The ability of consumers to research solutions online has created a buyer journey that’s increasingly self-led, and where interactions with sales representatives are fleeting if not avoided altogether.
So, what opportunities do B2B marketers have to create relevancy and influence a purchase? Here’s BrandAction Agency’s approach to offering highly relevant content that generates branddemand.
Our branddemand model seeks to build profitable long-term relationships between you and your buyers by addressing what we see as the four essential phases of the new buyer journey, or premarket, education, information and confirmation. These four phases define what your buyer goes through on the way to a purchase decision and offer insight into the specific questions that your marketing content needs to answer:
What are we missing, or how can our process be improved?
What solutions exist for this problem?
Which solution is best for me?
Are we confident in acting, including making a purchase decision?
Our strategic content planning process begins with understanding how your unique brand position and solution pertains to your buyer — by industry, segment and persona — and defining what they want to know at each stage of their journey so they may be successfully guided from their premarket problem to confirming a purchase of your relevant solution.
Once a journey is mapped, we can begin to guide the process by delivering content aligned to the buyer’s needs at the very moment they need it. Having relevant, high-value, actionable, and trackable content allows you to generate ongoing interest while following along on their journey — and present additional touchpoints that encourage interaction leading up to a potential sale.
In most B2B buyer journeys, three types of content rule:
Educational content addresses your buyer’s key challenges, problems and opportunities, leveraging your expertise and building initial trust by showing the buyer you understand their frustrations, process and goals. Educational content may include white papers, infographics, webinars or thought leadership research.
Informational content presents your solutions based on previous engagement with the corresponding educational content. If you’ve managed to pique the buyer’s interest (and collect some basic retargeting information), informational content can be served on demand via channels such as your website, email, programmatic advertising or digital. This content may include demonstration videos, product guides, evaluation frameworks or other branded, solution-oriented deliverables.
Confirmational content cements your rightful place in your buyer’s consideration set and delivers a qualified lead ready for sales to engage with. This should provide undeniable proof that your solution works and is right for them, and may come in the form of case studies, ROI calculators, technical specs or product samples.
Given what we know about the modern B2B buyer, our goal at every stage of content delivery and brand interaction is to ensure relevancy, build trust, offer solutions and create the conditions that allow buyers to engage with sales on their terms.
By pairing properly mapped personas with content that coincides with your buyers’ journeys, you can present solutions to the key questions your buyers need answered at each of the three stages. You can then audit existing content against available first-party data to select your proven winners and ultimately build out a demand generation plan that creates valuable top-of-mind awareness at every phase.
By tracking individual engagements within your marketing automation platform and/or CRM, you can begin to execute campaigns across whatever addressable channels make sense, providing the buyer with the most relevant piece of content at any given moment and becoming a trusted brand partner along the way.
Try something practicable, actionable and proven. If you want to learn more about our approach to understanding buyers and assisting them on their way to a purchase decision, we’re only a click away.