This is 2020.
I still can’t believe those words are coming from my mouth and not Barbara Walters’. It doesn’t seem possible that the year 2000, the new millennium, was 20 years ago. To be honest, when someone says “such and such” happened 20 years ago, my mind immediately goes to the 1980s or 1990s. Not 2000.
Is it just me?
The world is progressing so rapidly. Days turn into years, and years turn into decades, and there’s only one thing that remains the same. Everything changes. Or does it?
I’m going to go against the grain here and say that when it comes to marketing your business to your customers, not much has really changed.
How to Make a B2B Content Marketing Strategy Work for You
With the dawn of a new decade, you will be inundated with new tips and strategies to catch the attention of your ideal buyer. And many of them will be valid. It’s true. Times have changed and the way we reach today’s buyer has changed, as well. We must evolve with the times or be forever suspended in time, gaining nothing but regret.
Digital automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are changing the way we do business. What once sounded like science fiction is now business as usual, at least for many of your competitors. And, it can feel overwhelming to even think about changing your business model in such a dynamic way. (Hint: There are professionals like us to help you understand it.)
But rest assured, these innovations rely on the same basic structure we have come to know and love. To earn business, you must earn trust. The way to do that is to build long-lasting relationship with real, honest-to-goodness people and that takes time.
A B2B content marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to build these relationships with your customers. Your website has the capacity to act as an extension of your sales team. Day or night, both potential and existing customers can turn to your website and social media channels for answers to commonly asked questions, product reviews, expert insight and solutions to their biggest problems.
Did you know that 80% of B2B buyers consume at least 3 pieces of content before making a purchase? (source: DemandGen’s 2016 Content Preference Report)
The Psychology of the Buy
Dr. Robert Cialdini, a well-respected psychology and marketing professor at Arizona State University, discusses the “Commitment and Consistency” technique. This technique states that a person’s response to any given situation is based on their past experiences to similar situations. This is where a B2B content marketing strategy can come into play. If a person becomes familiar with your company and begins to look to you for guidance on their biggest challenges, you position yourself as an ally and someone they can trust for accurate and helpful advice.
The more they interact on your website, the stronger that relationship becomes until they ultimately choose you as their trusted supplier. It’s science really.
How is this different than how you’ve always done business? It’s not.
You’ve built a company that strives to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations. Your sales team and customer service representatives are on the front lines every day, handling customer concerns and answering the tough questions. Your team has been there, always helping your customer find solutions to their biggest problems. The secret to crushing it in 2020 and beyond is to take that same mindset and apply it where your customers are currently spending their time — online.
Kick off 2020 by Creating the Right B2B Content for Your Customers
It’s okay to start small when creating content for your company. In fact, we recommend it. Pick one or two areas you want to focus and then execute them well. Create a strategy and a schedule for your content. And then start with just a few places on content creation journey:
YouTube is where people are spending a lot of time. YouTube almost has as much traffic as Google. Your customers are searching for “How-To” videos, product reviews and explainer videos to help them get the most out of their workday. Reach them by creating videos optimized for search. They don’t have to be super professional at the start; you can even use your smart phone! To avoid stumbling during your video, try using a script until you get more comfortable. Don’t forget to create written content around the video so that search engines find it.
You may think that email marketing is old school, and it is, but it works. Think about it. Sending targeted email messages to your audience is your opportunity to speak to them one-on-one with no filter. Through emails, you can share helpful blog articles, newsletters, promotions and exclusive content to help build your relationship. With email, you also give your customers the ability to respond directly to you to ask questions or request additional information.
Social media platforms like LinkedIn have changed over the years and offer businesses and marketers a ton of options to get in front of their audience. Today, LinkedIn allows you to share videos, blog posts, photos and more. But you can’t just drop a link and expect results. Just like with all content you’ll want to do a little homework before posting. Look for keywords and power words that will get your audience’s attention, add in a hook and close by asking them for feedback. Then, respond to them. The secret to success on social media is to engage with your audience, so start the conversation today!
Your website should be your content hub, where all of this awesome content lives. Use your website’s Home page, About Us page, Blog pages, Product pages and Resources pages to continue the conversation with your customers. Create your website to be clean, easy to navigate and full of resources to help your customers make the best decisions for them. Your website should be available as an extension of your sales team, morning, noon and night.
If you find yourself struggling with designing and implementing an effective content marketing strategy, let us know. 3 Aspens Media is here to help. Reach out to us at [email protected].