Businesses in the B2B industry often struggle with online marketing because they expect that their current buyers will just come straight to them asking for a quote. This may happen in certain instances, but it's certainly not always the case. Even if a B2B buyer asks their previous provider for a quote, they are likely doing some online research on their own prior to that request. You don't have to take my word for it, but recent stats released by a DemandGen Report will support the information. Here's what B2B buyers had to say and what it means for your B2B marketing.
The 4 Most Important Things B2B Buyers Say About Content
75% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago.
A vast majority of B2B buyers are researching their purchase through online content before they go to a supplier or complete the buying decision. In many cases these content pieces are blog posts or other content marketing pieces, such as...
The types of content marketing pieces used for research by B2B buyers used within the past 12 months: White Papers (78%); Case Studies (73%); Webinars (67%); eBooks (58%); Videos (58%); Blog Posts (56%); Infographics (52%)/
This means that you, as a B2B marketer, cannot ignore these content marketing mediums. They are used by buyers but if you aren't using them as marketers, how are you attracting prospects and generating leads?
To begin the process of researching a B2B purchasing decision, respondents reported that the 1st use general web research; 2nd directly use vendor websites.
Even if you get a quote request, don't feel too special. Most B2B buyers are going somewhere else first...and they may be finding information on your competitor websites and requesting more information from them as well.
68% of respondents believe that sales messages in B2B vendor's content should be kept to an absolute minimum.
When a B2B buyer is researching, they are looking for education not a sales pitch. If you do a good job of providing quality content you'll still collect soft leads which you can nurture into an actual sale. There is no need to push sales messages aggressively in educational content.
What B2B Buyer's Want From Content
To keep it simple, B2B buyers do want content to be available to make their purchasing decisions and they are reading it. They want it to be short, visual, and mobile friendly without being bombarded with sales pitches. Most will be looking for this content before visiting a current vendor's website. If you aren't using content marketing as a B2B vendor, you're losing out!