Using content to market a business seems natural for companies targeting individual consumers, but what about sales between businesses? B2B companies are sometimes skeptical that emerging strategies will help them reach professional buyers, as Brafton has reported, but any hesitation is unfounded. In fact, most strategies that work in the B2C sphere are applicable to B2B industries as well.
When it comes to content marketing, for instance, the differences come down to the types of assets companies create and share. KoMarketing Associates recently conducted a study of B2B companies and asked what types of information or collateral they considered “must-have” on potential clients’ websites.
Include what your customers need
Unsurprisingly, 38 percent of the survey’s respondents said case studies, white papers and other long-form knowledge pieces were essential. However, that kind of content wasn’t the top answer – 43 percent said pricing was must-have information for future business partners, and technical support data (when applicable) was critical for 38 percent.
This shows just how challenge B2B content writing can be, but it also sheds some light on what types of information companies in this sphere should be pursuing. Consider that most B2B customers are looking for products and services as parts of their jobs. The sooner content gets to the heart of the matter – the value proposition – the more likely other companies are to consider a partnership. This is why pricing is so important, as is technical support information.
The sooner content gets to the heart of the matter – the value proposition – the more likely other companies are to consider a partnership.
It is also why client testimonials ranked nearly as highly as whitepapers and case studies, with 36 percent of respondents citing these as the most valuable. Thought leadership is an important part of B2B marketing, but this sort of content performs a specific role: establishing knowledge of an industry. However, information about how companies’ offerings helped other organizations is more likely to convince prospects and leads.
The unique pipeline of B2B sales
As Brafton reported, B2B interactions follow unique patterns that set them apart from traditional consumer purchases. Transparency, utility and value all have to be demonstrated, and doing so is a challenge all of its own. With the right types of content that answer the questions B2B buyers implicitly look for, companies can make their content work for them on the web.