Back in the day, there used to be a saying: “No one ever got fired for buying IBM.”
Think about that for a moment.
It points to the truth: that B2B buyers – if they’re employees – are not looking to make the optimal buying decision. Instead, they’re trying to make a safe decision.
They want to minimise the chance something will go horribly wrong. And, if things go wrong, they want to be able to justify their decision.
That’s just human nature.
OK, it we assume all this is true, how is it useful? After all, you’re not IBM.
Well, you’re not IBM, but you could be. Or, at least, you could be the IBM in your market.
See, one of the big mistakes B2B companies make is that they expect potential customers to do a Google search, visit their website, and contact them.
But, really, how many of the people come to your website via Google act like that?
Probably almost none – unless you’re a “known name” safe choice.
How to become the safe choice
So how do you become a well-known name?
One way is to seed market with useful information. Information like white papers, case studies, articles, industry surveys, buyers guides.
Do that and…
* If they need what you sell, they might skip the Google search and come straight to you.
* If they do a Google search, and see your listing, it’ll be a familiar (i.e. trusted) name. And that means they’re far more likely to click through to your site.
* And, if they come to your site, they’ll be positively pre-conditioned about your business.
* And, if they want to use you, it’ll be a much easier sell to their managers. That’s because those managers will also have a positive impression of you. So they’re far more likely to get the green light.
And, because your competitors are sitting around waiting for the world to come to them, by doing this, you’re going to grab a big chunk of the market.
How to do this
I don’t have space to go into all the particulars – and, besides, the details will vary from market to market – but there are two parts:
#1: Create valuable content – this starts with understanding your market and what they’ll value. The world is awash with low quality content and creating more isn’t going to make any difference.
#2: Distribute it – fortunately, thanks to the internet, this is quite easy. Google’s display network, LinkedIn, and Facebook all make it relatively straightforward to target people by profession.
But don’t discount the idea of postcard mailings if you can get a good mailing list.
And, finally, if there are trade publications for your market – or industry websites – try to get your content publicised there, too.
If you can do these two things – and do them both well and consistently – people may soon be pointing out that no-one ever got fired for buying from you.
All the best,
PS If you’re still not sold on the value of producing these “seed” materials, check out this stat: According to a study by Eccolo Media,
“84% of businesses find white papers either moderately or extremely influential in their purchasing decisions.”
If 84% of your prospects are being influenced by white papers, doesn’t it make sense that you’re the one doing the influencing?