Carol is the chief marketing officer at Exclaimer. She has been in the technology space for over a decade.
The customer buying journey has changed over time. Customers need valid proof points along the way as customer behavior has become more self directed.
80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will take place in digital channels by the year 2025, according to a research project byGartner. 39% of all buyers prefer a seller-free sales experience, and 33% of them want a seller-free sales experience as well.
It's important to get buyer interest at an early stage. Without understanding your audience, you can't do this. If a brand fails to engage with people where they are looking for answers, they are irrelevant.
Sales teams aren't the primary source of knowledge for buyers anymore. With search engines putting information at our fingertips and less reliance on face-to-face interactions, buyers are more aware of what they need almost instantly.
Understanding your audience's journey is important, as it involves how they think, what answers they seek and how they find solutions. You will be able to map your content to the different stages of the buyer's journey with the help of this research.
If you don't fully understand your audience, you can create a problem. A loss of interest is caused by putting out content that your readers don't relate to.
The average B2B buyer loops through their buying journey a few times.
It's a problem identification. Something needs to be done.
solution exploration Is there a solution to our problem?
There are requirements to build. What needs the purchase to do?
The selection of the supplier. Is this something we want it to do?
It's called validation. We need to be sure that we know the correct answer.
The creation of consensus. Everyone needs to join us.
If you want to avoid losing potential leads, consider the stage the buyer is at in their journey, how to communicate with them and the channels you'll use to reach them.
Marketing Your Digital Channels
Two out of three business leaders are drawn in by visuals when searching for B2B content, and short-form videos and influencer marketing are top marketing channels that businesses plan to invest more time and resources into.
You can build out an approach that ensures brand consistency by looking at each stage of the marketing-to- sales journey.
Problem Identification And Solution Exploration
Buyers see a problem that needs to be solved. Initial exploratory research may not include details.
Keep your education high-level here. It's important that the content is easy to digest and visually appealing. Think social media posts, short-form blogs, email marketing and Infographics that reflect your organization's point of view on issues related to your target audience. Short-form video that can be used across multiple channels is important to video marketing. A problem the buyer is trying to solve should be addressed in this stage.
Requirements Building And Supplier Selection
In order to encourage buyers to make informed decisions about their solution, it is important.
Content such as e-books and white papers worked well in the past. It's advantage is that you can market further down the funnel. Many marketers are moving away from this in favor of providing value and opening up content to potential buyers by relying on that content to pull in more people and support the journey to a sales demo.
The best way to maximize your email marketing strategy is to use messaging and personalization. Emails should include links to dedicated website product pages that reinforce your solutions, as well as blogs, guides and brand videos that explain how your product solved the buyer's problem
Social media will play a big part in this process. According to Kepios, there were nearly five billion social media users in the year 2022. A B2B brand's top source for social media is oftenLinkedIn, while a B2C brand's top source is usually Facebook. You're missing out on a huge audience if you don't use social media to distribute multimedia content
Validation And Consensus Creation
The decision stage is also called the decision stage. This is where your buyer is going to make a decision, and where you should focus marketing efforts. The gap between marketing and sales should be bridged with testimonials, in-depth case studies from the previous stage, vendor comparison guides and solution-centered white papers.
You want to make sure that the previous email tracks are tailored to the buyer's pain points in their decision stage with clear and concise calls to action, like a free trial, demo, discount or the chance to discuss the proposition with an expert.
Influencer Marketing Across The Mix
As more buyers turn to social media, introducing influencer marketing can be a key way to combat brand distrust. In addition to providing a familiar face and personality for brands,influencers can also generate social proof for businesses, with 86% of B2B brands finding success, so using this channel to build credibility is a no-brainer.
If you build out your marketing strategy to follow the shifting buyer journey, you can target your audience correctly while building brand credibility, piquing interest from potential buyers right out of the gate.
Forbes Communications Council is for executives in public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. I don't know if I qualify.