5 Pieces of Content Every
B2B Businesses Needs

There once was a time when, if you weren’t feeling well, you’d have to wait to see your doctor in order to find out what was wrong with you. Today, all you need to do is tell Dr. Google where it hurts, and you’ll receive an extensive list of potential diagnoses, causes, symptoms, and treatments to peruse at your leisure.

 

Obviously, we don’t advise anyone to make healthcare decisions based on information found on the internet (your doctor still knows best). However, this does prove that, whether we’re trying to decide which smartphone to get, or where our next vacation will take us, technology has turned each and every one of us into professional researchers. This also happens to be the case in the B2B world, as well.

Researching Is Preselling

B2B selling has never been more complex, competitive, or digital-centric. Sales cycles are longer than ever, decision-making now seems to involve entire committees of stakeholders, and buyers are doing more self-research than ever before, the majority of which takes place online.

 

Make no mistake. As soon as a potential buyer arrives on your website to research your company, the sales process—for all intents and purposes—has commenced, and if that potential buyer fails to find the right kind of content, odds are good that they will leave your site for a competitor. So, exactly what kind of content do you need on your site, and other communication channels to not just make a great first impression, but to convince a buyer that your company is the best choice? Glad you asked.

90% of B2B customers research 2-7 sites before they make a purchase.
Digital Commerce 360

For Your Consideration

In order to give prospective buyers the information they need to determine if your company should even be in their consideration set, here are the five most critical pieces of content you need to have on your website and beyond:

1. Case Studies

Perhaps more than any other attribute of your company, buyers want to know that you have experience dealing with similar issues or pain points that they are currently experiencing. The best way to highlight that experience is by producing case studies. While they tend to be a bit labor-intensive to create, case studies are highly valuable assets to build credibility with a new audience. Ideally, you want your case studies to span multiple industries so buyers can see you’ve worked in the same industry as theirs. Finally, you want to make sure that every case study features actual results. This amps up the persuasion factor; instead of simply telling a potential buyer what you did, show them how what you did made a real difference.

2. Thought Leadership

These are the pieces that establish you as a subject matter expert and/or as a company. Thought leadership can come in the form of articles, ebooks, guides, infographics, white papers, etc. However, the format and topic can vary, depending on a variety of factors. What you want buyers to walk away with after reading any of these pieces, is that you have a solid understanding of the market, the industry, the business, and, of greatest importance, the solutions to address their business challenges. Thought leadership shows that you’re not simply another company doing what thousands of other companies do, but that yours is a standard-bearer of invaluable insights and educated opinions on the topics that are currently challenging the buyer. The more convincing those insights and opinions are, the more you’ll instill confidence in the mind of a potential buyer that you’re, at the very least, worth considering.

3. Feature and Price Comparisons

At some point, a potential buyer is going to sit down and make a list of the features, benefits, and prices for each of the companies under consideration. So, do that for them. Show them where you offer more than your competitors. Explain how they will save money or benefit through differentiating features by going with you. Conversely, you also want to be upfront about areas where your company might not necessarily be the more affordable or most feature-rich choice. Deliberately comparing yourself to your competitors accomplishes two things. The first is that it makes a potential buyer’s job easier. By providing the information that you know they’re going to want, you lighten their research load. The second is that being upfront and transparent will help instill a sense of trust in the minds of potential buyers. Trust, specifically in business, just might be the most valuable asset for any company to possess.

4. User Testimonials or Reviews

It’s your website. Of course, you’re going to position your company as the best solution to a potential buyer’s problem—that’s the job of a website. Unfortunately, that’s why any potential buyer is going to take everything you say on your website with a proverbial grain of salt. One of the most effective ways to reduce the size of that grain of salt is by featuring user testimonials or reviews. Similar to case studies and thought leadership, user testimonials or reviews are a way to build confidence in new buyers by validating that your solutions actually do help solve the issues you say they do. No matter how talented your marketing copywriter might be, no words carry greater weight and properties of persuasion with potential buyers than those of satisfied past buyers.

5. Technical Documentation

Potential buyers, particularly those of a software product, will often include technical documentation as a factor in their buying decision. What documentation provides is the ability to dig into the details; it also shows that you’ll provide lots of self-service support. However, you should also view technical documentation as a marketing and sales resource. Don’t hide technical documentation behind logins and pay-walls. Feature internal links to it on product pages, reference it in marketing materials, and make people want to read your docs—after all—that’s why it’s there.

Reading is Believing

In a sense, the very first job of a website is to not give visitors a reason to leave it, and providing relevant, informative, persuasive content is one of the best ways to help prevent that from happening. So, take a look at your content strategy with a critical, yet objective eye. Are you featuring the right kind of content on your website, and promoting compelling content on your communication channels? Is it helping to sell your company to a potential customer or, is it driving them into the arms of a competitor? If your answer is the former, congrats. If it’s the latter, well, you don’t need a doctor to tell you what’s wrong with your website—we just did.

 

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