Quality digital content has the potential to help B2B marketers cost-effectively reach annual company goals. The key to pulling this off requires a commitment to providing content that puts your audience’s needs first. And it must happen at every point in the selling cycle.

A recent survey by Clutch Research finds that 88 percent of B2B audiences read business content online at least once weekly to stay informed, research companies and make purchasing decisions. The report identifies four stages in the sales funnel and the content consumers consider during each phase in the sales conversion. Taking a look at their findings can help companies understand how to interact with B2B audiences and take advantage of opportunities to engage potential customers as each stage.

According to the Clutch Report and Google, almost 90 percent of B2B audiences begin their purchasing process through search. Forrester data demonstrates that approximately three quarters of B2B buyers conduct a search and handle research online prior to making an offline purchase. Companies need informative content that demonstrates their expertise and services to attract B2B buyers during their initial search.

That’s why those that are encountering business content through search engines emphasize the importance of having company websites appear for relevant search terms. Without prominent visibility in search engines, companies serving B2B audiences may not garner awareness for their products and services, which is phase one of the sales funnel and also run the risk of losing leads to competitors who are.

Strong SEO is highly important, and for 85 percent of B2B audiences so also is finding a presence along with quality business-related content on social media. If you consider that in 2017 Pew Research Center found that 67 percent or two-thirds of Americans get at least some news on social media and that 55 percent of Americans ages 50 and older are also getting news on social media platforms, you begin to appreciate the need for your company to be where people of all ages are looking for information.

Here’s a look at the Content Consumers Consider in each Phase of the Sales Funnel:

  • The awareness stage includes B2B consumers looking to stay informed about industry trends (45 percent) or how to approach a business challenge (16 percent) and they’re interested in blogs or articles (42 percent) to attain this information.
  • During the interest stage research is being performed looking for content about a company’s products or services, and B2B audiences typically read product descriptions (28 percent), reviews (27 percent), and blogs (18 percent).
  • The bottom two stages in the funnel require decision and action on behalf of B2B buyers and 32 percent make this determination by consuming content related to evaluating a company’s fit to their needs.

Companies need a diverse content portfolio to meet the range of needs of their B2B audiences. Here are just two more data points to drive home this point. In 2016, Huffington Post statistics showed that 60 percent of online consumers made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. Furthermore, according to 2015 Hubspot statistics, companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published between 1 – 4 monthly posts.

The right online content can position a company for success in every phase of the sales conversion process. Let Modern Marketing Partners help strategically create and distribute compelling content that supports your company’s unique branding efforts and sales goals.