Today’s buyers are more aware of their needs, are better informed, and in touch with their solution needs than ever before. Except for a few impulsive purchases that are made on the spur of the moment, most buyers traverse a long path to “buy” – especially when the product under consideration is complex and costly, as is the case in the B2B world.
B2B purchases are more complex, involving many more decision-makers, each with their own motivations and requirements, and a longer and more convoluted purchase cycle. With an increasing number of buyers going through an elaborate process of research before making a purchase, businesses have to think of tactics to keep them engaged throughout the buyer journey. The key is always to provide information that helps move the buying process forward, one step at a time. But one wrong step and the risk of potentially losing to competition gets higher!
Therefore, product content across product descriptions, images, videos, prices, dimensions along with user manuals, support documentation, and more should not only be accurate and consistent; it should also be tailored for each stage of the buyer journey. Buyers must be able to make quick and easy purchase-related decisions based on the information needed at every touchpoint.
- Acquisition/Awareness: The first step of acquiring customers or creating awareness about your products decides the fate of your business. Having a complete understanding of your audience, their needs and challenges, and what information they are seeking is extremely important to create a connection between your business and your potential customers.
To create awareness about your products/services across your target segment/audience, bring them into the sales funnel, and nurture them as leads.
- Begin by understanding your audience: how they think, the information they seek, the problems they have, and the path they are most likely to take to search for a solution
- Focus on building content that your audience can relate to; since at this stage, your buyer is trying to identify a way forward, provide them with high-level content to help direct them to a solution.
- Since you have a good idea of what their needs and problems are, showcase how each feature of your product will help in meeting that need or in overcoming that problem.
- Be as informative and educational as possible; you do not want to bombard your audience with detailed product descriptions as yet.
- Drive efforts in building how-to-videos, user scenarios, or checklists – so your audience gets a good idea of the context in which to use your product and its capabilities; engage in social media conversations to clarify any doubts they might have.
- Consideration/Search: Once prospective buyers have entered the sales funnel it means you’ve captured their attention. At this stage, they know they have a problem and believe that your product – among a handful of other products have the capability to solve their problem. Your buyers are parsing the options and searching for products that best fit their needs.
To show your customers how or why your product(s) is the best fit among the slew of other products available in the market and build content that compels customers to take action in your favor.
- Keep buyer personas in mind and focus on building content that aids in nurturing your leads, building relationships, and establishing trust.
- Because prospective buyers are doing deeper research on whether your product fits their needs, now is the time to focus on the finer details: dive right into product specifics and center content on the problem at hand.
- Describe – in detail – about the various aspects of your product: right from its features, to capabilities, ease of use, and more.
- Build comparison guides that put your products at a higher pedestal; at the same time, if there are some drawbacks, be upfront about them.
- All along the comparison stage, make sure to engage your buyer’s interest in the product or service through value-added content.
- Decision/Purchase: If you’ve managed to bring prospective buyers to this final decision stage, well done! It means buyers are highly confident that purchasing your product will help in meeting their needs/requirements. However, your job is not over yet. Although they're ready to buy, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they will end up making the purchase. This is the time to handle objections and seal the deal. So, you need to tread carefully.
To bolster their confidence in your product and give them that compelling reason to make a purchase decision in favor of your product.
- Build on your sales outreach campaigns to engage your leads and prospects.
- Offer free trials, live demos, or consultation to engage with them in an engaging manner.
- Focus on building a strong relationship through personalization and contextual marketing.
- Since you have just one last chance to convince your customers, it is crucial to answer all their questions and concerns and ensure they have no reservations while making the decision.
Product content is integral to meet the expectation of your customers as well as to the success of your organization. Delivering contextual content at every stage of the purchase journey is important to help your customers make favorable purchasing decisions. It is also important to cultivate the relationship long after the sale has been made, to boost customer lifetime value and word-of-mouth referrals. Obviously, rich product content has a role there too. But that’s a post for another day.