While many B2B marketers are stumped when it comes to content marketing, these numbers should show the importance of them taking it up, nonetheless.
Almost 70% of the sales cycle is completed before the sales person meets the customer. Ninety two per cent of buyers use online resources to research before meeting the salesperson – but only 26% of B2B marketers do content marketing. Then again, that number is set to go as high as 60%.
Therefore, it is important to influence customers before your sales person turns up on their doors or competitors grab their attention, said Jagdeep Singh, commercial EUC marketing programme manager at APJ Dell.
“It is also important to provide content whose sole aim is not to conclude a sale, but to enhance the knowledge of the customer about the solutions which are out there.”
When it comes to content, it is imperative brands, especially B2B brands, emphasise effectiveness over creativity. “You could have the most creative ideas, but if it doesn’t reach the right audience in the most relevant way possible, it’s not doing anything,” he said adding that the right content inspires, educates, entertains and convinces.
“If it fails these tests, it is not great content.”
Citing the example of Dell’s Tech centre, he said the centre, which is another landing site within Dell which educates visitors about products, was not created with the intention to make a sale immediately. Rather, it was created with the intention to make training easier. However, over the years it has led to incremental revenues.
In eight months of 2013 alone, it generated 2600 leads for the company and 40% more revenue from existing customers who underwent the free trainings.
“There is a hunger to learn [among audiences]. They are that much more stoked if they [customers] are not bombarded by messages to buy things,” he said.
Among its customers, Dell often invites a few who can come to its events and talk to other customers. “We have also created a content online community where people who use Dell and love it, share their knowledge; we do not pay them or anything, but we see amazing results. They are all tech guys uploading their videos and such and we have more than one million views each month.”
Content marketing tips for those marketing to SMEs
There are two. SMEs look up to big businesses and aspire to become one. Entrepreneurs who have made it big are their heroes – not celebrities – so cater your marketing strategy to put these heroes in front of them. And second, peer endorsement works really well in getting SME clients on board.
Dell’s “Take your own path” was one such campaign. It was Dell’s first global campaign using real business entrepreneurs all over the world as heroes to promote Dell and its products, aimed at SMEs.
Watch the video:
While it started in India, it was soon picked up by nine countries and featured a total of 30 heroes. “We used the same content across channels because it is relatable,” Singh said.
Having the right content quantity and quality makes or breaks marketing communications, he said. “Content marketing is an idea whose time has come; the ROI from traditional marketing activities are diminishing.”