Buyers Aren’t Just Buying Your Product
When buyers purchase solutions for their companies’ problems, they know that they’re not just buying a product — they are also buying the company offering the product. If they don’t feel comfortable with the company, they’re not going to buy the product — it’s as simple as that.
In the past, salespeople could effectively build their company’s reputation with clients through conversations over the phone or at in-person events, like trade shows and conferences. But this is becoming more difficult—buyers are speaking with company representatives much later in the process. On average, today’s B2B buyers are over 70% of the way through the decision-making process before engaging with a sales representative.
This means that the majority of buyers’ perceptions of your company rests on what they can find online. As buyers scroll through the content you’ve posted, they get a sense of your company’s values and what you can provide for them. This is a key step in the buying process, and it is up to you to design the content experience that will draw buyers in and demonstrate your company’s value.
The Role of Content in the Buyer’s Journey
Successful B2B marketers know they must design their content experience with the buyer’s journey in mind. However, as the following infographic from Gartner demonstrates, the buyer’s journey is not a straight line.
As you can see, buyers take many twists and turns before arriving at their final decision. This makes intuitive sense — buyers want to make sure that they’ve thoroughly considered every option before committing to one product.
As a marketer, your job is to simplify this journey. You want to make it as straightforward as possible for your prospects to find your company, read your content, and meet with your salespeople. This involves creating the buyer’s content experience with sales in mind.
Strategies for Architecting the Buyer’s Content Experience
As you design your buyer’s content experience, keep in mind that buyers need to be convinced to purchase on both a logical and an intuitive level. Not only do buyers need to hear the rational reasons to purchase your product, but they also need to believe in your company on a deeper level.
This is a lot for your content to accomplish, and it requires a well-thought-out content experience. You should start by aligning your objectives with your buyers’ objectives throughout their journey. After all, you both want the same thing — the right solution to the buyer’s problem.
To start, 71.7% of buyers begin their journey by searching online for solutions. During this phase, you should make it as easy as possible for buyers to access your Demand Generation content, which is content that increases brand awareness and drives buyers to your website. Make sure there are as few barriers to your Demand Gen content as possible so buyers can use that information in the exploratory phases of their journey.
As buyers begin to narrow down their options, they want more highly specialized content that is relevant to their needs. At this stage, you should provide buyers with Lead Generation content, a type of content that is valuable enough for a prospective client to fill out a contact information form to access it. This high-quality content will establish your company as a thought leader in the industry, and strengthen your reputation with potential buyers.
The Creative Content River™
Now that you’ve architected your buyer’s content experience, it’s time to actually produce the content you need to reach buyers. Instead of doing it all in-house, you can easily fast-track your company’s growth by outsourcing content production through SOMAmetrics’ Creative Content River™.
Generating compelling content in-house is an expensive, fixed-cost endeavor that drains your resources each year. But the Creative Content River™ provides you with all the content you need, for less than half of what it would cost to do in-house. A flexible, scalable subscription to the Creative Content River™ gives you the freedom to focus on the big picture, while still receiving the high-quality content you need to reach today’s buyers through your Demand Gen and Lead Gen campaigns.
For more information about what the Creative Content River™ can do for your marketing efforts, download this white paper.