Reshaping B2B Marketing and Employee Advocacy
Updated: Mar 27, 2022
There is a common belief that B2B marketing is an entirely different game as compared to B2C marketing. The hypothesis is that B2B buyers are less emotional and more rational as compared to B2C buyers. We assume that B2B buyers always do a lot of research before buying.
This is not entirely true. The rules of the game are slowly changing. If you are not in 'Content Game' then this article is for you.
Let us look at a couple of research reports.
1) 'Building Bionic Capabilities for B2B Marketing' published by BCG dated March-8-2021. This report says that B2B customers are increasingly relying on rich content and highly personalized online engagement to guide their purchase decisions.
Another BCG report for the year 2020 says that 70% of B2B buyers use smartphones to search for products.
2) 'Strategic Social Media is Essential for Driving B2B Sales' an article by Forbes, says that 83% of executives that choose a vendor on behalf of their company use social media in their decision-making, and 92% of that segment says that social media influenced a purchasing decision.
3) '75+ B2B MARKETING STATISTICS TO KNOW IN 2020' A research report by Blue Corona says that when researching new products and services, today’s B2B buyer makes an average of 12 searches online and looks for the same digital experience they encounter during the B2C sales cycle. So what is the take-away? Content Marketing is very important in B2B marketing. When we say 'content marketing' we are talking about B2B long-term engagement and relationship building with our potential customers.
Following are the important points to be remembered in B2B Content Marketing. 1) B2B engagement is more of 'thought leadership and meaningful insights', tailor-made opinions, and an evidence-based approach. This is usually long-form content containing practical examples of the customers. Oftentimes, this form of content involves the voice of the customer.
2) One should consider a mix of various forms of content for more meaningful B2B engagement. Many companies do not think beyond LinkedIn when it comes to B2B Content Marketing. I am not denying the fact that Linkedin is the most important platform for the dissemination of content for B2B.
When it comes to blogging and LinkedIn posts, or articles, one can not add emotions, contextual details, and story-telling into it. Audio (podcasts), webinars, and videos are better forms of content since the voice of real customers can be captured. These forms of content are more engaging.
The aim of B2B Content Marketing is to reach out to the audience with the 'right search intent'. The influencer in this case is an industry expert with domain expertise. Who is the influencer?
Do not worry. I am not talking about any celebrity who can endorse your product as an influencer.
The best product expert or influencer of your product is your employee. For example, salespeople advocate your product in every demo and in each interaction with the customer. Yes. You heard it right. Your employees know about your product better than anyone else. They know the context. They know the common questions; they know the right answers. In my experience, your employees can connect with the audience better because they bring that authenticity to the context with real-life examples. How employees can become B2B influencers? In order to be successful in business, it is important for employees to build relationships with other businesses. This can be done by becoming a B2B influencer. There are several ways that employees can become B2B influencers. One way is to create helpful content. Employees can also share their expertise with others and make connections with other businesses. Employees can also participate in social media groups and forums where they can share their knowledge and connect with others. 1) Establish your credibility. Before you start promoting yourself as an expert, make sure that your audience knows who you are and what you stand for. Create valuable content that showcases your knowledge and expertise. As I had mentioned earlier, the 'general' or myopic content will not work in the B2B context.
2) Identify the right employees who can be your voice.
All employees may not have that deep insight and skill to express themselves. It is always better to identify the right employees who can express themselves clearly in different formats of content.
2) Define a framework
A broad framework can help employees decide what to focus on and what not to or how to convey the message with a brand voice.
3) What do you want to achieve?
The goal can be more engagement, more conversation or Marketing Qualified Leads. 4) Engage other employees to share and comment on the content.
B2B Content Marketing is a long-term game.
As a business-to-business (B2B) influencer, you know the importance of content amplification. But what are the best tactics for doing so? Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your content:
1. Publish great content.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that quality content is key to success. Make sure your content is original, relevant, and well-written. Also, make sure you’re providing useful information to your audience. After all, your audience is interested in your industry and wants to learn more about it.
2. Share great content with others.
To get the most out of your content, consider sharing it with others. If you’re creating content for your own audience, share it on your blog and social media sites. If you’re creating content for a larger audience, consider sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks.
3. Promote your content.
Once you’ve created great content, make sure that you actually promote it. Promoting your content means sharing it on your blog, social media sites, and other places where you can get people to visit your site. This also includes promoting the content via email communications and in interviews.