The smart, sassy folks at
Velocity make an excellent point about B2B buying behavior in their
new ebook, The New B2B Marketing
The Big Idea: People don’t
buy What You Do. They buy Why You Do It.
Let’s’ think about that. Most
people don’t care that you make a widget or provide consulting or digital or
you name it services. They want to know what your product or service will do for them. Will
it make them more money? More revenue? Gain more status? Will buying from your company make them look
smarter or more secure in their job? For years, for example, managers knew that
buying from IBM was the safe choice. No one would question it.
The fact is that buying
decisions ultimately aren’t completely rational, much as we would like them to
be. That is, you may have the best product or service in the world but if
people don’t understand its value or find you credible you might as well post
your “going out of business sign.”
As Velocity notes:
“Part of the brain
responsible for rational processes is not the part that drives decisions. If we start with beliefs, we light up the part of the brain that drives decisions
and behavior. Then people can rationalize their feelings of trust and loyalty,
like the feature/function stuff.”
relationship-building, or to use the catchword of today in B2B marketing, lead
nurturing, is so important. As we all
know, people buy from people they trust. Fortunately, the Internet has enabled
many ways to develop relationships and build trust. Foremost among these is
developing content that speaks to your expertise and your prospects’ needs.
It’s the next best thing to shaking someone’s hand and having a conversation. And like its real word counterpart, digital relationship building brings your prospect closer to you.
Think case studies, customer
testimonials, white papers, articles, videos, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook and
LinkedIn posts, cell phone apps and on and on.–for your content marketing. Now you don’t have to do everything at once but think sequentially. If you do white paper, for instance, you can easily turn that into a white paper, and a social media post. Don’t of course churn out dry as dirt content but make it informative and easy to digest. Remember
people have different preferred ways to absorb information; some folks are print
whizzes while others eat up videos. So
you’ll want to have a variety of types of content–some with visual and audio
appeal, others print-focused.
Here’s an important caveat. None of the content should be self-promotional but written in a way that captures the needs of your
prospects. For example, if your product saves people money, consider having a
calculator that lets them see in a glance exactly how much money they’ll save. That’s much more engaging than you’re barking that they will save thousands of dollars. And don’t forget to your clients and prospects for their feedback and ideas…and listen to it!
Lastly, don’t forget your
content needs to be found. As Velocity’s ebook reminds us, Every B2B purchase starts
at Search. You want to be sure your content has the keywords people search
under so you get found in the search engines. Consider having landing pages
that use those keywords. Search today is the bait that lures someone into your
content so make the most of it.
Wendy Marx, B2B PR and Marketing Specialist, Marx Communications
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