Content: the Key to Influencing the B2B Buying Process

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AT&T generated $47 million in new business within a period of 18 months using a combined content marketing and social media strategy. Content marketing’s ROI is real and compelling. …

AT&T generated $47 million in new business within a period of 18 months using a combined content marketing and social media strategy. Content marketing’s ROI is real and compelling.

This slide deck explains how modern marketers are using content marketing to position their company as a trusted advisor and influence the B2B buying process from the beginning stages of the buyer’s journey.

It also contains other impressive ROI figures that can help persuade senior management to invest in a content marketing strategy, or if you’re already practicing content marketing, to increase resources for this key sales enablement initiative.

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  • D'Albert, I am so happy that you found the presentation helpful. I changed the settings and you can now download the slide deck. Good luck with your presentation.
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  • Gordana,

    Love the presentation and I notice you made file not downloadable, but can I ask for a copy as I'd like to use with your permission a couple of slides for a customer meeting.
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  • This is such a great presentation Gordana! Chapeau! It is interesting, beautiful and so convincing. Any chance we can translate it in french so that I could use it in my marketing class? Would be willing to help out?
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  • Ali, thanks for the comment and sharing. This is a topic dear to my heart and I so I wanted to raise awareness among business executives who are not yet familiar with this sales enablement strategy.
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  • Gordana- I shared this on LinkedIn and Twitter because your presentation offers a fresh look to the timely topic on influencers
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  • 1. CONTENT. The Key to Influencing the B2B Buying Process
  • 2. “ The hardest thing about B2B selling today is that customers DON’T NEED YOU - The End of Solution Sales, Harvard Business Review “ the way they used to.
  • 3. There’s NO denying it. The web and social media have changed the B2B buying process.
  • 4. Buyers are in MORE control than EVER before.
  • 5. While 90% of buyers begin their SEARCH for a solution online ....
  • 6. While 90% of buyers begin their SEARCH for a solution online .... A startling 60% * of the buying decision is made BEFORE speaking with a supplier. * The End of Solution Sales, Harvard Business Review
  • 7. “ “ NO LONGER are companies and their sales people the gatekeepers that must be sought out for help. - Ardath Albee, author of “eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale”
  • 8. represented by SEARCH ENGINES “ “ The informational gatekeepers are now SOCIAL NETWORKS and PERCEPTIONS of relevance. - Ardath Albee, author of “eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale”
  • 9. Like it or not, buyers are SELF-SERVING on the web.
  • 10. They’re identifying their requirements.
  • 11. They’re searching for information and solution options.
  • 12. They’re determining the criteria they’ll use to select a product.
  • 13. They’re short-listing vendors and comparing solutions. FREE 30 Day Trial
  • 14. All WITHOUT speaking to a sales representative.
  • 15. This presents new CHALLENGES for vendors.
  • 16. “ ARMED TO THE TEETH Customers are coming to the table with a deep understanding of their problem and a well scoped RFP. It’s “ turning many of our sales conversations into FULFILLMENT conversations. - Chief Sales Officer, High Tech Company
  • 17. But there’s HOPE on the horizon.
  • 18. But there’s HOPE on the horizon. And CONTENT is key.
  • 19. Vendors can STILL be a trusted advisor and influence the B2B buying process ...
  • 20. ... by publishing content on the web that helps buyers make smarter decisions.
  • 21. “ But NOT any old content will do.
  • 22. INTERRUPTION IS NO LONGER EFFECTIVE. Instead, marketers must inform buyers with content that builds relationships and trust. - Content: The Force that Moves Buyers Down the Funnel (Kapost) “ “ In a context where buyers are in control,
  • 23. Let’s compare the old SELF-SERVING way of communicating with buyers and the new BUYER-CENTRIC way.
  • 24. Buy our product. It has all these great FEATURES and FUNCTIONALITY that you’ll love. Self-Serving
  • 25. Buy our product. It has all these great FEATURES and FUNCTIONALITY that you’ll love. Buyer-Centric Self-Serving Here are ways to solve your PROBLEM and attain your GOALS.
  • 26. In the self-serving approach, not only is the message ALL ABOUT YOU ...
  • 27. Chances are you’ve REVERSE-ENGINEERED your product’s value basedwhat isfeatures, on its known as This is so it doesn’t REALLY speak to buyers’ needs. CONTENT MARKETING. Value Features, Functionality * “For Compelling Content, Let Your Buyers Be Your Guide” - Buyer Persona Institute *
  • 28. In the buyer-centric approach, you focus on the buyer’s PAINPOINTS and NEEDS.
  • 29. More importantly, you have EARN the right to talk about your product ... ... but only AFTER you’ve gained the buyer’s trust.
  • 30. This is what’s known as CONTENT MARKETING.
  • 31. “ (Content Marketing) ... is being there when customers need you and seek you out with RELEVANT, EDUCATIONAL, HELPFUL, COMPELLING, ENGAGING and sometimes ENTERTAINING information. “ - Rebecca Lieb, author of “Content Marketing: How to Use Content to Market Online and in Social Media
  • 32. In this brave new world, content takes on much more interesting and helpful SHAPES and FORMS.
  • 33. Content GENRES - Case Study - Best Practices - ROI Calculator - How-To Tips - FAQs - Interview - Trends - Survey - Research - Etc.
  • 34. Content FORMATS TEXT - Blog - Article - Whitepaper - E-Book VISUAL - Video - Demo - Infographic - Slideshare EVENT - Seminar - Workshop AUDIO - Podcast
  • 35. This means there are MANY opportunities to create content that positions your company as a subject EXPERT and trusted ADVISOR ...
  • 36. ... for EACH question the customer has. CUSTOMER QUESTION Blog Article White Paper E-Book Video Demo InfoGraphic SlideShare Seminar Case Study Best Practice ROI Calculator How-To Tips FAQs Interview Trends Survey Research Other Who has had a similar problem and what did they do about it? What was the ROI? WorkShop PodCast
  • 37. In addition to being helpful, publishing buyer-centric content gives you a clear COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
  • 38. you UNDERSTAND their problems and can SHOW them how to solve them, you build credibility .... prospects will PROACTIVELY SEEK IT OUT. - Ardath Albee, author of “eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale” “ “ By publishing content that shows buyers
  • 39. level of trust among their customers that makes it EASIER FOR CUSTOMERS TO BUY. - Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett, authors of “Get Content, Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing” “ “ Content marketing enables companies to build a
  • 40. This is what is known as There are also many OPERATIONAL benefits CONTENT MARKETING. to publishing buyer-centric content.
  • 41. The more content you publish, the higher you’ll rank in ORGANIC search results. This is what is known as CONTENT MARKETING.
  • 42. Better still, Google’s latest algorithm, Hummingbird, recognizes and rewards QUALITY content with higher ranking. - 2012 Hubspot Report
  • 43. Leads that are generated through organic search have a close rate ... 14.6% - The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report (Hubspot)
  • 44. Leads that are generated through organic search have a close rate ... 14.6% ... while outbound marketing leads only have a close rate. 1% - The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report (Hubspot)
  • 45. 3X MORE LEADS. - Content Marketing ROI (Kapost and Eloqua) : “ “ Per dollar, content marketing produces
  • 46. So it’s easy to understand why 91% of surveyed B2B companies practice content marketing ... - B2B Content Marketing 2013 Research Report
  • 47. 33% ... and allocate up to of their annual marketing budget to content marketing ... - B2B Content Marketing 2013 Research Report
  • 48. ... to DRIVE key marketing and sales tactics. Brand awareness 79% Engagement 63% Customer acquisition 74% Website traffic 60% Lead generation 71% Lead management 45% Thought leadership 64% Sales 43% Retention / loyalty 64% - B2B Content Marketing 2013 Research Report
  • 49. What’s more, when content is combined with social media, you can engage buyers in a CONVERSATION ...
  • 50. What’s more, when content is combined with social media, you can engage buyers in a CONVERSATION ... ...and the ROI can be signficant.
  • 51. Case in point: AT&T
  • 52. “ Thanks to a blog-centered, social sales strategy, AT&T generated $47M in NEW BUSINESS within a period of 18 months. www.businessgrow.com
  • 53. “ 47 Million!
  • 54. The bottom line. - Ann Handley, author ‘Content Rules’ - Ann Handley, author ofof ‘Content Rules’
  • 55. “ Content drives CONVERSATIONS.
  • 56. Content drives CONVERSATIONS. Conversation ENGAGES your customers.
  • 57. CONVERSATIONS. Conversation ENGAGES your customers. Engaging with people is how your company will SURVIVE and THRIVE in this new social world. “ “ Content drives - Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, authors of “Content Rules”
  • 58. HOWEVER
  • 59. You need to get your content in front of buyers BEFORE your competitors do. “
  • 60. You need to get your content in front of buyers BEFORE your competitors do. “ And it has to truly RESONATE with them.
  • 61. move on to a different provider who is more helpful. - Adele Revella, President of the Buyer Persona Institute “ “ If your content isn’t easy to find or doesn’t provide the answers they are seeking, buyers will
  • 62. Seize the OPPORTUNITY to publish content that delivers VALUE and INFLUENCES the B2B buying process.
  • 63. Join the content marketing REVOLUTION today.
  • 64. Thank you. Gordana Stok B2B Content Strategist & Writer, Founder of Content Bridge www.contentbridge.ca twitter.com/ContentBridge_ Please share this presentation.