What content works best when marketing to B2B buyers? The answer might be different than you think. According to a new report from LinkedIn, there seems to be a disconnect between what B2B marketers believe buyers want to see and the content buyers are actually searching for. Yes, product information is important to buyers, but most businesses make product specs easy to find, which levels the playing field. The difference is some companies go beyond the specs to offer a deeper understanding of the buyers’ decision-making process.
Here are some suggestions for making your content more effective:
- Don’t be brief when it comes to the details. The details may not be “sexy” or exciting, but they’re what the buyer wants and needs. Make sure your product functions, features and specs are easy to find, easy to download and easy to compare. When buyers are in the research phase they want all the facts at their fingertips. Some websites hide the details to make the buyer provide contact information or call a salesperson. The easier you can make it for buyers to find the information they desire, the more likely you are to end up on their short list of companies to evaluate.
- Give them product demonstrations, not just case studies. It’s great that you list case studies of how your solution helped other businesses, but according to the survey what B2B buyers really prefer is to see how the product works. Online video makes product demonstrations easy to provide and will be a critical part of the buyer’s decision when choosing a supplier. Don’t forget to support your demonstrations with data backed by research on how your product or products improve processes, such as how much time or money buyers can expect to save in the long run by purchasing from you.
- Social media matters, especially in the research stage. According to results from the survey, B2B buyers rely on social media and information sharing to help make their purchasing decisions. Buyers reported looking to social channels for information and guidance from industry peers on what could work for their company. In addition, the survey reveals that buyers using social media to connect to vendors report having stronger relationships with their vendors than those buyers who did not reach out on social media.
Buyers want to go beyond the buyer and seller relationship and find a solid partner to make their businesses grow—which means you can power up your B2B marketing efforts by using content to position your company as an educator in the industry. Your content needs to prove why your business should be considered, how you can be a reliable problem solver and why you’re better than your competition.
To create the right content to answer buyers’ questions, gain insight from your website analytics (how long do visitors stay on a page; when do you lose them?), customer service questions asked on social media platforms, and any other opportunities you get to be one-on-one with a buyer. If a buyer makes you part of the decision-making conversation, don’t spin your wheels or provide a hard sell. Instead, listen, ask questions and then listen again.
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