Companies that sell technical, feature-rich products often have a misconception that buyers aren't interested in reading blog content about their products and their businesses.
While buyers are slow to engage with content that discusses what products are and sometimes how they work, meaningful content explaining the why behind the brand is marketing dynamite.
All brands need a story and they need to show buyers why they're different. Fortunately, unlike sales where you have to manually recite your message over and over again, content marketing allows you to craft your marketing message once and have it delivered an infinite amount of times. This marketing leverage - an fixed investment in marketing assets that will return the investment over time.
Content marketing also makes it easier for buyers to find your brand in places they're already looking, such as Google. By creating a company blog, you can generate traffic to your website from search engines, while also showing buyers why your brand matters. However, content marketing is more than a tool for lead generation and brand awareness, it also makes your sales team more effective.
There's never been a more effective way to get buyers excited about your brand, even with the most technical products, than with content marketing.
Strategic marketing content gives companies the opportunity to communicate why their products exist; to participate in the conversation and speak directly to the people they serve.
Throughout history, humans have communicated through storytelling. Before the written word, we had to rely on storytelling to pass information from one generation to the next. Our fascination with stories is even studied in brain science.
Researchers believe that stories are easier for us to memorize than other bits of information. Stories are also more relatable. We don't naturally relate to a product until we know how it ties into our lives.
Companies have been leveraging the power of storytelling to plant their products in the hearts and minds of buyers for centuries. The advantage that modern companies have is the ability to communicate with the world through their websites, blogs and social media.
Today's automobiles are known more for being the same than for being unique. They tend to have the same features, the same general styling, and comparable pricing. We might tell ourselves that we purchase vehicles based on features, but in reality we are purchasing an experience.
When you think of legendary American muscle cars, the Ford Mustang is one of the first that comes to mind, without fail. It's not because Mustangs are the fastest or best-looking sports cars, it's because Ford has crafted a brand story that's grown into a legend.
In the documentary A Faster Horse, we see that Ford designs the Mustang in a way to keep that story alive. From the sound of the revving engine to the feel of the seats, they carefully manufacture the Mustang to tell a story.
However, your brand doesn't need to make a documentary to create a story. Believe it or not, a B2B blog is all you need to get started.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of ranking at the top of search engines for specific keywords and other search phrases. A company blog is the most powerful and cost-effective SEO tool available.
You need a blog if you want to tell your brand story online and you want to get discovered in search engines.
Content Marketing Shows Buyers Why You're Different
All purchasing decisions, even B2B, are emotional decisions. A recent study found that 71% of buyers who see a personal value in a B2B purchase will end up buying the product or service. Granted, logic is also involved because buyers still need to make smart business purchases.
When you explain all of the features/specs of your product you are addressing how it works. This is the logical part of the equation.
However, the problem is many technical B2B products have similar features. They at least have the features that most buyers in their market require.
What sets one brand apart from the other? Or a better question is -- why purchase from one company over another?
If features are the how, benefits are the why -- the desired outcome. For example, one of the features of the Mustang is bucket seats. The benefit of bucket seats is that they make you feel like you're in a race car.
Buyers need to know why your features matter to them and your company blog is the perfect outlet to shine light on your product's benefits. You can also use your blog to show buyers why your company does everything it does.
Content Marketing Helps Sales Teams
Sales teams love content marketing because it makes their lives much easier. More specifically, content marketing:
- Attracts more leads
- Generates warmer leads
- Answers most basic questions
Prospective buyers are actively searching online for the product you offer. Buyers prefer to do their own research online and, on average, B2B leads are already up to 90% through the buyer's journey before ever contacting a sales rep.
Content marketing allows you to deliver your marketing message to buyers in the way that they prefer. If you avoid content marketing, and your competitors don't, prospects will go with the brands that communicate with them.
Although content marketing is the most efficient strategy for attracting inbound leads, sales reps benefit in other ways, as well. In addition to telling your story and explaining your products' benefits, your company blog is a great place to answer all of the common questions that your sales reps are bombarded with.
Leads that have read your company blog are already familiar with your brand, what sets you apart, and have had most of their basic questions answered. Now when they contact sales they can get straight to the high-level questions that relate to their business specifically.
This saves your sales team a lot of time and hassle. Also, when you have blog posts (or other content materials) that address major concerns or obstacles in a lead's purchasing decision, your sales rep can quickly send them a link to the content.
Not only does this address their concerns, it gives them something to take back to their teams. This ensures your marketing message doesn't get lost in translation and makes it easier for sales reps to have a conversation with other key decision-makers in that firm.
Each piece of content you publish is a marketing asset you can monetize via sales channels. And as you continue to invest more into your content marketing, the leads and new business opportunities compound over time.