Over the past few years, the B2B buying process has changed dramatically. Modern B2B buyers are becoming more aligned to a B2C journey through the consumption of tailored content and personalised experiences. This has led to a misalignment between more traditional sales processes and the modern buyer’s purchasing behaviour.
The Millennial and Generation Z demographics are evolving into the decision makers who will decide the future of the B2B buying process. Modern buyers are likely to carry out their own research, so by the time they engage with a brand, they will have probably made the decision to buy into a product or service.
It is imperative that brands have a robust digital marketing strategy that meets the demands of a contemporary B2B audience. Here are four tips on how to capture the attention of the modern B2B purchaser.
1. Take a non-linear marketing approach
To share an authentic story, brands need to adopt a non-linear marketing approach. The traditional sales funnel of guiding consumers down a single path has changed because B2B buyers are carrying out independent research that influences their purchasing decisions. A non-linear marketing approach is made up of multiple touchpoints that could include peer reviews, word of mouth advocacy, events or social media. All touchpoints need to be linked together by a consistent and engaging brand story.
Brands should also identify the audiences they are marketing to and what the most effective channels are for reaching them. Millennial and Generation Z buyers consume content on various channels, which highlights the importance of a non-linear marketing approach.
Rather than focusing on traditional marketing channels like Facebook and Twitter, companies should consider making the most of other available platforms. Take YouTube, for instance. As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube offers tremendous potential for brands that are looking to connect with modern buyers on an emotional level.
2. Create educational content
There was a time when B2B content focused solely on selling products and services. The modern B2B buyer is interested in reading and sharing high value educational content that resonates with them, and the way they are using existing platforms, like LinkedIn is changing.
Brands need to learn from evolving user behaviour and adapt their marketing tactics accordingly.
3. Break down the walls of gated content
Gated content is a popular marketing tactic among B2B marketers because it allows them to gather data on customers in exchange for something informative e.g. a white paper on the latest B2B trends. However, there’s an argument to be made that if you are planning to offer helpful content then why would you not make it free to access?
A brand that offers free content has the chance to become a thought leader. It demonstrates confidence in the quality of the information and builds trust among prospects who may have recently discovered a business.
4. Focus on an authentic storytelling experience
Storytelling has become an important factor in engaging with the modern B2B buyer. Companies are experimenting with how to promote relevant content to their audience. To create an emotional connection with their audience, B2B brands should focus on telling an authentic story.
Podcasts and videos are two platforms that allow for an unscripted storytelling approach. With podcasts, B2B marketers can talk about their industry in a conversational manner and share their unfiltered thoughts. Podcasts make brands more relatable and help to build a reputation for thought leadership.
Videos are good for storytelling because they showcase authenticity and can be filmed from anywhere. For example, a business leader could film a video on their phone and then share it on Instagram Stories. The ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories means viewers only have a short time to watch the video, which encourages them to tune in before it disappears.
A brand could also release a blooper video on YouTube that features several recording outtakes. This self-deprecating approach may appeal to viewers who are looking to be entertained.
Want to hear more tips for engaging with modern B2B buyers? Be sure to download our guide on effective B2B storytelling.