Who are you? The answer matters. It should be one of the first considerations for any content.
Let’s start with you. You’re reading this because you might be looking for an agency to help you with lead gen. Or maybe you think that marketing automation could solve a manpower problem. Or perhaps you’re running out of content and need new ideas and ways to get them into print. In practice, each of those objectives requires content that’s specific to each one.
Of course, this is a blog, which is a little more generic, but the subject matter acts as a guide – for readers and search engines alike. But for anyone interested in how content can and should be used for Marketing and Sales, this blog can be useful, and usefulness is key.
Why? Because content should rarely focus on the source. It shouldn’t tell prospects about how great a company or product is because, well, frankly… that’s the last thing on their list of things to learn about. But which prospects and which list? That’s the challenge.
In any B2B buying cycle, you’re likely to find an
- short lister
- decision maker
- check signer.
They might be separate individuals or, in smaller firms, someone who handles several (or all) of the steps. Yet even a single person doing everything will have a specific list of concerns, and those are the things that your content must address.
KNOW WHO NEEDS WHAT
An initiator might only look at your website; they simply need to know whether a solution to their problem is available at all. Yet the researcher has to look deeper. That person must discover all the options available, calculate potential costs (and total cost of ownership), determine if a product is compatible or service is available, and compare (and maybe chart) each competitor’s plusses and minusses.
With all that information, the short listers and evaluators can do their jobs. Yet the influencer might have totally different concerns. The purchase of a manufacturing component may solve a factory floor problem, but the maintenance manager – an influencer – will want to know about the mean time to failure or the parts availability or the impact of training that’s required to make repairs.
The influencers need their own content and, like everyone else, they need it in a form that makes sense to them – charts and graphs instead of text, for example – and using terms they understand, such as cycle times or failover capabilities or downtime prevention measures. Then, with everyone else’s input, the recommenders should have content that helps them reach the conclusions that they pass along to the decision maker… who may still need content about (finally) the company’s stability, track record of innovation or customer service or consulting expertise, and possibly financing terms.
This is all to say that context matters – your buyers’ context. Not yours. Because when you can give them the information they need that can persuade them to do business with you, they’ll be primed to hear all about your company’s and products’ obvious superiority.
Now about your needs…. If you do need to improve the quality of your lead gen efforts, boost the efficiency of your marketing by adding automation, or raise the bar on the content you provide to all those people whose opinion will affect what their company buys, we can help. Discover how by exploring the rest of our website, sending me an email at [email protected], or calling us at 800-366-1877. Tell us about the problems you need to solve, and we’ll provide a range of solutions (in terms that everyone can understand).
Authored by M.H. (Mac) McIntosh, President, AcquireB2B