- B2B customers are almost 50% more likely to buy a product or service when they see personal value
- 71% of B2B searches begin with a generic query, not specific vendors, company names or products
- 68% of B2B customers prefer independent online research when considering a purchasing decision.
According to Google, 71% of B2B searches begin with a generic query. This means that customers start by researching possible solutions to their challenges and problems, rather than searching for specific suppliers, company names or products.
In fact, research conducted by Forrester indicates that 68% of B2B customers prefer independent online research when they are considering a purchasing decision.
This means that while digital marketing platforms and websites offer unprecedented access to customers, it is essential to attract and maintain their interest and to build trust as quickly as possible.
The big idea: Don’t just tell a story, share it
Content marketing is evolving, and as buying becomes increasingly non-linear, it can play an important role in aligning selling with buying. But there are now many myths and unexamined assumptions that have accrued around content marketing as the practice has exploded.
“Don’t follow the herd,” says Frank Cespedes, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and author of Aligning Strategy and Sales. “If you can’t track what prospects read, when, where, and for how long, you have a blind spot in a big part of your marketing budget and are unlikely to get the ROI possible with this approach.”
What’s in it for you: A higher sales completion rate
By getting personal, B2B marketers can get ahead — creating purchase intent, pricing power, brand advocacy and, most importantly, happy customers.
Customer segmentation is critical. Buyers are interested in solutions that speak directly to their needs and challenges, within their industries and verticals. The more customer-centric and segmented your content, the better.
The case study is still popular for a reason. According to HBR, case study content is completed by prospects more than other methods of marketing. “In our data, case studies have an 83% completion rate — orders of magnitude higher than other sales and marketing content provided during the buying journey.”
This is because case studies are specific – they offer proof points for buyers and they are industry or vertical specific.
Make it happen
Capitalise on the powerful impact of content marketing in 3 easy steps:
- Adapt your content formulas, formats and sequencing. Your customers don’t move successively through a funnel, but use parallel streams to explore, evaluate, and engage with content
- Create content for multiple formats. Concise copy with core takeaways that punctuate each slide is the best way to capture and keep attention
- Forget the myth of the ‘best’ day to post. Rather select when to send content based on your prospect’s engagement with specific types of content and follow-up after initial engagement.