Photo by Joelk75
When you shop for yourself, does it take long to buy something? Usually, not.
When you shop together with a spouse, how long does it take you now? (Let’s say you want to get a great gift.) You may be a great shopper, but it would still take longer than shopping for yourself and making decision on your own.
Having a particular problem in mind (a gift), deadline, responsibility which comes with your selection, and another decision-maker increases your time-to-purchase and begins to look a lot like business’.
Businesses can’t afford making an impulse purchase or not considering alternatives, which altogether makes B2B conversion funnel longer. Whether you cater to mom n’ pop shop, bakery, or a nonprofit, they all need to pitch few alternatives to co-workers and confirm they decision with somebody else. Buyer wants to make a good decision and end up “looking good” in front of others (will you look good when your gift is opened?).
Businesses catering to other businesses want an immediate sale.
Far too many PPC and SEO efforts in B2B industry focus on an immediate sale. Whether you shop for business cards, new copier, or promotional products — the majority of companies will land you on a page and call your attention to that “buy now” button. Yes, small fraction does end up buying right there, but over 90% are simply in a research phase. What do you do about them?
Address their problems.
Linda Bustos of Elastic Path recently wrote Personas 101 post, which talks about developing buyer personas. Basic idea is that your visitors aren’t the same and different groups (“personas”) look for different things. You goal is to know how can you solve their problem effectively. Some ideas might include creating:
- Guide (“12 things to watch out for when buying a copier”)
- Checklist (“Ultimate checklist for first-time buyers of promotional products”)
- Tips or Advice (“10 things to know before ordering business cards”)
Depending on value of your content, consider making it a downloadable PDF and asking for some of the prospect’s information before letting them download it. Congrats, you’ve just generated a lead!
Other tips regarding your awesome content.
- Have a landing page + short URL for your content piece.
- Have a common question on the phone? Direct those first-time callers to a landing page.
- Brand it and have social sharing icons (shared content = landing page).
- Only ask for information you know you’ll use (e.g., for segmentation). Extra fields will negatively affect your conversion rate.
- Provide value first, soft-sell second.