According to a recent report from Gartner, 89% of B2B buyers felt that the content they consumed during a recent purchase process was of high quality and relevant. The problem was that there was too much of it and buyers felt overwhelmed.
There’s a huge opportunity for B2B and tech brands to reach their target audiences as they go through the buyer journey.
But it must start with data.
The B2B buyer journey is complex. Most decision makers don’t follow the same linear process when they are looking to buy software and navigating the digital ecosystem. They do research, spend a lot of time on Google, read white papers and research reports, ask questions in Reddit, and have very open conversations on social media channels.
The great thing about you this is that B2B buyers leave a trail of breadcrumbs all over the internet. It’s up to smart marketers to gather that data, make sense of it and then use it to create highly targeted, highly relevant content and distributed across all channels.
It all starts with an audience conversation analysis. This involves ingesting social media conversational data into some type or social listening tool over the course of a set time period and then segmenting that data by keywords and phrases.
The output of this type of an analysis will give marketers the exact language that buyers are using publicly.
A smart B2B content marketing strategy will include content that is meant to intercept the buyers at every stage of their journey using this data. this would start at the awareness phase and move all the way down the path to purchase and also support advocacy.
Here are three ways to do that.
Paid Media: B2B marketers can use this data a few different ways. First, they can create their ad copy and other creative messaging based on the exact keywords and phrases that their audience is using. This will increase clickthrough rates based on the similarities of language used.
They can also use the same data to build out their paid segmentation and targeting strategy by bidding on certain keywords in paid search or hashtags with paid social.
Earned media: An audience conversation analysis will also highlight which media outlets that B2B marketers are reading daily based on which articles they are sharing or commenting on in social media. This type of data is crucial for media relations excerpts because they can prioritize which media outlets they want to reach out to based on what the data shows.
Owned media. I am a firm believer that audiences search Google the same way they speak on social media. So B2B marketers can also repurpose the data from the conversation analysis and use it to inform everything on their owned media channels, specifically blogs, social media communities, and corporate web sites.
More specifically from an SEO perspective, it would make sense to optimize web pages (meta data, content, internal linking strategy) using the output from the analysis. Overtime, this will create more relevant search engine visibility and qualified traffic to the website.
Why all this matters.
It’s all about relevance. In order for tech brands to be relevant to audiences and buyers, they must speak the same language as their audience, just like in any relationship. Relationships don’t work when the two individuals are not on the same page. This data will ensure that brands and their customers and prospects are on the same page.
Also, by using this data, brands can become more visible in Google search as well as within social media conversations.