Attention has become a decisive currency for success in globalised competition – also in B2B marketing. Today’s decision-makers are confronted with an extreme variety of stimuli – which come unsolicited. With classic marketing instruments and cold sales methods, it is increasingly difficult to stand out from the background noise and reach potential customers sustainably. However, in order to reach the relevant set of your target group – i.e. the selection of providers and suppliers who could be considered for a possible purchase – it is crucial to provide the user with the right information at the point and time when he is searching for it himself. With a sophisticated content marketing strategy.
In this way, you are not perceived as a disrupter, but as a competence authority that creates added value. On the other hand, the quality of your content must meet the high demands of your target group and be clearly tailored to the respective needs of your user at the respective point in time in the customer journey. Effective content marketing in the B2B business therefore means: the right information in the right depth at the right time. In order for this to succeed, a basic understanding of the b2b customer journey is essential.
1. awareness stage
At the beginning of his journey, you cannot yet assume that your user has a concrete intention to buy. That’s why you shouldn’t frighten him with overly advertising content. At this point he would first like to get an overview of the topic with its opportunities and risks. And he tries to figure out basic solution options for a challenge he is currently dealing with. As unspecific and undirected as the interest is at this point in time, it is precisely there that it is worthwhile to reach the user with your content. Because at this point you shape his awareness for the further occupation with this topic. In this way, you can focus the user’s attention at an early stage on those aspects in which you know how to shine with your solution. At the same time, you position your brand as a credible opinion leader and win the trust of your potential customers.
2. consideration stage
Your user has gained a basic understanding of the topic and is now looking for concrete solution options. But be careful: he is not automatic to search for specific providers! For example, a sales manager might already have realized at this point that he can increase the efficiency of his team through more structured customer data. Now he is looking at what the implementation of a powerful CRM system would mean for him. However, the question of which software provider he finally decides on does not play a major role for him at this point. With the help of more in-depth content, you are increasingly pointing out concrete possible solutions. Prove a real understanding of the challenges your potential customer is facing. In this way, you embed your brand in your user’s mind as a value-added provider and finally in his relevant set.
3. transaction stage
At this point your user searches for concrete product information as a basis for the purchase decision. Compact and concrete. If you have acted smartly in the first two phases, your prospective customer will pay particular attention to the aspects that you have previously established as important when making the purchase decision. However, even in this phase, it is essential that you keep the focus on the customer. In your communication, concentrate not only on the features of your offer, but above all on the tangible advantages that result for your customer. Through the trust you have gained in your brand in advance and the concrete buying interest, your sales department can now exploit these leads particularly efficiently and conclude the deal.
4. binding stage
Do not consider the customer journey completed after a successful sale. By continuing to provide your customers with useful content – now also via targeted dialogue media – you are laying the groundwork for promising upselling potential. And promote long-term customer loyalty. Continue to build trust in your brand so that you benefit from your long-term investment in this customer.
Content Marketing along the customer journey needs understanding
In order to be able to address your target group in the respective phases of the customer journey, you need to gain a real understanding of your (potential) customers on two levels: You have to internalize the challenges they face on a daily basis and for which your offer can represent a solution, either directly or indirectly. And you need to know which phase of the customer journey your user is in. Signals about acute trigger events help you to draw conclusions about the current status of a company in the purchase decision process. You can read how Implisense Pro can help you use them for your marketing in a previous post on our blog.
Help to shape the decision-making process of potential customers from the very beginning and benefit from a noticeable simplification of work in sales. With an integrated content marketing strategy, you guide prospective customers through the entire B2B customer journey to a successful deal.