Creating Content for B2B Audiences

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You’re surrounded with examples of great content for B2C offers. Everywhere you look, you see reviews of consumer electronics, recipes including a beloved product from supermarket shelves or commercials for the latest sales event at a big box store. Marketing to other professionals in adjacent industries isn’t the same. The products and services a B2B company sells aren’t usually impulse buys, and buyers are far more market-savvy than the audience for consumer products. When publishing website content for B2B visitors, keep these guidelines in mind.

Talk to Your Whole Audience

For most consumer purchases, copy only has to reach a single decision-maker. Large investments such as a home or a car might bring in another voice or two as spouses and families give their input. In B2B marketing, your content has to connect with a number of influential people, including the executive who decides when it’s time to buy, the CFO who checks the budget to see if the expenditure’s affordable and the personnel who will use the product. You want to connect with the people who hold the purse strings, but don’t neglect others who influence the decision-making process.

Expect Longer Waits for Results

The orders companies place with their B2B suppliers could affect countless customers and cost millions. Those decisions aren’t made lightly or quickly. The lead time between when your business content is published and when it bears fruit could be months, so it needs to be evergreen. Evergreen content doesn’t become dated within a few months and still has something to say to readers months or years after its publication. Keep your B2B content largely free of narrow topical and time-sensitive information so it continues to work for you as long as you have it available. Save the timely information for social media and quick blog posts or email blasts; those channels are ideal for up-to-the-minute information.

Give Them Solutions

Few impulse buys happen in B2B sales. The great majority of B2B buyers who come across your content do so because they have an issue that needs a solution, not because they just happened to be browsing on a lunch break. They’re keenly aware of the challenge they’re facing and want content that addresses it directly. One example comes from a highly consumer-oriented industry: fast food. An article in the Wall Street Journal outlines the problem fast food companies have had with declining sales of french fries, a high-margin item for the chains. After testing, researchers found customers wanted ketchup with their fries but also wanted to eat them on the go. The company needed a ketchup supplier that could deliver a more convenient product than messy packets. Heinz came up with the “Dip and Squeeze” package, a product that let end users get their convenient ketchup. Wendy’s converted its restaurants to the new packaging, netting Heinz a major profit from a high-profile client.

Know the Industry

B2B buyers typically have a great deal more knowledge about their industry than B2C consumers, and your content has to reach them on that level. They aren’t interested in how-to basics or overviews aimed at beginners. Your content creation team should work closely with you to develop video, articles and blog posts that show a higher level of understanding. If you’re using industry-specific terms, use them correctly; your audience is well educated about their business, and they expect suppliers and service providers to have some familiarity with it too.

Let Them Get to Know You

In consumer sales, buyers might have a relationship with a brand or a product, but they don’t always connect directly with the seller. For B2B sales, the seller is often as important to buying decisions as the product itself. Content that shows your personality lets your buyers get to know you. Video tours of your facility or snapshots of your staff at work connect with B2B buyers. Don’t be shy about working with your content team to create a distinctive brand voice.

© Business Content, Inc. 2014 All Rights Reserved.

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