Here’s a great stat I recently read on the Content Marketing Institute’s website:
According to Sirius Decisions, business buyers now go through 67% of their buying process by consuming content online.
That means when a prospect of your product or service is in the market to buy the kind of solution you provide, 67% of the process they go through to make a decision to purchase from a particular company is determined by content and research they find on the Internet.
Sixty-seven percent! That means, the content prospects are finding online is performing the role of what a sales person, or you, might have typically done in a past business model.
You as the vendor no longer control the sales process. Or, rather, you only control a small portion of the sales process, and buyers are qualifying themselves before you even know who they are.
This phenomenon is both good and bad.
It’s good because ultimately by the time you interact with a prospect they are at a point where they’re ready to convert to a customer.
It’s bad, only compared to the older more traditional sales model many are familiar with, because you often don’t even know who your prospect is until they’re ready to buy.
The solution is to help influence a prospect’s research by posting content online that will resonate with the need they’re looking to fulfill, and that content has to show up in the searches they’re conducting online so you have the opportunity of influencing their buying decision and winning their business.
So how do you deal with this?
Create educational content that is geared to your target audience -- you need to know who your target audience is, what problem they have that you solve and offer them the easiest path to a solution.
In your content, succinctly identify their challenges and offer advice and best practices regarding how they can go about overcoming those challenges on their own, which is often hard if they’re not an expert in the area in which they have a challenge...and that’s the secret...
That’s where, in your content, you can build the value of having an expert help them solve their problem -- the pros and cons of doing it yourself vs. buying a product or hiring an expert to do it for them.
In this way, you’re offering the prospect options that empower them to make a more informed decision, and when they come to the decision that they need to make a purchase to solve their problem, guess who they’ll engage with to learn more?
That’s right, who ever gave them the best information to help them come to their own conclusion. Hopefully that’s you.
Posted by: Nick Venturella