CONTENT.

The Key to Influencing
the B2B Buying Process
“

The hardest thing about B2B
selling today is that customers

DON’T NEED YOU
- The End of Solution Sales, Harvard Busine...
There’s NO denying it.
The web and social media have
changed the B2B buying process.
Buyers are in MORE control

than

EVER before.
While

90%

of buyers begin their SEARCH
for a solution online ....
While

90%

of buyers begin their SEARCH
for a solution online ....
A startling

60%

*

of the buying decision is
made BE...
“

“

NO LONGER are companies and their
sales people the gatekeepers that must
be sought out for help.
- Ardath Albee, aut...
represented by SEARCH ENGINES

“

“

The informational gatekeepers are now

SOCIAL NETWORKS and PERCEPTIONS
of relevance.
...
Like it or not, buyers are
SELF-SERVING on the web.
They’re identifying their requirements.
They’re searching for information
and solution options.
They’re determining the criteria
they’ll use to select a product.
They’re short-listing vendors and
comparing solutions.
FREE

30 Day Trial
All WITHOUT
speaking to a sales
representative.
This presents new CHALLENGES for vendors.
“ ARMED TO THE TEETH

Customers are coming to the table

with a deep understanding of their
problem and a well scoped RFP....
But there’s HOPE on the horizon.
But there’s HOPE on the horizon.

And CONTENT is key.
Vendors can STILL be a
trusted advisor and influence
the B2B buying process ...
... by publishing content on the
web that helps
buyers make
smarter decisions.
“

But NOT
any old
content
will do.
INTERRUPTION IS NO
LONGER EFFECTIVE.

Instead, marketers must inform buyers with
content that builds relationships and tru...
Let’s compare the
old

SELF-SERVING
way of communicating
with buyers and the

new

BUYER-CENTRIC

way.
Buy our product.
It has all these great
FEATURES and FUNCTIONALITY
that you’ll love.

Self-Serving
Buy our product.
It has all these great
FEATURES and FUNCTIONALITY
that you’ll love.

Buyer-Centric

Self-Serving

Here ar...
In the self-serving approach,
not only is the message

ALL ABOUT YOU ...
Chances are you’ve REVERSE-ENGINEERED
your product’s value basedwhat isfeatures,
on its known as
This is

so it doesn’t RE...
In the buyer-centric approach,
you focus on the buyer’s

PAINPOINTS and NEEDS.
More importantly, you have EARN the right
to talk about your product ...

... but only AFTER you’ve gained the buyer’s tru...
This is what’s known as CONTENT MARKETING.
“

(Content Marketing) ... is being there
when customers need you and seek you out
with RELEVANT, EDUCATIONAL, HELPFUL,

C...
In this brave new world, content takes
on much more interesting and helpful
SHAPES and FORMS.
Content GENRES
- Case Study
- Best Practices
- ROI Calculator
- How-To Tips
- FAQs

- Interview
- Trends
- Survey
- Resear...
Content FORMATS
TEXT

- Blog
- Article
- Whitepaper
- E-Book

VISUAL

- Video
- Demo
- Infographic
- Slideshare

EVENT

- ...
This means there are MANY
opportunities to create content
that positions your company
as a subject EXPERT and
trusted ADVI...
... for EACH question the customer has.
CUSTOMER
QUESTION

Blog

Article

White
Paper

E-Book

Video

Demo

InfoGraphic

S...
In addition to being helpful, publishing buyer-centric
content gives you a clear COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
you UNDERSTAND their problems and
can SHOW them how to solve them,
you build credibility .... prospects will

PROACTIVELY ...
level of trust among their customers that makes it

EASIER FOR CUSTOMERS TO BUY.
- Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett, authors o...
This is what is known as

There are also many OPERATIONAL benefits
CONTENT MARKETING.
to publishing buyer-centric content.
The more content
you publish, the
higher you’ll rank
in ORGANIC
search results.

This is what is known as
CONTENT MARKETIN...
Better still, Google’s latest algorithm,
Hummingbird, recognizes and rewards
QUALITY content with higher ranking.

- 2012 ...
Leads that are generated through organic
search have a
close rate ...

14.6%

- The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report...
Leads that are generated through organic
search have a
close rate ...

14.6%

... while outbound marketing leads
only have...
3X MORE LEADS.
- Content Marketing ROI (Kapost and Eloqua)

:

“

“

Per dollar, content marketing produces
So it’s easy to understand why
91% of surveyed B2B companies
practice content marketing ...

- B2B Content Marketing 2013 ...
33%

... and allocate up to
of their annual
marketing budget to content marketing ...

- B2B Content Marketing 2013 Resear...
... to DRIVE key marketing and sales tactics.
Brand awareness

79%

Engagement

63%

Customer acquisition

74%

Website tr...
What’s more, when content is combined
with social media, you can engage buyers
in a CONVERSATION ...
What’s more, when content is combined
with social media, you can engage buyers
in a CONVERSATION ...

...and the ROI can b...
Case in point: AT&T
“ Thanks to a blog-centered,

social sales strategy, AT&T
generated $47M in NEW BUSINESS
within a period of 18 months.

ww...
“

47 Million!
The bottom line.
- Ann Handley, author ‘Content Rules’
- Ann Handley, author ofof ‘Content Rules’
“

Content drives
CONVERSATIONS.
Content drives
CONVERSATIONS.
Conversation ENGAGES
your customers.
CONVERSATIONS.
Conversation ENGAGES
your customers.
Engaging with people is
how your company will
SURVIVE and THRIVE
in th...
HOWEVER
You need to get your content in front of
buyers BEFORE your competitors do.

“
You need to get your content in front of
buyers BEFORE your competitors do.

“

And it has to truly RESONATE with them.
move on to a different provider
who is more helpful.
- Adele Revella, President of the Buyer Persona Institute

“

“

If y...
Seize the OPPORTUNITY to
publish content that delivers
VALUE and INFLUENCES
the B2B buying process.
Join the content marketing REVOLUTION today.
Thank
you.

Gordana Stok
B2B Content Strategist & Writer,
Founder of Content Bridge
www.contentbridge.ca
twitter.com/Conte...
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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.

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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Content: the Key to Influencing the B2B Buying Process

  1. 1. CONTENT. The Key to Influencing the B2B Buying Process
  2. 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. 3. There’s NO denying it. The web and social media have changed the B2B buying process.
  4. 4. Buyers are in MORE control than EVER before.
  5. 5. While 90% of buyers begin their SEARCH for a solution online ....
  6. 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. 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. 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. 9. Like it or not, buyers are SELF-SERVING on the web.
  10. 10. They’re identifying their requirements.
  11. 11. They’re searching for information and solution options.
  12. 12. They’re determining the criteria they’ll use to select a product.
  13. 13. They’re short-listing vendors and comparing solutions. FREE 30 Day Trial
  14. 14. All WITHOUT speaking to a sales representative.
  15. 15. This presents new CHALLENGES for vendors.
  16. 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. 17. But there’s HOPE on the horizon.
  18. 18. But there’s HOPE on the horizon. And CONTENT is key.
  19. 19. Vendors can STILL be a trusted advisor and influence the B2B buying process ...
  20. 20. ... by publishing content on the web that helps buyers make smarter decisions.
  21. 21. “ But NOT any old content will do.
  22. 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. 23. Let’s compare the old SELF-SERVING way of communicating with buyers and the new BUYER-CENTRIC way.
  24. 24. Buy our product. It has all these great FEATURES and FUNCTIONALITY that you’ll love. Self-Serving
  25. 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. 26. In the self-serving approach, not only is the message ALL ABOUT YOU ...
  27. 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. 28. In the buyer-centric approach, you focus on the buyer’s PAINPOINTS and NEEDS.
  29. 29. More importantly, you have EARN the right to talk about your product ... ... but only AFTER you’ve gained the buyer’s trust.
  30. 30. This is what’s known as CONTENT MARKETING.
  31. 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. 32. In this brave new world, content takes on much more interesting and helpful SHAPES and FORMS.
  33. 33. Content GENRES - Case Study - Best Practices - ROI Calculator - How-To Tips - FAQs - Interview - Trends - Survey - Research - Etc.
  34. 34. Content FORMATS TEXT - Blog - Article - Whitepaper - E-Book VISUAL - Video - Demo - Infographic - Slideshare EVENT - Seminar - Workshop AUDIO - Podcast
  35. 35. This means there are MANY opportunities to create content that positions your company as a subject EXPERT and trusted ADVISOR ...
  36. 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. 37. In addition to being helpful, publishing buyer-centric content gives you a clear COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
  38. 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. 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. 40. This is what is known as There are also many OPERATIONAL benefits CONTENT MARKETING. to publishing buyer-centric content.
  41. 41. The more content you publish, the higher you’ll rank in ORGANIC search results. This is what is known as CONTENT MARKETING.
  42. 42. Better still, Google’s latest algorithm, Hummingbird, recognizes and rewards QUALITY content with higher ranking. - 2012 Hubspot Report
  43. 43. Leads that are generated through organic search have a close rate ... 14.6% - The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report (Hubspot)
  44. 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. 45. 3X MORE LEADS. - Content Marketing ROI (Kapost and Eloqua) : “ “ Per dollar, content marketing produces
  46. 46. So it’s easy to understand why 91% of surveyed B2B companies practice content marketing ... - B2B Content Marketing 2013 Research Report
  47. 47. 33% ... and allocate up to of their annual marketing budget to content marketing ... - B2B Content Marketing 2013 Research Report
  48. 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. 49. What’s more, when content is combined with social media, you can engage buyers in a CONVERSATION ...
  50. 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. 51. Case in point: AT&T
  52. 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. 53. “ 47 Million!
  54. 54. The bottom line. - Ann Handley, author ‘Content Rules’ - Ann Handley, author ofof ‘Content Rules’
  55. 55. “ Content drives CONVERSATIONS.
  56. 56. Content drives CONVERSATIONS. Conversation ENGAGES your customers.
  57. 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. 58. HOWEVER
  59. 59. You need to get your content in front of buyers BEFORE your competitors do. “
  60. 60. You need to get your content in front of buyers BEFORE your competitors do. “ And it has to truly RESONATE with them.
  61. 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. 62. Seize the OPPORTUNITY to publish content that delivers VALUE and INFLUENCES the B2B buying process.
  63. 63. Join the content marketing REVOLUTION today.
  64. 64. Thank you. Gordana Stok B2B Content Strategist & Writer, Founder of Content Bridge www.contentbridge.ca twitter.com/ContentBridge_ Please share this presentation.
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