Using Content Marketing to Drive Sales in B2B
Content marketing is often referred to as the art of communicating with customers and prospects without selling. It allows companies to educate and inform people about their offerings while smoothly guiding them towards a purchase. Content marketing helps businesses of all sizes and industries get meaningful results. However, some dispute the power of content marketing for B2B companies when it comes to sales.
Can content drive sales for B2B?
Today’s market is facing an overload of marketing messages. In order to drive sales, you have to give people a real reason to do business with you, and do it today. Ultimately, content marketing allows companies to accomplish this.
However, not any content will do. Many B2B marketers have trouble getting business through their content because what they create doesn’t help the buyer. A lack of time and budget contributes to this insufficient content that’s published long before it’s ready.
As a B2B, you are already in business to help your clients solve their problems. All you need to do is show them how you can offer solutions. The easiest way to do this is to create engaging content for each of the journey stages of the buyer.
– Attraction stage
In the attraction stage, your job is to create and distribute content that will raise awareness about your business. This type of content makes it easier to be found by customers who have had no previous interaction with your brand. In this stage, you should consider social media and blog posts, presentations, and visuals.
– Consideration stage
The consideration stage starts when customers get to know you, and your job is to nurture them. You can do this by educating them on how your offer will solve their problems. By regularly publishing educational content, you will set yourself up as a valuable provider of information. This type of content includes whitepapers, case studies, as well as customer testimonials and success stories.
– Decision stage
In the decision stage, your content must aim for the sale. It also needs to serve as a reminder to existing customers that your offers still meet their needs. Here, you should consider product demonstrations, proposals, and lists of products with prices.
How to create powerful content marketing for B2B
When done right, content marketing for B2B can deliver great results on the way to your business goals. If you manage to give customers what they want, content marketing can help you drive leads and sales. Let’s see how you can do this.
Join marketing and sales forces
The biggest mistake you can do is keep your content marketing team working in isolation. They need to be in constant communication with the sales team. Content marketing should help solve the problems of your prospects. It is your sales team who has direct interaction with prospects on a daily basis. Nobody understands your prospects better than your sales team. They can provide critical insights regarding your content strategy.
Sales and marketing teams working together can figure out the challenges your prospects face and come up with relevant content. Your sales team knows who to target, while the marketing team can create and distribute content that will drive qualified leads back to sales.
Provide help for your audience
The B2B buying process has always been lengthier and more complicated than the B2C one. In fact, B2B customers require buy-in from multiple stakeholders before they make the purchase decision. If they make a poor decision, it may cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
That’s why B2B customers are not interested in the hard impulsive sell – they want information. They search for companies that offer real solutions to their complex problems. That’s why your content marketing strategy should be crafted around information and education about your business and offers. It should also provide wider information related to the entire industry in which you operate.
Craft targeted content
The key to effective content marketing for B2B is to ensure that your content is targeted and relevant. B2B buyers are informed and skeptical. They come to you with pain points and needs, and expect you to offer a solution. A B2B customer won’t be convinced by a clever tagline or a flash sale.
You need to keep an eye on every question, every argument, and every pain point that your customers communicate. This will help you craft relevant content which customers will find valuable, and help their business thrive.
Embrace various types of content
If you want to engage your customers, you need to provide various types of content. Each type of content helps your marketing strategy in a unique way.
Video messages help you answer key questions about your business and thus save time for the sales teams. Create short “explainer” videos to present your offers through valuable information, so customers won’t need to call their sales rep when looking for a solution. If you have a product, demonstrate how people can use it.
– Case studies
Case studies help you produce a wide range of content that brings you closer to your audiences, as they are closely aligned with their interests, needs and threats. Therefore, case studies help you showcase your offers in action and use real life examples to demonstrate how they drive results. This is why they are one of the most effective tools in getting a customer to go from a maybe to a yes.
– Industry news presentations
If you want to position yourself as a thought leader, you should present industry news. This type of content will give you credibility and make you the main source of information for customers. As soon as they trust your expertise, it will be easier to make a sale.
The power of webinars lies in the opportunity to drive prospects straight to your sales teams. These online presentations allow hundreds or thousands of people to tune in and watch you deliver a presentation or demo. As attendees usually sign up for a webinar in advance, you have a chance to get their names and emails.
You can use almost any type of content to ask for names and emails. But, if people give you their contact information, it doesn’t mean they are ready to make a purchase. Hence, content is just a great way of warming up your leads by getting to know who they are and what they are interested in.
At DemandZEN, we offer our clients the benefits of customized campaigns that are based on thorough market research and proven messaging strategies. Thanks to our decades-long experience with most types of companies, as well as the finest tools, we can give your business the warm introductions it needs in order to grow.
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