As buyers become more and more blind to marketing communications, how can you make the information they do see influential to their decision-making process? Changes in buyer behaviours continue to evolve as new social technologies are introduced. Plus, buyers are thoroughly researching your business to validate your offering – but as the freedom of online opinion grows, are you losing control? Take our 3 step guide to connecting with the B2B buyer to create a formula that works not just for you, but for your prospects too.
Step 1: Matching relevant content with the buying cycle
76% of B2B buyers search for content that is relevant to help them make an informed decision about a product or service, so it’s crucial that your brand is positioned as a thought leader in your space to avoid any competitive threats. But before you flood your blog and twitter page with content that you think will influence their decision-making process, do you really know what makes your buyers tick?
Mapping out the buyer journey from brand awareness to conversion and their information needs at each stage will allow you to really understand what content will have impact. Overlaying a content plan according to these needs is guaranteed to inform, educate and in turn influence the decision-making process. And when 61% of buyers agree that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content appropriate for each stage of the purchasing process, it’s essential that you come up top against your competitors.
Awareness - Identifying the need 3rd party communications and external blogs: Relevant and educational industry reports and statistics that support your product offering.
Exploration - Considering a solution Video and product fact sheets: Informative and digestible product overviews that clearly communicate the product benefits
Decision making - Comparing providers Client proof: Case studies, quotes and proven results from clients and industry leaders that give them a reason to believe.
Purchase - Delivering ROI How to guides: Valuable guides and tip sheets that offer advice on delivering results from your product or service
Advocacy - Maintaining interest Insider updates: Engage with your clients by feeding bespoke content according to their needs, in turn encouraging advocacy and renewal
Step 2: Impact the buying cycle with effective lead nurturing
It’s fair to admit that most marketing activity and budget is invested in generating leads and brand awareness. But what about those prospects are not ready to buy right now? It’s critical to effectively nurture these prospects and convert them sooner. And when research shows that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads with a 33% reduction in costs, turning a “not right now” into a sale will dramatically improve the bottom line. By carefully matching your marketing activity with each stage of the buying process, you’ll be able to influence decision makers more effectively.
The key is to build relationships with buyers through timely and relevant touch points, using various channels such as email marketing, social media and telemarketing. Up to 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first, so you can even further accelerate your lead nurturing activity by reacting to buyer’s online behaviour in real-time. Try using a plugin that alerts you when a business has visited your website and tells you what they were searching for and what they looked at. You can use this intelligence to provide these prospects with informative and persuasive information that enhances their research process and makes it easier for them to choose you over a competitor.
Step 3: Get personal with the buyer and close the sale
Although us marketers are creating relevant content and delivering personalised communications, many B2B buying experiences can still feel automated. And when Forbes reports that 70% of B2B buyers rated how vendors engaged with them as more impactful than what they were actually selling, there’s no better time to get personal. Author Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Touching upon buyers goals, both personally and professionally, can be the start of a human experience that increases the perception of your brand - naturally.
If you can successfully create a positive emotion using innovative content and communications based on comprehensive buyer personas, you’ll have the power to influence across every stage of the buying journey. When it comes to closing the sale, buyers are hungry for reassurance that they are making the right decision, and when 70% trust the opinions of unknown users, it’s critical they are served shining and honest reviews.
Give your top-rated clients a reason to share their success stories on your social media pages, and post case studies and video testimonials that do the talking for you.
Need help converting prospects to buyers? Get in touch to see what we can do for you.