Pull marketing is aimed directly at the end consumer and aims to ensure that customers approach you in a demand-oriented manner. In the generation of leads in B2B online marketing, however, the pull strategy is often subject to a strong limitation.
On the one hand, because there is relatively little search volume, on the other hand, because in business-to-business an average of eleven so-called touchpoints are required until the customer makes a final purchase decision.
So what alternative is there so that you and your company are not lost in the vastness of the Internet? The solution is to push marketing in the form of content marketing. With this concept, you transform a slumbering need into a conscious demand among your potential customers. So you “push” your offer to your customers in an appealing way and let your business grow continuously.
In the beginning, there was the customer: Interesting facts about buying centers and buyer personas
Anyone who wants to advertise a product or service in B2B has to deal with a complex network (buying center) of decision-makers. On average, 5.4 people are involved in the purchase decision. B2B entrepreneurs are confronted with different desired customers, who in turn face various challenges.
What is the buying center?
A buying centre is all employees of a company who are involved in the decision to buy a product or service. The buying centre mostly includes people from all hierarchical levels of the company – from managing directors to IT specialists.
You can certainly imagine that it is not an easy task to target every single member of a buying centre with your content. If you don’t want to talk past your ideal customer, you need a precise idea of their interests, wishes and media skills. So-called Buyer personas make it easier for you to gather this important information.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a representation of a fictitious person who is representative of your typical customer. In contrast to the definition of the target group, the buyer persona gives your desired customer a specific face. In addition to general information such as the name, age, gender or marital status of the dream customer, needs, challenges, characteristics, doubts, and goals are also noted.
You can obtain the data for your buyer personas either from existing information about your existing customers or by doing market research. Buyer personas help you to outline the so-called customer journey for each specific customer and to adapt your content marketing to the respective needs optimally.
Entry into the customer journey
The customer journey represents the journey that the customer goes through from the first contact with your brand through to the purchase decision. On the way to the purchase, the prospect comes into contact with numerous touchpoints, which vary greatly depending on the customer type.
In particular, the touchpoint for entering the customer journey must be precisely defined and is closely linked to the following question: What usually triggers the first step in the customer journey for this customer?
The entry into the customer journey can be influenced by the selected topic and the content of the content. Depending on the industry, it makes sense, for example, to produce educational content – for example, if the target group is not yet aware of your specific solution. The art is to understand different user behaviour exactly and to pick up the customer at the entry point that is typical for him.
Strategy and topic planning as the basis for your content marketing
Have you identified the challenges using the buyer personas and information about the buying centre and customer journey? Then you can now start the planning and execution phase. Because of the different personas that influence the decision-making process, your primary goal is to produce multi-layered content of various types.
As with any strategy, the clear structure of the procedure plays a decisive role. To create good content, you should not just shoot it straight away, but plan it well and appropriately.
It is best to write down the following key points:
- Who am I creating the content for? What is the vision behind it?
- What problems should my content solve?
- What makes my content unique?
- In what format do I want to publish my content?
- (we’ll come to the different types of content later)
- On which channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, website, etc.) do I want to publish the content?
- Which CMS (Content Management System) do I use to manage the content?
- What is the editorial plan for the respective content?
The message arrived: The different types of content
When it comes to packaging relevant content for your buyer personas appropriately, there are (almost) no limits to your imagination. The most popular types of content include:
This form of content is mostly on your website and is published at regular intervals. A blog post provides the audience with helpful information with added value and can be shared on social media. The goal is to generate visitors for your website and thus new leads.
E-books are considered to be excellent lead magnets: After potential customers reveal their contact information, in return, they receive an attractive e-book with detailed further information on how to solve their problem.
Infographics are very popular because they convey a considerable amount of information in an appealing, simple way.
Today’s buyers belong to a generation of people who prefer to consume content by watching videos. A good way to publish your content in a targeted manner.
So-called case studies offer your prospects hard, interesting facts about their industry. You can also use it to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Of course, there are numerous other content formats such as instructions, white papers, webinars or podcasts that are suitable for optimizing your content marketing strategy.
The scaling in B2B online marketing takes place primarily through the selection of topics, but also the distribution and recycling of the content. Around 71 percent of B2B sales research starts with an organic search. Therefore, ensure good visibility in your top topics. You can particularly promote your digital growth in B2B via the following channels:
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Co. enable you to position your product or service on the market. With the help of various tools, you can precisely analyze data on the behavior of your customers and thereby make your content marketing even more targeted. Social media is comparatively inexpensive and is also suitable for small B2B companies with a reduced budget.
Lead campaigns with publishers
More and more publishers are offering individual lead campaigns. Through various elements such as webinars, white papers or email automation, they draw attention to the product or service of the advertising company.
The term native ads (or advertorials) is used to hide advertisements in the editorial environment that are similar to journalistic content and are therefore not perceived by the reader as obvious advertising. They appear less intrusive and reach your target group in a topic-relevant environment – for example as a “sponsored post” in industry-specific specialist magazines.
The good old blog. Blog posts give you the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your expertise regularly and gain the trust of your future customers. By integrating lead magnets, you can also add valuable contacts to your mailing list.
Everything for the content marketing strategy
Attractive content is an essential part of your business success. To create tailor-made content, you need a sound knowledge of the behaviour, needs and goals of your dream customer. A well-thought-out content marketing strategy supports you in growing in the digital world and in hitting your prospects.