The New B2B Buyer Journey
The internet has revolutionised the way we buy. With information readily and easily available online, buyers no longer need to rely on the traditional B2B buyer journey of face to face interactions with salespeople.
Give your prospects what they want, when they want it, where they want it…
Add to this that the B2B path to purchase is growing longer and ever more complex, customers are becoming even more selective in the content they are consuming. This means that many are spending less time with each piece of content, especially if it does not provide the information sought.
2018 Demand Gen Report
According to the 2018 Demand Gen Report annual survey of content preferences for B2B buyers, content now has more influence over buying decisions than ever.
49% of buyers state that they rely on content to guide their decisions
78% are consuming three or more pieces of relevant content before talking to a salesperson.
There is a shift away from sales as a primary source of influence
Furthermore, the Forrester Business Technographics Global Priorities & Journey Survey into buyer behaviour consistently demonstrates the buyer’s shift away from sales people as a primary source of influence.
Now, instead of relying on face to face interactions, B2B buyers can access the information they need through online sources, industry influencers, and their peers to educate themselves.
Customers self serve, they don’t want your self promotion, they want guidance
In the UK, 80% of buyers conduct online research before purchasing. Customers now have an immense amount of information they can easily access, and as each day goes by the amount of information available increases. Instead of only relying on the information provided by the company, customers now have the freedom to research and thoroughly educate themselves online before they even think about making any sort of purchase.
Content marketing is the influencer now
It is fundamental for any business to create a robust content marketing strategy. In order to keep up with this ‘new’ way of buying. You should aim to create a compelling content marketing strategy, complete with a content marketing calendar with trusted sources for reference and data, then combine this with social media, SEO and other marketing tactics in order to get found and get seen or heard by a large number of potential buyers. You will always need to amplify the conversation. Otherwise you will simply be creating content for yourself!
Always make your content easy to access
According to the 2018 Content Preferences Survey Report, 66% of B2B buyers strongly agree that companies should make their content easier to access. This could be through single click access or fewer form fields, or free access like St Pauls Marketing insight articles.
What types of content work best?
Use well-researched and actionable content, such as relevant case studies or product service and reviews, webinars, videos, explainer videos, slideshows, podcasts, you will need to equip your website with educational content and to help B2B buyers find what they need.
In order to not only maintain loyal customers, but to also attract new ones, every business needs to be aware of how the internet has revolutionised the B2B buyer journey. You now need to attract, engage and inform the customer at every stage of their journey. Remember this when setting business objectives and creating your marketing strategy.