Lauren Kaye

Brands engaged in content marketing and SEO are getting more than search visibility – they are generating conversions that benefit their bottom lines. A recent eMarketer interview with Google’s Director of Business and Industrial Markets, Mike Miller, noted that more B2B companies are using search to guide their purchasing decisions. Therefore, marketers must create branded content that both engages site visitors and provides information to push them through the sales funnel.

In 2011, approximately 71 percent of B2B companies used the ‘net to research products and services before buying, Miller told the source. By 2012, that figure rose to 88 percent. B2B marketers rely even more heavily on web content to guide their decisions – 90 percent said they go online to research future purchases.

Miller also says brands should assume their site visitors already have a certain level of familiarity with the products they want.

“By the time a B2B purchaser actually engages with a company or with a sales rep from that company, they’re 57 percent of the way through their decision process,” he said.

90 percent of B2B marketers go online to inform their purchasing decisions.

Therefore, marketers must deliver online content that pushes buyers the rest of the way. Miller advises companies to design collateral for each of their target audiences. While video content is particularly effective for C-level purchasers, it might not convince buyers from small businesses.

Most companies have already tackled this challenge. Brafton previously reported that 90 percent of marketers personalize their websites to improve user experience. However, just under half cite technology challenges as issues that affect their sites’ optimization. That doesn’t mean marketers who run into I.T. problems should provide prospects with one-size-fits-all content. Social media monitoring yields deep insights into customers’ opinions, wants and pain points that can fuel smarter content marketing campaigns.

B2B audiences are online and making purchases. Marketers who generate effective branded content with SEO value can get qualified traffic to their companies’ websites and increase conversions.