There’s nothing more important to your B2B company than knowing precisely how to reach your B2B buyers effectively. It can’t be stressed enough: Without your buyers, your company doesn’t have anything. So how can you figure out how to reach your B2B buyers effectively?
The first step is understanding exactly how your buyers get their information—this means how they consume or search for it. When you know how they get their information, you know how you can make contact with them.
Today’s B2B buyers are not at all like those of days gone by. Before the empowerment that the Internet provided, the B2B buying process was difficult. As a result, buyers had no choice but to rely on people, paper and the phone.
The process revolved around questioning analysts, gathering requirements into and RFP, obtaining a vendor list, going to a trade show to get collateral and a slew of other steps. This finally resulted in the implementation of the solution, which would be costly and slow.
The Internet has changed all this. Today, your B2B buyers are savvier than ever and more in control. Here’s how to reach them effectively.
Entice Them to Download a PDF
According to the newest BuyerSphere research report, a PDF that they can download is easily the most popular way that your B2B buyers get their information during the buying process. 51% of all buyers get their information this way. Pricing information is the type of information that B2B buyers most commonly get through the PDF format.
It’s important that your B2B website has a downloadable PDF that your buyers can obtain at no cost to them. A PDF that your buyers can download straight from your site still remains one of the best way to do inbound marketing right and reach your buyers.
Rely on the Printed Brochure
Perhaps the most eye-opening and pleasantly surprising finding in the abovementioned BuyerSphere report is the fact that a large number of B2B buyers still flock to printed brochure for their information. In fact, printed brochures are second only to downloadable PDFs in terms of where your B2B buyers are getting their information, with 47% of them consulting printed brochures.
Clearly, this also punches holes all over the argument and misguided belief that print is dead, which is an easy trap to fall into in this day and age of the Internet. Printed brochures were used by B2B buyers to access information about various technical, product and service specifications.
With almost 50% of all buyers relying on printed brochures, it’s wise to invest the time it takes to create a dynamite B2B brochure. Here are some great links for creating awesome printed brochures:
- Creating Better B2B Brochures
- Writing Lead-Generating B2B Brochures
- Tips for Writing Effective Printed Brochures
Get to Them Through a Physical Event
Physical events are more effective than you may think. The above study says that 30% of all B2B buyers received information from a physical event. A physical event is a great opportunity for buyers to obtain an industry and/or competitive comparison of B2B products and services. Again, this revealing survey result from the BuyerSphere report confirms that online is not the answer to everything when it comes to reaching your B2B buyers.
At physical events, your buyers will encounter any number of effective and even interactive B2B presentations. These can include anything from the usual trade shows, seminars and conferences to more casual breakfasts, lunches and even dinners.
The key takeaway here is that you have to pick the absolute, proper event format for the target audience, so the event becomes a success.
Use a Presentation Deck With No Audio
In the B2B world, a presentation deck is essentially a good old slideshow that you use to make your buyers see things a whole lot clearer. A presentation deck provides valuable information to your buyers, showing them how to do something that is extremely relevant to solving their problems and addressing their pain points.
According to the BuyerSphere study, 21% of all B2B buyers got their information from a presentation deck.
If you’re wondering what a presentation deck looks like or what to include in it, here are two good examples of it:
It’s definitely worth it for you to consider creating a presentation deck to reach your B2B buyers.
Maintain a Blog, Microsite or Web
The BuyerSphere research report is quick to point out that B2B companies can reach their buyers via a blog, microsite or web. While only 11% of B2B buyers get their information from one of these three, it is still the fifth-most popular way that buyers obtain their information.
When your buyers access any one of these three options, they are usually searching for customer testimonials or a case study.
Today, there’s no debate anymore about whether or not blogging is highly beneficial to a B2B company—it simply is. The smart, engaged and successful B2B company will recognize that B2B blogging provides untold benefits. You can reach your buyers very effectively with a blog that you maintain on a weekly basis.
Offering your B2B buyers video is another fair way of reaching them. Based on results from the BuyerSphere research report, just 10% of buyers get their information from video, though. Still, 10% of buyers used this information format to view reports by external analysts. Other resources, such as Inc.com, put this number much higher, with 43% of B2B buyers using video to obtain information.
For some buyers, watching a video can’t be beat when it comes to information. At the same time, not every B2B company is going to be skilled when it comes to producing these very valuable videos. It’s always better to consult a tutorial to walk you through each step of the video-content process in B2B marketing.
Reach Them With a Webinar
A webinar is a way to reach your B2B buyers, though there are fewer B2B buyers who rely on the webinar as a means of getting information. The BuyerSphere report identifies just 9% of all buyers as using the webinar to get information in the B2B buying process. When they do, though, they use it for absorbing amateur and/or peer reviews or opinions.
Nonetheless, it can’t be underestimated how useful the webinar can be when you really want to grow your B2B company and reach buyers. The trick is to apply webinar best practices in order to increase their effectiveness as a way to get to your buyers.
An ideal place to start is Smart Insights’ 68-point guide on both setting up and then presenting a webinar. This walkthrough identifies various aspects that experts have used to put on highly effective webinars for their buyers.
Think About Handy Infographics
Infographics aren’t that high up on the list of information formats that buyers consult, with only 6% of all buyers choosing to get their information from them, according to the BuyerSphere study.
However, in B2B marketing, it pays to do all of the above to reach your buyers. It’s interesting to note that those buyers who did consult infographics did so for “how-to” implementation guides, which are essentially walkthroughs.
Infographics may not be for every buyer, but they offer your buyers a graphically direct way of understanding any B2B process, product or service.
Here are some examples of B2B infographics that capture the buyers’ attention and quickly educate them, just for inspiration:
- Creating Content Ideas for Clients Infographic
- Challenges to B2B Content Creation Infographic
- Ways B2B Companies Use Social Media Infographic
Don’t Underestimate Ebooks
Though ebooks are not the information format of choice for many B2B buyers, they can still serve a beneficial purpose in reaching your B2B buyers. The BuyerSphere study reveals that only 5% of all B2B buyers get their information from ebooks, but there’s still something you should consider.
There are various benefits of giving away free ebooks to your B2B buyers. For starters, you can increase your subscriptions, which is always highly useful for your lead-generation purposes. In addition, giving away free ebooks can actually create free marketing for your B2B company as your buyers share news about your ebook on social media.
Finally, you’ll get a whole bunch of feedback from buyers, friends and colleagues, which means you have more ideas for future ebooks.
Reach Buyers When They’re on the Go With Mobile Apps
The trend is that more and more people are using mobile. You can’t have buyers reaching you from mobile devices dropping off because your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
People are looking for information about B2B solutions even when they’re on the go, and you should make it happen for them. Though only 3% of B2B buyers currently get their information from mobile apps according to the BuyerSphere study, that number will still grow.
Simply put, mobile apps make sense for reaching buyers because of three reasons : Mobile’s growth rates can’t be stopped, many business professionals today are using mobile and mobile empowers you to expand your B2B reach to a global level.
Also, don’t fall into the trap of using a mobile website to get information to your customers. A Compuware study found that 85% of customers like mobile apps as opposed to mobile websites.
Don’t Count Out the Podcast
Bringing up the rear of how B2B buyers get their information is the podcast, tied at 3% with mobile apps, according to the BuyerSphere research report. With such a statistic, it may be tempting to write off the podcast as a viable means of B2B marketing, but this is overly simplistic and rash. Not every B2B company can put on a podcast because it first takes mastery of this medium to use it properly.
For instance, before using podcasts as a way to reach buyers, learn all about the 10 important guidelines for B2B podcasts. Once you are comfortable and familiar with those, see this handy cheat sheet for B2B podcasting on your iTunes channel. If you still have doubts about the real benefits of podcasting to reach your buyers, then review this list of benefits your company will enjoy due to podcasting.
It’s important that you deeply understand and recognize how your B2B buyers are getting their information because your marketing success depends on this knowledge. In today’s B2B world, the Internet has really empowered your buyers to do a lot of research on their own—which is the key to successfully reaching them.
When you know what information formats they flock to the most, you can tailor your own marketing methods to suit them. This equals effective connections with your buyers.
While PDF downloads are by far the most popular way your buyers are getting their information, it’s also stunning to realize that printed brochures are the second-most popular method of reaching B2B buyers. This forces people who’ve written off print to reconsider their premature condemnation of this format. Even some of the least popular ways buyers get information—like mobile apps and podcasts—are still well worth the trouble.
As long as you stay on top of these statistics, you’ll increase your chances of successfully reaching your B2B buyers.