.
To be successful in turning leads into conversions, B2B marketers have to create strategies that thoughtfully optimize content to move through the sales funnel. The above content marketing tactics can help marketers who are not already using these resources to make the first steps to connect with potential B2B buyers.