A Web Search is a B2B Buyer’s First Move in the Purchase Process
The web search has changed the way businesses shop for products and services — and content marketing is your key to reaching them.
What’s the first thing we all do when we want to try a new restaurant, can’t think of a song lyric, or need to buy a new appliance? We Google it.
The world of B2B sales is no different. Demand Gen’s 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report found that 62% of B2B buyers say that a web search was one of the first three resources they use to learn about a solution. In fact, 94% of buyers reported using online research at some point in the purchasing process.
That means businesses must be more than just conscious of their digital presence: They must actively manage their website and digital content assets to accommodate the ways buyers are conducting research.
Seeing opportunity in the new reality
In the pre-internet age, the salesperson’s role began relatively early in the buyer’s journey. Today’s average B2B buyer, however, progresses nearly 60% of the way through this process before making any sort of contact with a sales rep. That means your prospects are forming their early opinions about your business and your products based on what they find on the web.
This new reality may seem daunting, given how much of the purchase decision-making process occurs before you have the opportunity to engage with a potential client. But in reality, this changing climate offers serious opportunities for businesses to demonstrate their expertise, without turning buyers off with overt sales pitches.
Content is king/key
To make the most of the potential purchaser’s experience with your business, content is key.
A robust content marketing strategy builds brand awareness, establishes trust and rapport with prospects, and generates traffic to your website. Thoughtfully generated and curated content catches the attention of buyers and keeps them interested in your business through the time of purchase.
Specifically, 67% more leads will be generated by companies with an active blog in 2016. And content isn’t limited to your website: a vibrant social media presence helps buyers conduct their research, with 57% of consumers reporting that they are influenced to think more highly of a business after seeing positive comments online.
Again, while this new reality may seem like a challenge, it’s actually a golden opportunity for your business to put its best foot forward with potential buyers. By thoughtfully generating and curating focused, informative content, companies can guide B2B buyers through the sales process, and develop an engaged and loyal customer base.