Every savvy marketer knows that content marketing has become a crucial element in nurturing prospects into sales-ready leads, but it’s not often that, as marketers, we get pure insight from the B2B buyers themselves, as to what they value and ultimately want from content.

Fortunately for us, CMI have recently interviewed over 100 business and IT executives across various industries, to understand their buying journey and the resources they consult to guide their purchasing decisions.

Here are the five things B2B buyers want from your content (remember, you won’t get a second shot)…

#1 Clearly emphasise the impact of your solution on their business

More specifically, emphasise anything that can help to build the business case for change. Dependant on the urgency of your solution to a business, you may well be competing with other projects for limited resources in the buyer’s organisation, and getting the buyer on side may not be the final hurdle. In these instances, your content should help the buyer convince the decision-makers of their company, of the importance of your solution, helping them to communicate the ROI of fixing the problem that your solution addresses.

Successfully achieving this will position yourself as a valuable resource, making your organisation the go-to brand for if and when the buyer makes a purchase. There are several ways your content can help to achieve this:

  • Make it clear how the problem has a greater impact than you might initially think
  • Emphasise the opportunity ROI, by explaining how fixing this problem enables the business to save costs or mitigate risk
  • Make comparisons to what it will be like using new business systems, processes and user experiences with the existing ones.
  • Weigh the positives and negatives of fixing the problem versus doing nothing.
  • Provide proof of the value of your solution, through the use of case studies.

#2 Less isn’t just more, it’s necessary…

It’s likely you will only have a potential customer’s attention for 3-7 seconds (roughly 90 words), and if in this time your website fails to convince the buyer that your solutions meets their needs, your company will be eliminated from consideration. Ensure the short-form messages on your homepage and product pages are worthy of convincing buyers to invest more time researching your solution.

Unfortunately, to achieve this you must know for certain what it is they’re looking for in the first place. Consider interviewing your audience to generate the following insights:

  • What are they looking for in a solution and vendor, and what criteria do they use to make comparisons?
  • Why is each criterion important, and what impact does it have on their business?
  • How do buyers evaluate the criterion among vendors?
  • How do buyers decide which vendor to select?

#3 In-depth product info will help determine the short-list

Convincing a buyer that your solution is worth consideration through the short-form messages on your site, is only the first step. Without robust marketing materials that helps the buyer understand the breadth & depth of the product or service, and your capabilities as a company, you are unlikely to make it on the short-list. To be persuasive, your content must explain how you meet each criterion, why you do it better than your competitors, and how you back up your claims with proof points. It’s important not to overwhelm potential customers, however, so consider layering your content so that they can drill down on each criterion as and when they choose:

  • Criteria overview: On your product page, consider opening with a brief value proposition, followed by a list of the buyer’s criteria that your solution addresses.
  • Criterion ‘how’ page: Consider linking each criterion to its own dedicated page that explains exactly how your product/service meets the criterion, as well as why your approach is better than the competitions.
  • Criterion proof points: You should always try and back up each claim using industry research, product metrics and customer proof points i.e. benefits and ROI.
  • Provide further depth: In addition, you should provide an in-depth explanation with technical details, of how your offering meets their criterion. This is a great time to place your content behind a registration wall, in order to generate quality leads!
  • Accommodate information preferences: Finally, you should provide content in different formats and lengths to accommodate content preferences and time constraints.

#4 Detailed, but relevant, case studies

Case studies must go beyond stating the benefits, and provide details that will give the buyer a sense of whether your solution is applicable to their business using the resources available to them.

When you interview buyers to uncover insights about how they make their purchasing decisions, you should be able to capture a significant amount of the information required to produce more helpful, detailed case studies. You should try and get answers to the following questions:

  • What were their key business goals or priorities?
  • What was preventing them from achieving these goals?
  • What triggered them to do something about the problem?
  • What did they expect to change after implementing the solution?
  • What people, business processes, systems and technologies were affected?
  • What time and resources did they have for getting this done?
  • What were some of the major challenges they had to overcome?
  • How and why did they choose the vendor they did?
  • What tangible and intangible benefits and ROI did they see?

#5 Help to sell your solution to internal stakeholders

It’s important that your content helps the buyer market the idea of your solution to the top tiers of the organisation, as well as persuading them why there’s a need for it. Contextualising messages at each level (industry, company, department and individual), can help marketing add tremendous value to the sales process. When tailoring your content to each level, consider:

  • Industry: Explain how your solution adds value to industry-specific business processes, channels and customer segments.
  • Company: Reinforce exactly how your solution and the problem it solves is linked to a broader business objective, and how you can help achieve it.
  • Department: Address specific priorities, concerns and requirements of each department that is affected by the problem.
  • Individual: Appeal to an individuals’ intellect and emotion, by explaining how solving the problem will help the individual’s professional life.

 

If you’d like any help implementing an effective content marketing strategy, give us a call on +44 (0)1243 531123, or send us over an email to [email protected].




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