B2B buyers are spending more time looking at content online and less time interacting with sales and customers service reps. Here’s how to use content to attract leads, turn them into customers, and keep them coming back …
Here’s a sobering statistic from Gartner …By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with enterprises without interacting with a human.
If this comes true, your sales reps will have less power to sway customers face-to-face or on the phone. Meanwhile, your customer success team won’t have as many opportunities to deliver an amazing experience.
So, how are B2B buyers interacting with enterprises and getting the information they need to make informed buying decisions?
According to Earnest Agency, 81% of B2B purchases start with a web search. When customers are ready to buy, they’ll find you.
This means that your online content will need to do the heavy lifting
Here are five ways you can use content to improve your customer experience:
1. Focus your content strategy on your customers.image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/customer-focused-content-strategy.jpg.jpg
Avoid boring customers by creating content that focuses on them, rather than your sales pitch.
Today’s customers can smell a sales pitch a mile away. If you constantly push your products, you’ll bore customers and cause them to tune out.
2. Personalize your content.
My husband, Charlie, finds personalized content.
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all content. Customers won’t respond unless your content speaks directly to their needs, challenges, and goals.
The demand for personalized content stemmed from the consumer world, where buyers can do everything from view customized Amazon recommendations to pick produce for their organic delivery box.
In the B2B space, content personalization can include giving customers relevant white papers, case studies, and email content. And you don’t necessarily need to recreate the wheel to personalize all of your content.
For example, you can take one of your white papers and change parts of it – such as the case studies and introduction – to speak to a different audience.
Then, you can give leads the option to select their role, industry, or biggest challenge when they download a white paper. This gets them more involved in the process. If they know that they are getting a piece of custom content, they will be more likely to read it. They will also get something that speaks directly to their needs.
3. Make your content accessible.
People like to consume content in different ways, make sure you have offer a variety of mediums across different channels.
Providing a great customer experience means creating content that customers can view on any device.
Make sure that your content is accessible on all popular devices and that it automatically resizes to look good on different screens.
Another way to make your content accessible is to share it across different channels. For example, not all of your customers will want to read a long blog post. Try turning some of your blog posts into videos, podcasts, or SlideShare presentations, so you can reach customers who prefer different mediums.
4. Honesty is the new black.
Be honest about mistakes and flaws. People will trust you more.
Addressing your weaknesses makes your brand more human. Instead of hiding your product’s flaws, put them out in the open. Customers will appreciate your honesty and be more likely to trust you.
I recently attended a content marketing event
where the panelists discussed honesty. They said that their most successful blog posts and videos were about their mistakes.
5. Make it easy for customers to take the next step.
Don’t force customers to go where you want them to, make it easy for them to find the information they need.
Think of your content like a trail. Put up “signs” that lead customers to the next piece of content and further into your sales cycle.
To do this, find out what customers in different stages of the sales cycle are asking. Then, build a trail of content that addresses each question in the order that they ask them. Your trail shouldn’t be about forcing customers to go where you want them to go but about making it easy for them to find the information that they need.
Your content has a huge impact on your customer experience. The more your content helps customers achieve their goals, the more they will sing your praises and recommend you to others.
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