B2B strategies need to be a work in progress
When considering the priorities of a B2B company, acquiring leads and therefore new customers is fairly close to topping the list. That is unlikely to come as any surprise to you. You may also know already your potential customers are always rapidly evolving – methods you used successfully in the past to transform leads into customers soon become ineffective. Perhaps you are reading this to gain insights into ways to improve your B2B marketing/customer acquisition strategies. Fortunately, you are in the right place.
Evidence of change
Businesses serving other businesses (B2B) habitually become of the mindset their customers somehow differ from general consumers.
It is beliefs like this that lead to companies being less effective (or even non-existent) across the nontraditional channels like video marketing, social media, or in general the inbound marketing process. Being of the mindset your B2B marketing leads are “just business,” and your audience will be driven only by dry facts is a fatal mistake.
Here’s a few stats to back up our case:
Some 84% of decision makers in business use social media to inform their purchasing decisions.
Specialists in B2B marketing on average use six different social media platforms, the most popular of which is YouTube.
Some 50% of executives watch videos that are business-related via YouTube, most then go on to visit a company’s website after viewing.
And the biggest one...
B2B customers are about 60% through their decision making process before they even contact your sales team (more on that a little later).
While these stats don’t mean you have to build a massive following on social media, it poses an interesting question.
How are your B2B customers learning about you?
A study by insight and technology company CEB Global shows buyers for B2B products are 57% through the decision making process before you get the opportunity to pitch them. So, if potential customers are researching you before making contact, then what are they finding? And where?
The purpose of direct advertising is to prompt your targets to follow your call to action and enter either your lead nurturing funnel or on to your sales process. This tactic is useful, but does not work 100% of the time. If the only method you use for lead generation are ads, it is like you are leaving cash on the table.
Those potential targets now hit the web (after the initial introduction to your brand) and search for anything they can find to help in their decision making. If you are not making enough impact, you may be bypassed.
So how to make sure you stay at the forefront of their minds?
The case for content
Got a blog? Everyone does. Have a YouTube channel full of boring videos? Your competitors do too. Does your Twitter account seldom make any noise? Many don’t.
Here’s a hypothetical situation:
You are in the sales interview process and there are only two candidates.
The first candidate answers all questions competently, comes with experience and has delivered proven results, but they are also dull, self-promoting and scripted.
The second candidate interviews as well as the first, but also has charisma and explains what an easy fit they would be in your culture.
You are going to hire the second right?
It’s a simple question but makes an important point. All content you produce can be considered to be part of your sales team. In actual fact it is rapidly becoming the most important member. Why? Because your leads are doing the majority of the work themselves.
The next step
The future of customer acquisition lies with content. One of the advantages of content is you have the ability to create it. People soak up information via interactive content. Potential buyers have a need to be informed, but that information needs to be delivered quickly.
When you look at your content marketing plan make sure every new item, be it a post, video or update meets each of these criteria:
- That it tells a story and doesn’t just spew information (for example, about you and your customers).
- That you get to your point and do so with clarity (especially for products that are complicated).
- That it feels interactive and personal (this is most important on social media).
- That it looks good (using whitespace on blog posts, videos and images of high-quality).
- Hopefully, we’ve shone a little light on customer acquisition’s future.