B2B marketing is more important than ever with B2B buyers being 60% through the sales process before ever engaging a sales rep, according to CEB Global. What does this mean for marketers? Let’s rewind…
The last time you made a large purchase, how did you know which brand or model would be best for you? More than likely, you looked to the Internet for answers. Just like you search for reviews and articles to inform your decision, B2B buyers are doing their own research during their purchasing journey. That’s why we’re sharing tips on how you can make content count in B2B marketing.
You’ll need to bring your content a-game and meet buyers where they are, with the information they want.
To help you get started, check out these 5 ways you can make the most of your content strategy with the resources you have to get the results you want.
Tap into internal resources
A lack of time and resources to create hyper-relevant content is a challenge that unites B2B marketers. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the 51% of B2B buyers who rely heavily on trusted content from your company to make a decision. But, trust and tap into your internal resources (Source: DemandGen Report, The 2016 B2B Buyer Survey Report).
Talk to your sales team to determine prospect challenges to guide your writing topics. Your sales team and any other department who gets face time with prospective and current clients are on the front lines hearing buyer pain points firsthand. Leverage their access to buyers and use it to your advantage by addressing those specific themes and questions in your content marketing strategy.
Survey your current clients
Who knows the journey and decision-making process your buyers go through better than the ones who have already been through it? Ask your customers about their biggest challenges during their purchasing journey and what prompted them to start their search.
More than likely, the roadblocks and hurdles they faced will mirror the challenges your prospects are currently dealing with. These insights can contribute to some big wins for your content team.
Define your personas
Who’s your ideal customer? If each person in your organization can’t answer that question with a unified response, consider taking the time to develop and document buyer personas. This exercise gives your team a clear direction for and it’s a great way to uncover and understand who your target audience is on a deeper level.
Content Marketing Institute shares nine parts to include when creating an in-depth buyer persona to help get you started.
Align customer challenges with personas
Once your buyer personas are robust and accurate, identify customer challenges that are most relevant for each persona. Challenges might differ across roles and industries. As you craft messages, don’t lose sight of the fact that you have the solution to their challenges. Connecting personas with the appropriate hurdles they face can strengthen the relevancy of the content you create and distribute.
Match content with personas
Paying close attention to your different personas and their stage in the buyer’s journey will help guide each piece of content you create.
Before putting pen to paper, remember that a content topic that makes sense at the beginning of a buyer’s journey won’t be relevant when they’re ready to make a final decision. Relevancy is key. 69% of B2B buyers said the single most influential aspect of any company’s website is relevant content that speaks directly to them and their company (Source: DemandGen Report, The 2016 B2B Buyer Survey Report).
At the decision stage, buyers have already committed to solving their problem. If you share content that explains why they should invest in solving their problem, you’ve missed the opportunity to present why you should be their choice.
And vice versa; it would be premature to share content focused on why they should choose you over another company when they’ve only just identified their problem.
Your content should support buyers as they move through the sales cycle so topics seamlessly match up with the questions they have at that time.
A foundation to deliver valuable content
Are you ready to breathe new life into your content marketing with a foundation to deliver valuable content to your target audience?
If you’re eager to jump in, reach out to us today and let’s discuss your next steps.
We’ll also be sharing tips on how you can churn out amazing content with a small content marketing team in an upcoming post. Make sure to check back in with us.