When working with B2B clients there is always one thing that makes them struggle. One hurdle that always seems the hardest to overcome. This is especially true for businesses that have been around for a while. The hurdle is: Why should I invest in content marketing? I just want to do more sales!
The thing is, content marketing definitely requires more effort. And properly executed content marketing is more expensive than just running an ad campaign. But what is the alternative?
Research and reality show that content marketing has become an invaluable resource to complement a large part of a sales person’s job. Specifically the ability to inform a prospect about all possible options or even show them different features that work in their benefit. Prospects can then read and absorb this on their own time, usually with the help of Google or YouTube.
A large portion of your target audience’s search for your solution, be it a product or a service, begins on the internet. And it usually starts with a problem, a problem you could be solving by creating high-quality marketing content to educate your audience.
Let me share an example. From time to time, I enjoy working from coffee shops. I like to do something different every now and then to change up my environment. As a result of this, on the days at home when I wasn’t awash in the aromas of espresso and caramel, I became convinced that I needed a better coffee maker at home. I mean, who doesn’t love the smell and taste of a freshly brewed espresso at a good coffee shop, right?
Over time there have been a couple of triggers, of course. Like friends of mine getting a nice Rocket manual espresso machine that turns making an espresso into an art form. The automatic Jura at the office that comes pretty close to the coffee shop quality, and the Jura at my parents place. And here I am, with my Nespresso machine that suddenly reeks of imitation coffee shop realness in comparison.
With the problem and the triggers in place, this brought me on a journey of looking at my options.
So first I turn to Google, and start looking for things like “Manual vs automatic espresso machines”. Moments later I have a few tabs with different posts about this topic. A lot of them originating from coffee brand blogs in the form of content marketing. After weighing the pros and cons, I decide I want an automatic machine for it’s convenience. Especially since the taste isn’t supposed to be that much different from a manual machine.
Next I turn to YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine. Since I’m already familiar with Jura’s automatic coffee machines, I start looking at videos comparing their lineup. While I am watching these videos, YouTube is starting to suggest some comparison videos for automatic coffee machines from other brands as well. I notice that a lot of these videos are filmed in shops where someone from the staff or maybe the owner is presenting them.
After my research I decide to go with a Jura E8, whereas in the beginning, I started with a Rocket Appartamento. Most of this process taking place by my own self-guided online research.
Research shows that, as part of this whole process, one of the first websites I’ve visited will likely influence the search results I receive during my last step when buying an espresso machine. Google and YouTube own and manage a lot of data, including the history of pages and channels you’ve visited or watched. And because you are familiar with them, they presume it’s more likely you’ll want to see more of the relevant content they have, based on your search.
In short, that alone makes it worth spending time on top-of-funnel content topics like “Manual vs automatic espresso machines”. Even when you are not selling the former. It’s better to serve people with good, honest content and make them familiar with your brand, rather than always trying to only sell them on what you offer. Being honest with people is a strategy that will pay off in the long run, I promise.
Now for this post I used a coffee maker as an example. But last time I was in the market for buying a new car, I was watching YouTube videos of the models that piqued my interest before I ever set foot in a brand’s showroom.
So next time you are debating whether to invest in a high-quality content strategy, remember the coffee. Try to see the whole picture, the whole customer journey, and how the internet can help you.. This is your advantage and will even make the job of your sales people easier.
If you want to learn more about how that works, watch my video where I tell you all about it.