Last week, Trivera presented a B2B Marketing Seminar. Our guests were surprised to learn that according to Google, B2B buyers are 75% of the way through the purchase process before they make contact with a company. Now, rather than having the opportunity to introduce your product or service to your prospect over a cup of coffee or in a business meeting where you have the opportunity to listen and to overcome objections, your prospect is asking and answering the questions themselves.
Fortunately, we also know that decision-makers search an average of 12 times before making contact with a brand. These 12 searches give B2B marketers a lot of opportunities to move prospects through a sales funnel. However, many businesses do not have the patience for a 12-step process. Most want a prospective buyer to visit the site and immediately fill out the contact form. That’s the equivalent of asking for the sale in the first minute of a coffee meeting. Nobody would do that in person, and you can’t do it online either.
What B2B business can (and should) do is offer a variety of levels of content to help prospects learn, build trust, and convince themselves that your company is the right business partner. Your content should include:
- Top of funnel content such as FAQs, blog posts, or introductory videos. This content should be available to any website visitor without registration. Top of funnel content is designed to build interest and curiosity.
- Middle of funnel content such as whitepapers, data sheets, or other content the visitor does have to register to receive. Ideally, the download of this content will also add the visitor to an email list where marketing automation (link) will take over, presenting additional information over time based upon the interaction with the last piece of information shared. Middle of the funnel content is designed to get your prospect to tell you who they are so your sales team can take over.
- Bottom of funnel content such as callouts on your website, or emails that directly ask for the sale and present the benefits of working with the company. In most B2B organizations, the bottom of the funnel content simply supports the ongoing efforts of the sales team.
In a perfect world, your business will supplement your website with a strong social media presence, SEO, digital advertising, and remarketing. These off-site tactics supplement the work your website is doing during the 12 searches your B2B prospect is conducting, keeping you top of mind during what can be a long sales cycle.
Take a look at your analytics. See how people find your site and how they interact with your content. This information can help you determine your own 12-step process. It can also help you find the conversion points at steps 2 – 11 so you know what to measure as an indication of progress. With patience and an understanding of how your digital marketing is an integral part of the sales process, you can help your B2B prospects push themselves down the sales funnel right towards you.
About Christina Steder
With 15+ years of experience in consumer product, professional service, and nonprofit marketing as well as brand strategy and client service, Christina provides strategic direction for our clients - linking their ongoing online and content marketing needs to business goals and ROI.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
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