The transformation of B2B content marketing

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous changes in the way B2B businesses operate.

At least in the near future, cross-functional employees will be working remotely, every new purchase will be reviewed, and there will usually be large purchasing committees.

The pandemic has also greatly changed the way B2B buyers and sellers do business. Face-to-face meetings and events-once a hallmark of B2B sales-are now a thing of the past.

At the same time, marketers are under pressure to break through digital overload and need to deliver the right information to the right audience in the right place.

Although some of these challenges are temporary, others will last longer.

In fact, certain things (including remote work and digital sales) may never return to a “business as usual” state. Mary Shea of ​​Forrester forecast In the future, 80% or more of the sales cycle will occur in digital or remote settings.

It is true that sellers and marketers must overcome challenges they have never encountered before, but it is still possible to effectively interact with B2B buyers. However, doing so requires sellers and marketers to think differently and adopt strategies that enable them to deliver the seamless experience that B2B buyers expect.

This article outlines five of these strategies.

1. Provide personalized and relevant content to modern buyers

Content marketing It plays a vital role in the purchase path of B2B buyers. Nothing new. But today’s remote buyers are bombarded with content wherever they see it. And because B2B buyers continue to behave more like consumers, the content and delivery methods that sellers share must keep up to date.

Buyers often encounter generic and irrelevant content. This is bad news because, according to B2B buyers, the main reason for the disconnection from the brand is irrelevant content. CMO Committee report.

Today’s marketers must always be prepared to deliver personalized content that perfectly maps to the specific pain points of potential customers.

This does not mean that the seller should create materials from scratch for every transaction. That could be catastrophic. Instead, it is important to ensure that sellers can access and personalize all approved branded content from a centralized location.

Some B2B companies also use artificial intelligence (AI) tools that suggest sales and marketing content that are proven effective in sales scenarios, such as those faced by companies.

The motto that media is as important as information also applies here: Just as your content must be relevant, so must the way you provide media and the way buyers experience it.

2. Use video and interaction to attract B2B buyers

For sellers, video is a great way to not be in the same room as their potential customers, and they can provide a great experience. In fact, video can be an effective sales tool at all stages of the buying process.

For starters, when face-to-face meetings cannot be held, sellers can use video conferencing software. Compared with traditional conference calls, video calls are more attractive to buyers. In addition, through video calls, sellers can access verbal and non-verbal prompts (think facial expressions and tone of voice), which can help you with the next step.

Most people (90%) said that watching product videos helps them make a purchase decision. According to Vidyard’s infographic. In addition, more than half (59%) of company decision makers said that video is their preferred method of learning.

At the same time, it is important to realize that zoom fatigue is real. In order to promote meaningful interactions and obtain important information from potential customers, please explore more ways to create interactive and engaging B2B content markup experiences.

3. Track buyer’s interest digitally

When the seller and the buyer are in the same room, it is easier to evaluate the response to shared information and content. If there is little sales experience, it is impossible. Sometimes, sellers seem to throw content and information into a black hole, hoping to stick something.

Today, successful companies use analytical tools that allow sellers to understand what content resonates with buyers (and which does not resonate). These tools are very sophisticated: they can track things like email openings, page-by-page content viewing, downloads, and sharing.

Such strong insight allows the seller to personalize its follow-up work and keep the transaction moving forward.

4. Consider virtual events

The face-to-face event before the COVID is one of the biggest order items of the B2B marketing team. On average, 12% of the B2B marketing team’s budget is allocated to events. According to a survey by Forrester.=” _ blank”>

It seems that the money is well spent: the same study also tells us that nearly half (45%) of B2B buyers say that event materials (demonstrations, keynote speeches, booth materials, etc.) are the second most important source of content.

Since then, marketers have scrambled to reimagine their activities digitally. Although it may seem inconvenient at first, marketers quickly discovered that only digital events (well executed and fascinating) are more valuable than personally faced events.

Virtual events allow marketers to reach a wider audience. Unlike face-to-face events, virtual events are not limited to those who have the time and budget to travel to live event locations.

In addition, B2B marketers can more easily track participants’ participation in virtual events, which can help them understand which types of events are driving sales. For example, they can see potential customers attend a specific live keynote speech and then finally make a purchase. If they notice trends, they can draw conclusions accordingly.

5. Participate in social sales

Social media (especially LinkedIn) is a great tool for networking and sharing occasional industry ideas.

LinkedIn can also be a great tool for initiating, nurturing and even closing sales, especially when face-to-face meetings are not feasible.After all, up to 40 million B2B decision maker Use the platform.

This does not mean that you should send random connection requests to get directly involved in sales. Instead, focus on building the network, publishing relevant content, and interacting with other users’ content.

You may also consider using certain paid services of LinkedIn, such as sponsored content, InMail or paid advertising.

When you are real and useful to LinkedIn audiences from the start, they will be more likely to accept your sales messages.

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The pandemic has changed the face of B2B business-perhaps forever. The most successful sellers and marketers will be those who can quickly adapt and adopt new strategies to effectively reach the buyer, regardless of where the buyer is or the stage of the journey.

More resources on B2B sales and content marketing

What does a B2B sales team need from marketing to winning deals

How to overcome B2B content marketing challenges during the pandemic

B2B content marketing report: benchmarks, budgets, trends and COVID-19 response

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