Quality content has the potential to help B2B marketers cost-effectively drive ROI. The key to pulling this off requires a commitment to providing content that puts your audience’s needs first. And it must happen at every point in the selling cycle. It’s also going to take some time and patience.
A recent survey by Clutch Research finds that 88 percent of B2B audiences read business content online at least once weekly to stay informed, research companies and make purchasing decisions. This means construction companies who understand how to interact with B2B audiences can take advantage of multiple opportunities to engage potential customers as every stage of the client lifecycle.
According to the Clutch Report and Google, almost 90 percent of B2B audiences begin their purchasing process through search. Forrester data demonstrates that approximately three quarters of B2B buyers conduct a search and handle research online prior to making an offline purchase. Companies need informative content that demonstrates their expertise and services to attract B2B buyers during their initial search.
So strong SEO is first and foremost. Without prominent visibility in search engines, companies serving B2B audiences may not garner awareness for their products and services, which is often phase one of the process, and also run the risk of losing leads to competitors who are.
Content Leads to Expert-based Referral
Now here’s a fun fact to keep in mind as well. Research on referrals has found that over 80% of firms receive referrals from someone who wasn’t a client. It seems a business can grow the trust of a visitor by demonstrating their expertise based on thought leadership, social media, white papers, etc. And based on those experiences the visitor becomes a referrer for your company.
While SEO is highly important, you also can see that it is not the only way clients may find you. They may be an expertise-based referral. This is great of course, but also requires that your organization is producing quality content to make this happen.
Specifically, construction companies need to develop targeted content that nurtures potential customers throughout the cycle from lead to loyalist. Taking a look at the cycle, there are four key phases that marketers need to understand and create content to engage with interested audiences as they make their way toward purchasing your products or services – again and again.
Here’s a look at the Content Clients Consider in each Phase of the Sales Cycle:
The Awareness Stage includes clients interested in staying informed about industry trends or how to approach a business challenge. They’re looking to see the value your company offers them. You want to start establishing your brand and building a level of trust.
Awareness Content: blogs, social media content, original white papers, website pages
During the Interest Stage you have a warm lead. You may need to further nurture this lead through email to keep them engaged in the cycle. You’re also looking to gauge their intent and that can come from having a conversation with them. Content can help deliver needed contact information.
Interest/Intent Stage Content: Webinars, live chats, gated lead magnets or ebooks, and personalized offers
Decision Stage requires action on behalf of your B2B buyer. You needed to have provided them the right information, gained their trust, and answered their questions, thus far and then you have everything aligned to make the sale.
Decision Stage Content: Testimonials, reviews or product demo videos and case studies that solve a similar issue they’re experiencing
The final phase is the Loyalty Stage and requires construction businesses to create content that provides lasting value to their clients so they remain loyal. After you have congratulated yourself for attaining a client, now look to maintain contact with them and extend the relationship for increased longevity and profitability. You want a repeat client.
Loyalty Stage Content: Perhaps a case study with them, emails with updates and new product information, or a thank you offer
Companies need a diverse content portfolio to meet the range of needs of their B2B audiences. The right digital content can position a construction company for success in every phase of the client lifecycle conversion process. With quality content you are also better serving your clients and creating value while building lifelong trust.