Read a few sales blogs, and you’re bound to come across this sentiment: B2B buyers make more considered decisions than their B2C counterparts. It’s intellect over emotion, rationality over pure desire.
While that very well may be true, B2B and B2C buyers do have at least one thing in common: High web expectations. As the following statistics suggest, B2B companies need to fully consider the strategic choices that drive their online presence. Corporate buyers might weigh their options more carefully than individual consumers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have certain expectations (including aesthetic ones) when it comes to your website.
Stat #1: 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders.
For B2B buyers, there can be quite a bit at stake. For those in charge of making a purchase that might affect their organization for years to come, the pressure is real.
Which is why B2B buyers really do their research — they don’t want to make a bad decision. In many cases, they can’t afford to. According to Forbes, “Most B2B buyers say they rely heavily on white papers (82%), webinars (78%) and case studies (73%) to make purchasing decisions. Close behind are eBooks (67%), infographics (66%) and blog posts (66%).”
At this point, your company needs to be providing digital resources like these just to keep up. And if you want to ensure your content is an actual market advantage, you need to be giving buyers exactly what they’re looking for: Thought leadership. B2B buyers don’t want to be sold something — they want to be empowered to make their own informed decision. The best way to build trust, then, is to publish educational content that at least occasionally features outside expertise.
Thankfully, involving thought leaders in your content strategy isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Try reaching out to some business leaders, authors and speakers in your industry who you admire. Outside the biggest names, many will be willing to trade exposure for a contribution to your content. See if they’d like to provide a quote for an eBook, or participate in an upcoming webinar.
Stat #2: 66% of B2B buyers say it’s very important that a vendor’s website speak directly to the needs of their industry.
In an age of infinite information, people expect specificity and precision. That means B2B buyers don’t want to extrapolate how your product applies to their industry — they want to be told directly. We know it might sound tedious to restructure your website around industry-specific landing pages, but the potential for significant ROI should make it worth it.
Exactly what you include on each industry page — not to mention which industries you choose — is up to you, but we recommend you consider the following:
- Landing page copy that clearly demonstrates your company’s deep understanding of key industry challenges
- Industry-focused blog posts, eBooks and other content
- Industry-specific customer success stories and testimonials
It’s worth mentioning the importance of having a team that can reinforce the industry expertise your company demonstrates online. Because it won’t matter how great your content is if your sales and service reps make it clear that that expertise doesn’t extend throughout the entire organization.
Stat #3: Design-driven organizations are 69% more likely to exceed their business goals.
Vindication for right-brainers? According to data from Adobe, great design is more than a nice-to-have — it’s a key driver of business success. The reason? It makes for a better customer experience.
Illustrations delight. Good typography makes text easier to read. Iconography helps explain difficult concepts, and the right layout can mean the difference between organized information and a total mess. All of which is to say that design isn’t an add-on to your web content — it’s an essential component.
Lucky for you, now is a great time to differentiate your organization from the competition through the use of effective design. Per the same Adobe report, only 17% of surveyed companies said they were definitely design driven.
Stat #4: Only 20% of people will read text on a page, compared to 80% who will watch a video.
As a writer, this one hurts to admit, but it’s true: These days, people would rather watch a video than read a block of text. Even I can’t blame them, though. We’ve all got a million things to do, and watching a video is just plain easy. Plus, from a business perspective, making things easy for prospects and customers is essential.
The problem is that high quality videos are expensive to produce. As such, you need to decide when a video will actually be worth the cost of creation. Product overviews? Customer testimonials? Social ads? You may have to do a little experimenting to find what works for your company and industry, but the boost in engagement should reward your investment.
Have questions about how your company can optimize its online presence? Let us know. We’d love to help you talk through new strategies.