Time to read: 3 minutes. There is a new, more effective kind business-to-business (B2B) content marketing emerging. It’s a better system you should be using to exploit the selling potential of social marketing platforms like LinkedIn, blogging, Twitter, video etc. Surprisingly, this new B2B content marketing method has traditional roots. It’s based on what works—amplifying concepts that have always worked for leading B2B marketers.
It’s just re-tweaking today’s best strategies for our hyper-networked, always-on world.
A Buyer’s Decision Model
Let’s face it, we hear too much hype about the importance of trust in social marketing—as if needing to be trusted by customers is a innovative new idea. Yet behind all the spin there’s a powerful new approach emerging that you can use as a foundation for every B2B content marketing strategy you run.
In the past, selling B2B services looked like this. It’s been mostly about a selling process:
1. Lead qualification
3. Objection management
5. Buyer’s remorse (sometimes!)
The new buyer-focused decision model (forced upon us by the Internet) looks like this:
For years now we’ve been hearing “it’s not about how we are selling it’s about how customers go about buying.”
Well duh! Realizing this means nothing. Acting is everything. Building practical B2B social marketing strategies that create leads and sales (not just “value” or engagement) is a must.
From Messenger to Trusted Adviser
A content-focused buying decision model is different than a selling process. Herein lies the emergence of an entirely new industry that hot new companies ranging from point-of-sale messaging firms like Corporate Visions and Launch International to software-based lead generation (“inbound marketing”) companies HubSpot are set to exploit.
So what’s in it for you and your brand?
“This model provides a framework for how buyers make decisions and, ultimately, how sales people can build trust by helping buyers make effective buying decisions,” says Kreutzer, a 25-year veteran of building winning sales organizations on an international scale.
Think about that for a minute. As content marketers, what if our job is actually less about messages or email “blasts” and more about guidance and education? In this context the power of a buyer decision-making model (as the foundation of your content marketing strategy) comes into clear focus.
Social marketing suddenly becomes very practical—able to be designed to produce leads and sales, consistently.
What if you could bring marketing and sales together by helping customers:
- Engage in critical thinking and situational analysis—placing less strategic emphasis on qualifying leads and coming up with killer content marketing messaging?
- Move toward or away from your services—gaining confidence in decisions they’re making thanks the trusted, needed advice we provide.
- Determine ‘best fit’ by publishing powerful (“transparent”) and overtly honest truths—helping customers evaluate all options available to them through useful decision-making tools and education.
What if “the doing of” all these things resulted in creative, effective brand messaging, better quality leads and shorter sales cycles? Well they already are for some businesses.
What about you and yours?
Photo credit: David Salafia
About the Author
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.