content

10 Considerations when engaging the B2B Buyer

Hot off the press is news that the average B2B buyer is 57% through the purchase decision before engaging a supplier sales rep (Source CEB & Google 2012). Now while that stat alone (like all stats) should be taken with a pinch of salt, it was not one that hugely surprised me. After all, the first 2 stages of the buying process are making oneself aware of what can product or service can help solve a problem or challenge a buyer maybe facing and then considering which solutions may be appropriate. After that, (the second half of the process) buyers will short list suppliers, heavily evaluate and then purchase.

Entice

What this statistic has highlighted is the great opportunity for us as marketers to influence buyer perception in our favour in these initial stages, particularly online, through content and social channels.

Here’s 10 considerations when engaging buyers (whether indirectly or directly) through content and social channels:

  1. Have you found the communities that buyers are looking for recommendations and discussing their challenges?
  2. What content is working well amongst those communities and what can you learn from it. Social Crawlytics is a great place to start.
  3. Are you creating content that is allowing your audience to create their own conversations with their peers, which you can then enter into?
  4. Are you listening for opportunities to engage with your audience?
  5. How are you activating your existing customer base to spread the good word about your business or at very least get them talking about you?
  6. Are your set up to be able to adapt quickly, producing relevant content on the fly to help and entertain your customers? (We can achieve what Oreo did in the B2B space)
  7. While looking at paid and owned channels is important to drive awareness, how mature are your frontline when it comes to engaging in social (sales, technical staff, product mangers, business leaders).
  8. How engrained is your frontline in your identified communities. This is a good place to start.
  9. How well are you feeding content and opportunities to your frontline. Internal social tools such as http://www.status.net will help, but good old email is just as good.
  10. Are you and your sales teams looking when is the right time to take conversations into the real world, real world events is one of the best ways to create and nurture relationships and generate more content of value.

This covers the front end of the decision-making phase but we have the chance to engage throughout the entire process (and even more so once they become customers). What other pointers can you share? Please add them in the comments, I’d love you feedback so please let me know.

 

Where all great ideas start … #problemhunting

After realising the problem, this was where I started to to solve it, on paper, and while I’ve had to let contented.ly go as I’ve moved agencies. I was very proud of getting it up and running and signing up the likes of Microsoft, Adobe and BT to the service in it’s private beta phase.

The below image was the first attempt of what we need to produce to make content marketing effortless for businesses. We actually scaled it down to become a planner for content marketers but it still has much potential to go further and I hope the team take it on and drive it forward. Now I must look for the next the next app, web app or otherwise.

First find the problem .. then work out how best to solve it.

Contented.ly

 

Lead by your’s truly. The Private Beta launch of Contented.ly is lIve! Contented is a simple checklist and planner for the smart content marketing professional.

REGISTER for your Invite and we’ll get you approved to login ASAP.

In today’s world of more content, more data and more channels we have devised this tool to help marketers filter and distil their content – enabling them to create true cut-though.

This tool has been created to help all marketers make the planning, execution and measurement processes of publishing high-value content easier. Whether you’re a seasoned content marketing pro or new to producing content, Contented.ly will help you simplify the structure of your campaigns and activities.

We’ve already had close to 50 registrations in the last 48 Hours, with people signing up from Mircosoft, BSkyB and B2B Marketing Magazine to name a few.

Contented update

We’re running a little behind in our development process but hope to be ready to accept registrations in a matter of weeks. In the meantime we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of the interface the images are below.

Why use the tool?
This tool has been created as an endeavour to help all marketers make the planning, execution and measurement processes of publishing high value content easier. Whether you’re a seasoned content marketing pro or a newbie who has been tasked with producing content, Contented will help you structure your content, campaigns and activities.

A Sneak Peak at the Contented Interface

Also thought it might be nice to point out this video from coke on their content marketing strategy.

Please dont forget to pass the link on and ask your colleagues and peers to register for private beta.

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