Content marketing has become one of the leading strategies used by B2C and B2B companies alike to generate interest, educate the prospect base as well as attract sales leads and generate sales. Defined as the use of high-quality content to attract buyers, it's essentially a form of inbound marketing. Below are several reasons to inform management, sales and sales management why your marketing department needs to develop and maintain a content marketing strategy.
Buyers Look at Five Pieces of Content Before Making a Purchase
According to a study conducted by Forrester, buyers look at an average of five pieces of content from a B2B company before making a purchase from that company. Without a content marketing strategy in place, buyers may struggle to find information about your B2B company or its products or services.
Content marketing is well received among B2B buyers because of its non-disruptive nature. Unlike other marketing and sales tactics, buyers aren't forced to see or read your B2B company's content. Instead, they have the option of accessing your content because it came up in a search. If the content is rich in information and is written in an educational way, the prospect or future sales lead is educating themselves, thus qualifying themselves too!
It Influences Purchasing Decisions
Not surprisingly, content marketing can compel buyers to make a purchase. One report found that 90% of B2B buyers believe content marketing has a "moderate" or "major" impact on their purchasing decisions. Before making a purchase, buyers will often search for information about the product or service they are considering buying. If your B2B company has a strong content marketing strategy, you can provide buyers with relevant, rich and helpful information to assist in their buying journey.
It Offers Long-Term Value
Content marketing can continue to attract sales leads and generate sales for your B2B company long after it's been implemented. When you publish an article or blog post online -- which are just two of many types of content -- buyers may read the content for months or even years after being published.
Most Buying Processes Begin With an Online Search
It's also worth mentioning that most buying processes begin with an online search. According to Pinpoint Market Research, 93% of all B2B purchases start with a basic internet search on Google or Bing. You can use content marketing to share relevant content on a variety of channels, but it typically yields the greatest results when performed online. By publishing content to your B2B company's blog or website, buyers will find it more easily during the early stages of their buying journey. But as you know, keywords are king. Be sure your content is rich in keywords so your content shows up on the first or even second page of Google.
Once you've put effort into writing all of the great content and published it online, don't think that's the end. You can also create a direct email that has 3 or 4 excerpts of the blog articles where they can click to your website to read the rest. Use your database to send rich content.
You can also use the same direct email with the content to send to new sales leads. That's where the contacts for the Project Reports by SalesLeads can be of use. Project Reports are sales leads with identified projects. So by contacting them and following up with a content rich email, you'll make good use of the content and educate new sales leads in the process.