The B2B buying process for technology has become more complex with longer cycles. In addition, 75% of business buyers told Forrester they conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase. Technology buyers are controlling their journey through the buying cycle more than the vendors. So how do you reach your audience? Content.
As Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger, recently stated “These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.”
What content are your prospects looking for?
MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm conducted a study of 4,000 B2B technology buyers and reported that 84 percent of technology business buyers want content that is educational in nature and they expect vendors to supply this information. IT buyers are looking for “solutions to solve a current problem,” as well as content customized to their needs as they progress through the buying stages.
As a B2B technology marketer you need to be curating and producing original content that highlights your expertise to educate your prospects on why they should work with you. Your job is to build trust and confidence that you can uniquely solve your clients IT pain.
5 Content Tips for B2B Technology Marketers
1. Outline a Content Marketing Strategy
Think of your content marketing strategy as an outline of your prospect’s key business needs to create a detailed plan for how you will use content to address their issues. Understand the needs of your audience and help them with the research they need to make a technology buying decision. This begins with a comprehensive content marketing strategy that will sculpt your approach.
Begin by outlining your target buyer persona — who they are, why they buy and what type of content they need. Then develop your ideas around industry trends and buyer pain points to create content that will be shared to those within their circle.
2. Use a Mix of Original Content and Curated Content
Provide your audience with a mix of curated content and original content that gives them the information they need to take the next step in their buyer’s journey. This mix should balance independent material, industry trends and educational content with your product content. Your content should tell the story of the business challenges, the industry pain to solving it and offer the technology solutions that will move your prospect to take action.
According to the MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm survey,
84% of buyers want content that educates them on business and technology challenges
72% of buyers want to find content that provides solutions to solve a current problem.
60% of buyers look for different types of content depending on their needs at the time.
3. Engage Your Audience Across Multiple Channels
Multi-channel posting will give you the most exposure for your content. Best practice is to simultaneously post your content to your blog, social networks and other sites.
Email newsletters can combine original and curated content to offer an opportunity to build trust, educate your audience and drive content interaction. Email newsletters are not only effective at building awareness and driving acquisition, conversion, and retention – they are a great vehicle to drive conversations around your content. An email newsletter that can embed social conversations directly and trigger sharing will lead to higher engagement with your content and increased sales.
Blogs and newsletters reengage the buyer and keep a business top of mind when it comes to future purchasing decision. Use your newsletters to generate a sense of community with followers and build ongoing relationships with prospects and customers.
4. Be Consistent
B2B marketers need to post valued content to blogs and social media and send newsletters on a consistent basis for the best results. Create a content calendar and set a schedule to post your content. A consistently refreshed blog and social site will have more credibility with your prospects.
Continue to stay connected with new customers and keep them updated on the latest technology trends to offer them a reason to keep in touch.
5. Complete Your Content Journey
If this all seems overwhelming, it does not have to be. We have developed a methodology for regularly producing and publishing technology content to complete your content journey. Not only do we develop your strategy but we will produce the original technology content you need in your voice, curate relevant technology content, help you develop a regular newsletter, consistently publish all your content and leverage your content through new channels like microsites and technology journals to obtain more leads. The work does not stop with just a blog post. You need a comprehensive approach that puts all the steps together and keeps the process going throughout the year.