When it comes to spreading information in the B2B field, the longtime option of speaking directly with prospects is no longer valid in a huge number of cases. Of course, companies would love to have the time to lay out their services directly to the people they hope will buy them. However, those purchasers have become more self-guided in their journeys through the B2B offerings on display. They may browse on their own for a long time and only call the chosen vendor when they are ready to buy. With this now a firmly entrenched behavior, it's time for B2B sellers to double down on their commitment to content production.
The field of options
Which types of materials should organizations pour their time and expertise into? The chosen items need to combine deep knowledge of the industry in question and a form that will be pleasing to readers. Business 2 Community contributor Jesse Noyes recently gave a long list of content types that will be prominent in the months and years ahead. Noyes specified that while the best informational approaches to any given client base will change based on industry and stage within the journey to a purchase, there are surefire offerings that businesses can comfortably rely on to carry their messages.
The author highlighted a combination of white papers and eBooks, noting that these are ways to serve what B2B buying professionals really need - problem-solving insights. Noyes explained that in a world of complicated industries, white papers are a great way to highlight individual issues and present good data about those concerns. He also specified the difference between the two - eBooks are more compelling in general but there must be a constant stream of white papers to ensure all bases are covered. Creating these documents and formatting them in ways that readers will appreciate can turn B2B sellers into problem-solving leaders.
Noyes also supported the very broad category of case studies. He noted that these can be video-based, posted to a blog or downloaded by prospects. The main issue is providing a valuable endorsement that will make customers feel confident after reading. If that can be best accomplished with a forward-thinking document that sports multimedia content, it is absolutely permissible to go down that route. Leaders simply have to know who they are selling to and what those individuals need to know. Learning that will help them through the many stages of intelligent content creation.
Disrupt conventional thinking
Forbes contributors Pat Spenner and Karl Schmidt pointed to an exciting new role for content in 2015. The two authors specified that the next generation of B2B materials will be so influential that it promises to actively change the criteria by which prospects are making their decisions. The source noted that there should also be excellent tracking built into these items, so that marketers will be able to tell which buyers are most likely to be swayed. Part of this advanced deployment strategy involves the use of more targeted reading materials, as Spenner and Schmidt called for an end to "comprehensive" content that is served to every curious downloader.