How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Funnel For Better Conversion

How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Funnel For Better Conversion

Introduction

B2B content marketing is getting more popular.

In fact, according to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 69% of B2B marketers now have a documented content marketing strategy. Furthermore, a majority of marketers also say that they’re seeing more success with content marketing compared to one year ago.

content marketing success

Image via Content Marketing Institute

It is evident that B2B marketers are seeing effective results from content marketing. However, randomly publishing content isn’t the key to their success.

It requires methodical planning and strategizing.

If you want to get the most content marketing benefits, you need to also think of all the stages of the marketing funnel. Your content needs to be tailored to the needs of the users at each stage.

In this post, let’s discuss how you can create an effective B2B content marketing funnel to grow your business. Before we get into the details, it’s important to discuss how B2B funnels differ from B2C ones.

B2C Vs. B2B Content Marketing Funnels: How Are They Different?

When it comes to content marketing, B2C and B2B marketers need different approaches. Sure, some strategies are common but there are some key differences in audience behavior that make the two sales funnel a bit different.

Image via Postcron

Here are some key differences that you should be aware of:

1) Motivation For Making a Purchase

When it comes to making a purchase, B2B and B2C marketers have very different motivating factors. B2C customers are shopping for themselves. So, their purchases may be impulsive or even driven by emotions or heavy discounts.

On the other hand, B2B buyers are making a purchase for professional reasons. They are also likely to be spending a large amount compared to B2C buyers.

As a result, they are more likely to be result-driven, rational, and logical in their approach. They are more likely to spend time thoroughly researching the market and comparing features of different products.

2) Decision-Making Power

B2C buyers are incharge of making shopping decisions on their own. They may talk to a few friends, but the ultimate buying power lies with them. That’s not the case with B2B buyers.

Typically, different members of an organization are consulted before a B2B purchase is made. There are multiple people who are involved in the final decision-making process. As a result, B2B shopping can take longer as there are multiple filters on the way.

3) Customer Relationships

The overall relationship between customers and businesses differs greatly in the B2B and the B2C spaces.

The main goal for B2C marketers is to drive people onto a brand website to make a purchase. B2C businesses want to close a deal as soon as possible. So, they want to minimize the time that they need to spend in getting to know a prospective customer.

On the other hand, B2B marketing is all about building strong customer relationships to get long-term business.

Typically, B2B companies have a dedicated sales representative that works hard to nurture relationships with prospective leads. Because it is so important, some businesses even work with professional lead generation services.

They try to gauge their needs and even offer customizable solutions if possible. Throughout the B2B buying process, they work hard to win their trust and loyalty.

Also, referral marketing is crucial for B2B marketers. So, maintaining a good reputation is extremely important for them.

4) Ad Copy

B2B businesses are likely to want to purchase products or services from a brand that has good authority. At the same time, they should be able to explain all the processes and features that they have to offer with the right industry jargon or terminology.

In a nutshell, B2B buyers want businesses to speak professionally without any fluff.

On the other hand, ads that evoke emotions can drive sales in the B2C landscape. Jargon-filled copy doesn’t work.

Instead content that tells a story or highlights a brand value tends to resonate with B2C buyers. Typically, marketers use simpler language to appeal to the target audience.

Now that you have a more sophisticated understanding of B2B and B2C buyers and the two sales funnels, let’s dive deeper into the topic.

A Quick Guide to Create an Effective B2B Content Marketing Funnel

When it comes to B2B content marketing funnels, there are three main stages that you should be aware of:

  • Awareness Stage: During this phase, B2B buyers may not recognize that they have a problem that they need a solution for.
  • Evaluation Stage: At this stage in the funnel, B2B buyers understand that they have a problem and are exploring different approaches to fix it.
  • Purchase Stage: In this funnel stage, B2B buyers areeliminating options and picking the one that is the best for them.

As mentioned above, prospects behave differently at different funnel stages.

To make sure that you are catering to their needs at each stage, you need to publish content strategically.

3 stages funnel

Image via Single Grain

Let’s go through all the stages in detail and discuss the best content types for each one.

1) Awareness Stage

At this stage, you need to start identifying the buyer persona of your B2B buyer. You need to gain a better understanding of the target company, their pain points, budget range, and needs.

It’s also a good idea to spend some time researching different designations in the company that you are targeting.

As discussed earlier, B2B businesses aren’t aware of what their problems are at this stage. So, you need to define the problems for them. At the same time, you need to emphasize on how their work can become more efficient with a proposed solution to the defined problem.

Let’s say you run a company that provides virtual assistance to other businesses.

Your first task is to tell that they have a disorganized workflow. Next, you can pitch that by outsourcing that work to you, they can streamline the process.

Which are the content formats that B2B marketers should use during the awareness stage?

To persuade B2B buyers that they have a problem, you can use content formats like blog posts, white papers, emails, and videos.

Pro Tip: Work with content syndication services and professional marketing agencies to get the maximum visibility.

2) Evaluation Stage

The B2B buyers in this stage of the funnel are convinced that there is a problem that they need to address. They’ve moved past the awareness stage and are actively seeking out different solutions to solve their issue.

They are assessing all the available solutions out there and even coming up with their budget.

At this stage, your job is to tell the prospects what your USP is and why your product or service is the best one to fix their problem. The key is to address all their pain points and show them how you can solve each one for them.

This is a very important stage because even B2B buyers are sizing you up. They want to know if you can provide value for their business.

Which are the content formats that B2B marketers should use during the evaluation stage?

At this stage, you need to be able to showcase that your product or service can drive results. One of the best ways to do this is to publish case studies. It enables you to highlight how other businesses have succeeded with your product or service.

In addition to this, you can also leverage webinars, guides, retargeting ads, podcasts, checklists, and newsletters to further engage the prospects.

3) Purchase Stage

This is the final and the most important stage of the marketing funnel. B2B buyers decide whether they want to make a purchase from you or not. It’s tricky because even the slightest communication can impact their final decision.

In addition to this, they may also want to negotiate certain terms.

During the purchase stage, you should first eliminate any barriers that may prevent them from making a purchase. You may also have to convince multiple professionals from their organization.

Which are the content formats that B2B marketers should use during the evaluation stage?

To win your B2B prospects’ confidence at the purchase stage, you should offer demos, free trials, professional consultations, and even showcase testimonials.

Conclusion

B2B marketing doesn’t follow the same rules as B2C marketing. If you want to grow your business and win more customers, you need to create an effective B2B sales funnel.

Use the above mentioned tactics to create a powerful funnel that helps you get more conversions. Your content marketing strategies should be tailored to each stage of the funnel. Keep in mind that you should keep the different needs of your B2B prospects at the forefront.

Do you have any questions about creating a powerful B2B content marketing funnel? Please mention it in the comments section.

About Author

A passionate and innovative professional encompassing excellence in B2B marketing industry. Develop and manage integrated programs including content strategy, Lead generation approach, Digital, and social media strategy.