We all know the saying ‘Knowledge is power’, it’s an expression that rings true for many reasons. I also like the expression ‘power is gained by sharing knowledge’.
As a B2B seller your goal is for your customers to see you as an asset, you want them to view you and your business as the industry leader or expert based placed to respond to their needs, solve their problems, deliver on promises and generate desired results.
But buyers today can go as much as 60-70% of their decision-making process without ever engaging with you.
Today’s B2B buyer prefers to conduct research themselves, and use the wealth of content available to help them on their journey.
They are researching their options through search engines, seeking opinions from those in their social networks, and looking to online content as their guide when seeking ideas, inspiration and validation during their purchase process.
- According to an Accenture study, 94% of B2B buyers admit to conducting online research before making a buying decision
- Forrester report that 68% of buyers prefer to interact with salespeople who listen to their needs and provide them with relevant information
- According to Edeleman, 86% of B2B decision-makers say they would engage with a sales professional who provided insights or knowledge about their industry
If you are not meeting buyers head-on and providing the content and insight they crave you’re missing out, and you’re going to be missed out.
Sharing content and insight with buyers builds awareness, establishes thought leadership, forms the foundation of credibility and trust and solidifies value.
What to share
Thought-provoking content, insight and advice are the perfect way to start a conversation.
They introduce you, your brand and your product/solution whilst educating prospects and establishing a sense of trust and expertise.
They benefit you too, shortening sales cycles by producing leads that are already engaged with your brand and product/service.
As a B2B seller, you are doing your own research and insight gathering (perhaps using a tool such as Artesian).
Use the insight you’ve gathered to create compelling content that weaves into the buyer’s context and publish it on the platforms your potential customers use frequently.
Thought leadership lightens the buyer’s burden and demonstrates your expertise and insight in addressing their main issues and concerns – important triggers for getting buyers to engage with you.
According to a LinkedIn report, B2B buyers are 5x more likely to engage with a sales professional who provides new insights about their business.
Likewise, Live Hive report that 95% of buyers select a seller who provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process, 82% of buyers view at least 5 pieces of content from a winning vendor and 68% feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.
What content do B2B buyers want?
- Unique content: Produce your own content, whether it be a blog that gives a new perspective on an industry or market issue, an infographic, research, or thought leadership in the form of ebooks or white papers. This proprietary content is unique to you and your business and therefore supports your key brand messages and position in the industry
- Third-party content – sharing content that you’ve found interesting, helpful, informative, enlightening or thought-provoking can also help reflect your own ‘message’ and act as an extension of your own perspective, opinions and brand
- User-generated content – A tweet thread, an Instagram story, a review or feedback, a customer blog update, a case study – if users are talking about your product, service, or brands share it. Advocacy is invaluable, it acts proof, solidifies value, backs up claims and builds trust
- Advice and opinion – today’s B2B customers are most likely to reward sellers who provide valuable commercial insights, new perspectives, or unique ways of thinking that challenge, join discussions in social media platforms, share snippets of insight and views on the market via email or social media posts, position yourself as a go-to trusted source for help and support
- Hard data – share statistics and research related to your industry to help back up the claims you make about your product/service and brand with quantitative as well as qualitative proof of concept and proof of value
Where to share
It may seem obvious but start with your website and build out from there. Publish blogs, eBooks, infographics. Your search engine optimisation will be drastically improved by the continued publication of relevant content on your website.
Social media platforms are the most popular place to share B2B content and insight, they offer a vast network of B2B buyers you can reach out to.
Post your content on the platforms most relevant to your target audience, comment and share the posts of colleagues, customers, prospects and other industry thought leaders.
Join groups of B2B decision-makers, brought together by a similar interest, industry, pain point or idea, and take part in the discussion.
Share content and insights via email – a well-timed email is a tried and tested door opener.
But make sure the content is quick, engaging, contextually relevant and timed to answer a need or solve a problem at the exact moment the customer needs it most – otherwise you risk it being dismissed as spam.
Artesian makes sharing easy
The key to successful content sharing is a constant stream of intelligence and insight. Artesian provides:
- Actionable intelligence and insight that improves real-time understanding of the customer and what’s driving them at any given moment, giving you the opportunity to respond quickly
- A wealth of intelligence from a wide range of data sources that can help drive content creation
- The power to determine in advance what a customer needs, and what content will have the greatest impact
- Trigger events that highlight when a customer would benefit from a well-timed email or piece of content and pinpointing the optimal time to get in touch.