Content marketing has always been an effective way to attract and retain customers by creating and distributing content that's relevant to them.
That's also true for B2B companies. However, because the B2B buyer's journey is more complex than that of a consumer's, a more refined approach to content is needed.
The buyers' journey in B2B is typically longer and involves multiple decision-makers who have varying priorities. Content should therefore address their specific needs and concerns at each stage of the journey.
Moreover, B2B companies targeting only a few critical deals each year will focus on building deep connections with potential clients. The right approach not only highlights a product or service but also demonstrates a good understanding of the buyer's unique pain points and business challenges.
In this article, we'll explore four types of content for websites, landing pages and other platforms, as well as their significance at various stages along the buyer's journey—from awareness to decision and beyond.
1. Educational Content for Awareness
During the awareness stage of the B2B buyer's journey, customers may just be realizing the full extent of their pain point or problem. Educational content will introduce a company to a potential client as a trusted and knowledgeable resource on the issue.
Content in the form of webinars, tutorials, and how-to guides empowers customers to learn more about the products or services a company provides. Such resources go beyond just promotion, however; the focus is on genuinely helping prospects better understand relevant larger issues while also touching on how a company might solve the potential customer's needs.
Webinars, for instance, showcase expertise while addressing specific topics relevant to a target audience. Tutorials and how-to guides provide step-by-step instructions, demonstrating the value of a company's offerings and highlighting how they can solve the challenges potential customers might be facing.
As potential buyers engage with educational content, they become more familiar with a company's approach and philosophy—making it more likely for those buyers to consider a company's specific product or service as a potential solution.
2. Positioning Content for Research
Buyers who educate themselves and do additional research become more discerning. Now, they need more detailed information about the available options. With various resources available, they want to be sure that a certain company is an authority on their particular problem.
Consider a software company that develops AI-driven solutions for businesses across various industries. To showcase their expertise, the company publishes thought leadership articles, whitepapers, and blog posts on their website and in various industry publications.
Those pieces discuss emerging trends in artificial intelligence, machine-learning, and data analytics, demonstrating the company's in-depth knowledge and understanding of the rapidly evolving technology landscape.
A balanced approach that is not heavy-handed builds credibility and trust. The company wants to be seen as a reliable partner, ready to help.
3. Comparison Content
During the decision phase of the B2B buyer's journey, comparison content is a powerful tool to help companies close a sale.
By crafting content that compares a company's products or services with those of competitors, a company helps prospects understand the nuts and bolts of what makes it different or better. That may mean value. It may mean service. It may be the proprietary nature of the product or service.
One effective way to showcase a product or service is to create product comparison charts to highlight key features, functionalities, and benefits. A clear and concise presentation allows customers to quickly grasp the advantages of choosing one solution over another.
Case studies can also be instrumental in building trust and credibility. When a company shares real-life success stories of how a customer overcame a specific problem or achieved exceptional results, a buyer close to a decision can see themselves with a similar positive outcome.
4. Testimonials and Social Proof to Close the Deal
Potential customers seek reassurance that the offering they are considering can indeed deliver on its promises. Testimonials and social proof are an important way of confirming quality and reliability along every step of the buyer's journey.
Testimonials, in the form of customer reviews and feedback, provide valuable insights into the experiences of previous buyers. Social proof harnesses the power of numbers and community validation; it includes metrics like the number of satisfied customers, user ratings, or endorsements from industry experts.
By strategically incorporating testimonials and social proof into their content marketing efforts, companies can effectively influence potential customers' perceptions. Both serve as a powerful reinforcement of the value proposition, reinforcing buyers' confidence in their choice and ultimately leading to increased conversions and customer loyalty.
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Navigating potential buyers down the sales funnel is a multipronged endeavor that involves a thoughtful blend of tactics, with the right content for each step.
Establishing industry authority and deep subject matter expertise is the foundation, fostering trust and enabling further tactics in the customer journey.
Comparison content highlights product value compared with competitors, aiding informed decisions, while social proof via testimonials, reviews, or case studies adds the final layer of assurance to gain a loyal customer.
More Resources on Content for the Buyer Journey
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