Thanks to the internet, today’s consumer is more educated than ever. In fact, according to Challenger Performance Optimization, Inc., 89% of business-to-business (B2B) consumers initiate their purchase journey independently—without the help of suppliers. So, if you want to stand out from the competition and engage B2B consumers, your brand must maximize its online presence through strategies such as content marketing and marketing claims validation. Use these six tactics to help differentiate your brand and engage B2B consumers online.
1. Provide useful and engaging online content
According to the CMO Council, 87% of B2B consumers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions. So, when brands serve up rich, online content, they reap the rewards, such as increased search visibility and customer engagement.
Create useful and easy-to-digest content targeted to your specific audience. In addition to traditional marketing content, provide product comparisons, case studies, and even online reviews to engage consumers across different stages of the customer journey. When possible, add links to more in-depth information.
2. Optimize content for search engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a major role in ensuring consumers find your brand, products, and services. Identify the keywords and long-tail keyword phrases your target audience uses to search for your brand and products.
If you don’t know where to start, consider investing in SEO tools that help you identify keywords and frequently searched questions. Then, integrate these keywords and phrases into your content in a meaningful way, targeting headings, introductory paragraphs, links, and other areas in your copy.
3. Build pillar pages
Increasingly, search engines use machine learning to serve up the most accurate information possible, even if it’s not identical to what the consumer searches on. Additionally, consumers are now searching in more conversational ways, rather than one- to two-word phrases.
For this reason, many companies aggregate related topics or “topic clusters” onto higher-level and highly searchable pillar pages. Consider using pillar pages to provide backlinks to more in-depth blog posts and other content on your website. Setting up your site’s content in this way can help increase its search ranking.
4. Publish informative articles to your blog and beyond
Did you know that 80% of business decision-makers[i] prefer to get company information from a series of articles versus an advertisement? As B2B consumers become more reliant on their own research and skeptical of marketing claims, it’s important to publish informative articles on your blog.
So, what kinds of articles should you write? Use frequently searched keywords and keyword phrases to identify topics that could be helpful to your audience. Talk to sellers to understand customer pain points and common questions. Be sure to promote articles on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. The more people who view your content, the higher up it will appear in search results.
5. Look beyond your company website
Make sure your brand shows up elsewhere on the web. Seek out industry leaderboards and websites that highlight the best companies or products in your industry. Being featured by a different publication or a highly regarded expert in the industry can boost your credibility and keep your brand top of mind.
Additionally, look for opportunities to publish original content in industry or news publications. This way, buyers are not just finding your content through your site—and you may pick up a few new readers along the way.
6. Prioritize marketing claims validation
Trust matters more than ever to today’s B2B consumer. According to a survey by Clutch.Co, 94% of B2B consumers have used an online review to help make a B2B buying decision. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents answered that the validity of a review (how reputable the source is) is the most important factor.
There are multiple ways to have your products and services validated. Options include using third-party review sites, adding user reviews to your website, and commissioning an independent third-party source to perform research on your product.
Third-party marketing claims validation from Beyondsoft is one of the best ways to build credibility with B2B consumers. Our global experts perform rigorous, unbiased testing and competitive research to assess the accuracy of your brand’s marketing and advertising claims. We then provide an evidence-based report certifying that your product performs to the specifications you claim as well as its advantages over competing products. And B2B consumers get the confidence they need to put their trust in your brand and products.
Engaging B2B consumers in a saturated online marketplace isn’t easy. But when you apply these tactics, you can increase your chances of standing out amongst your competitors.
[i] Harris, Jody, ‘How to Win Your Battle for Content Marketing Buy-in,’ available at: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/03/buy-in-conversation-content-marketing/