B2B Marketers are struggling to connect content marketing to business value according to a recent press release from Forrester published in the Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, this is not a new dilemma. B2B Marketers have struggled with effective content marketing for a multitude of reasons as depicted in The Content Marketing Institutes’ / Marketing Prof’s annual research on the challenges of B2B content marketing.
However, with a little focus, strategy and analysis of purchase behavior, B2B Marketers can surpass their B2C counterparts in content marketing effectiveness and measurable results.
Content Marketing for Funnel Facilitation
A great place to start is by analyzing your sales funnel. Interview your best sales people and gain insight into what motivates prospects to move through each stage of your sales process. Then have them describe in detail all of the barriers that prospects face when moving through the sales funnel. Ask about the stages where deals stall or fall out of the funnel and understand why. Then synthesize that data into a content marketing strategy that is in alignment with how prospects buy.
As an example, if you’re marketing IT products, then you’ll likely need to develop content that helps the IT decision maker build the business case for finance to approve the deal. Many CIOs want Authoritative Proof that the solution’s positioned well in Magic Quadrants and analyst reports.
Once you’ve defined the motivators and barriers then you can apply and test specific content in facilitating deal flow. Take the time and resources to deliver planned content at the right time and through the right channels and measure the results and make adjustments. You’ll be amazed at the impact that you’ll have on the business.
If you think it stops there, think again. You’ll then want to flip the funnel and map the content that addresses the motivations and barriers to customers that are renewing, buying more or providing you with additional social proof, references and referrals.
As you know, your customers’ social proof, references and referrals are invaluable. You can assign a value to this content as you feed your lead generation efforts with highly influential content and measure the results.
What content do you need to eliminate your customers’ cognitive dissonance? What do you provide that helps the decision maker showcase the value of his/her decision to go with your solution? How can you support them in their job?
Content marketing is invaluable in maximizing customer lifetime value and creating efficiencies that a customer support organization simply cannot achieve over the phone, chat or email.
Need help? Give us a shout, we’re here for you.