When it comes to a B2B company’s priorities, finding leads and new customers is pretty darn close to the top of the list. That’s something you probably already know.
You also may already know that your potential customers are changing rapidly – and methods you’ve used in the past to turn leads into customers aren’t going to work much longer. Maybe you came to our site looking for insights on your way to improving your B2B marketing and customer acquisition tactics.
Luckily, you came to the right place.
The Evidence of Change
Businesses that serve other businesses (B2B) typically stumble into the mindset that their customers are somehow different than the general consumer.
It’s beliefs like these that make companies less effective (or non-existent) across nontraditional channels like social media, video marketing, or the inbound marketing process in general. Thinking that your B2B marketing leads are “strictly business,” and that your audience will be guided by dry facts alone is a fatal mistake.
Don’t believe me? Here are a few stats to consider:
- 84% of business decision makers use social media to make purchasing decisions.
- B2B marketing specialists use six different social platforms (average) with the most popular being YouTube.
- 50% of executives watch business-related videos via YouTube, the majority of whom visit a company’s website after watching.
And the big one…
- B2B customers are almost 60% through the decision making process before ever contacting your sales team (we’ll talk a whole lot more on this in a second).
While these figures don’t mean you have to amass a huge following on Instagram, it does pose an interesting question.
“Behind every B there is a C.”
– Gary Vaynerchuck
How Do Your B2B Customers Learn About You?
CEB Global conducted a study that states buyers for B2B products are 57% into the decision making process before you have a chance to pitch them. If your potential customers are studying up on you without speaking to you, then who’s doing the talking? And where are they looking?
The intent of a direct advertisement is to get your curious targets to perform a call to action and move into either to your lead nurturing funnel or your sales process. While this can be a useful tactic, it doesn’t work all the time. If your only lead generation methods are ads, you’re leaving money on the table.
Those curious targets now take to the web (after being introduced to your brand) and look for anything they can to help make a decision. If you are not the strongest voice, you may be getting looked over.
So how do you make sure you’re staying top of mind?
The Case for Content
Have a blog? So what. Got a YouTube channel full of PowerPoint presentations and low-quality explainer videos? So do your competitors. Got a Twitter account with tweets only going out once in a blue moon? So does my uncle.
Time for a hypothetical:
You are conducting sales interviews. Here are your only two candidates.
Candidate 1: This guy answers every question properly, plus he comes with experience and proven results. But he also comes across as dry, scripted, and self-promoting.
Candidate 2: She interviews just as well as the other guy, but she also has charisma. She sucks you in with the story of how she came to interview with you and explains how she can easily fit into your culture.
You’re hiring number 2, right?
It was a simple question, but with an incredibly important point. Your content is a member of your sales team. In fact, it’s fast becoming the most important one. Research shows that there could be 1 million fewer sales positions by 2020 (Forrester). Whereas content marketing – isn’t going anywhere soon.
Starting to see why it matters that your leads are doing most of the work themselves?
Your Next Step
The future of customer acquisition is content. And one of the best things about content is the ability to create. People crave information through interactive content. Buyers want to be informed, but in a way that helps them learn quickly (it also doesn’t hurt if your content is a smidge entertaining).
Evaluate your current content marketing plan and make sure every new post, video and update does each of these:
- Tells a story, doesn’t just give information (about you and your customer)
- Delivers your point with incredible clarity (especially for complicated products)
- Feels personal and interactive (most important for social and CTAs)
- Looks good (Things like whitespace on blog posts, high-quality video and images, etc.)
Hopefully, we’ve shined some light on the future of customer acquisition. If you’re looking for ways to create the kind of content the newest breed of B2B buyers are craving…