Creating content marketing materials for B2B buyers is a whole different ball game compared to the B2C equivalent. B2B transactions are fundamentally different as buyers often require very detailed, specific, niche advice, and they want it on a regular basis to push them along the sales cycle.
Marketers must, therefore, focus on buyer enablement and a goal of serving up prescriptive advice and practical support. If you are wondering what to focus on during the creative process, aim for “clear”, “concise” and “credible” information. You need to solve a buyer’s problem or help them to achieve the desired outcome. Mapping out their journey step by step is also recommended.
“B2B buyers today will reward suppliers who make the purchase process easier,” Gartner’s Distinguished VP Brent Adamson says. “Our research shows that customers who receive helpful information that eases the purchase process are three times as likely to buy the bigger, more expensive option, with less regret.”
Prescriptive advice that pushes buyers along at each step and offers recommendations to overcome any potential challenges should then be followed up with practical support. This phase is more complex as you will need to provide viable solutions – for example, a detailed analysis of how a particular product or service can empower the end user to improve their business processes.
Adamson adds: “By focusing on these two types of buyer enablement, marketing can engineer a complete content ecosystem designed to help drive high-value, low-regret deals — and, ultimately, better support sales.”
Gartner also cautions brands against a sole focus on thought leadership and providing entertaining content as this does not align with the “buyer enablement” end goal. In order to use content to provide guided support, you must also use data, analytics and other activities to get a better understanding of their needs and challenges.
Basically, B2B marketers must do everything that they can to prevent a potential buyer from being overloaded with information that is neither useful nor relevant, while aiming to engage them with the objective of driving a successful purchase. Rather than targeting “more engagement”, marketers should double down on “better engagement”.