B2B sales cycles have always been lengthy. But their length increased even more after the pandemic. For perspective, a 2020 survey revealed that 77% of B2B buyers spent more time researching, which increased the length of the sales cycle. And two years later, in 2022, nothing’s changed. If anything, 32% of B2B buyers now use more sources to research and evaluate purchases.
You need to show up on the web, provide your prospects with relevant and insightful information, and help them make purchase decisions easily if you want to convert prospects quicker. Content marketing, when done right, can help ensure all of the above. Here are 10 reasons to get into it now.
10 Reasons Why Content Marketing Matters in B2B
1. To Boost Lead Conversion
If you’re not using content marketing, your prospects are perhaps choosing your competitors over you. Based on a report, B2B buyers, when choosing a solutions provider, look for –
- Easy access to content that caters to their needs
- Access to pricing and other information
- Demonstration of expertise in the industry niche
- Content demonstrating features and functionality of the product, among a range of other things.
When you create content to address all these questions, you inadvertently help your buyers with research. You address their pain points, solve their unique problems and build trust with them. This gently nudges them further through the sales funnel, helping you win more customers.
2. To Reduce Marketing Costs
Experts say that B2B marketing costs should only be 2-5% of the total revenue earned. But ensuring that the budget does not exceed that figure is difficult, especially if you use traditional marketing tactics.
With B2B content marketing, companies only need to make an initial investment. Once the content is created, it can drive organic traffic to your website over time. Sure, the content will need refreshes regularly. But it can also be repurposed into plenty of engaging formats and shared across platforms.
3. To Improve Demand Generation
Demand generation is a surefire way of increasing brand awareness and generating interest across all sales cycle stages. And far too often, it is easier said than done. While there are many strategies you can apply to boost demand generation, you can supplement it further with content marketing.
Content marketing can educate your prospects and address their unique pain points. And you can do this for every stage of the sales funnel. When prospects see that you regularly cater to their demands, they will more likely be interested in your products and services.
4. To Generate Leads Through Building Trust
Engaging in content marketing efforts and consistently putting out high-quality content helps brands build interest and trust with their audience. A portion of this audience may not only read the content but also navigate through the site. If your product caters to this prospect’s needs, they might also become potential leads.
Going by HubSpot’s B2B content marketing statistics, 15% of all marketers already measure the success of their content marketing efforts to the number of leads generated. So, if you haven’t considered adopting content marketing for lead generation, this is your cue to get into it.
5. To Improve Brand Awareness
Posting content regularly helps your followers recognize your brand. Even a single piece of helpful content can stir your followers’ interest in your products and services. Before you know it, they may spend time on your website and recall your product or service whenever they need a similar service. And this can help you generate leads and gain paying customers over time.
6. To Create Versatile Content That Can be Used Across Channels
Creating content for B2B marketing doesn’t end at filling up your blog archives. It also means creating white papers, case studies, and more on relevant topics, rehashing existing content for specific platforms.
Remember that repurposing your content on different platforms helps you do two things. One, it helps you optimize the content for the platform, and this makes your content more visible to your audience on the platform. And two, it helps you connect with a larger audience who aren’t following you on these platforms. Some of these people may become leads, and a smaller percentage become paying customers over time.
6. To Increase Engagement
When you share content across different platforms as part of your content marketing efforts, you open channels for connection and discussions in the comments. Potential leads could ask you for advice or share a perspective with you in the comment box. You could engage with them and connect with prospects on a personal level. These types of sustained interactions build customer trust and eventually push prospects into becoming paying customers.
8. To Get Insights Into Your Ideal Customer
Along with building trust, customer interactions with content formats give important cues to customer intent. For instance, if prospects spend more time viewing your product use cases, they could be at the product consideration stage of the sales cycle. This information can help drive further customer interactions and convert leads into customers.
9. To Increase Website Ranking
51% of buyers researched B2B products and services over the web. So, if you don’t have a web presence, you might lose your prospects to your competitors. Fortunately, when paired with strategic SEO, a content marketing strategy can help boost your web presence.
While relevant and insightful content can provide value to your prospects, strategic SEO can help you rank better on the web. Together these tactics can improve brand awareness and reach.
10. To Position Yourself as an Industry Leader
B2B customers spend copious amounts of time evaluating B2B products and services, increasing the sales cycle length. But when they trust a brand, they are more likely to make a purchase decision earlier.
Consistent, high-quality thought leadership content can help you establish yourself as an industry leader and a credible resource. And over 86% of marketers already use content marketing to establish credibility through content.
Content marketing may have been around for a long time in the B2B space. But with 43% of B2B marketers having a documented content plan, it’s safe to assume that it is the way ahead. Start with content marketing to convert your target audience into paying customers. Make a content plan today.