Why you need current online content (or, one reason to prove to your customers that your firm is an ongoing, viable concern)

This is a follow up to my post from two days ago…with a critical data point.

In that prior post, I listed some ways that a company’s website and social media channels could look attractive or unattractive to customers. I focused on the second of my three issues, which was whether the website/channels have current content.

But that prior post consisted of my opinions regarding why your company should hire Bredemarket to work with you on written content creation. Obviously self-serving.

But to be honest, is current content all that important? “Does website and social media content really matter?” you may ask. “Don’t B2B customers gather data by word of mouth anyway?”

The Demand Gen Report June 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Study

Um…word of mouth is not that prevalent, according to Demand Gen Report, which released a B2B study last June entitled “2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Study.” You can download that study yourself for free here.

Much of the study concentrated specifically on COVID-19 related effects, but one item on pages 7 and 8 of the study caught my eye.

This portion of the study concentrated on the sources that B2B purchasers referenced when making buying decisions. Specifically, the survey participants were asked, “What were the first three resources that informed you about the solution in question?” Responses were as follows:

  • Web search: 53%
  • Vendor web sites: 41%
  • Review sites: 30%
  • Prior experience with the vendor: 28%
  • Peers/colleagues: 27%

Yes, almost twice as many B2B buyers depend upon the web for initial research rather than asking peers and colleagues.

Demand Gen Report offered the following comments on these and related responses (emphasis mine):

Making a positive first impression is important in any buying situation, but the survey showed that it is becoming an even more critical part of the buyer journey. Not surprisingly, most buying journeys start online, with a general web search, specific vendor websites and review sites as the first resources buyers used to inform them about a specific topic area related to their purchase….

The survey underscored that content remains a critical influence on B2B buying decisions, with 76% of respondents saying the winning vendor’s content had a significant impact on their buying decision.

Demand Gen Report, 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Study, page 7. Available via download (5,664KB).

Now I don’t want to quote the entire study: again, you can download the study yourself. And I’ll admit that I’m only concentrating on a portion of the entire study.

But there’s no denying that a company’s online content is critical in B2B buying decisions.

Does your content cater to potential buyer behavior?

So, is your website and social media content the content that you want your customers to see?

  • Have you posted product-specific content on your website blog and/or your website “news” page in the last 3 months?
  • How about your website case studies, product data sheets, testimonials, white papers, and/or presentations? Are these recent, or is your company relying on past successes and failing to communicate present successes?
  • Have you posted relevant content on your company LinkedIn page in the last 3 months?
  • How about your other company social media outlets? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? YouTube?

Although I refrain from linking to them, I know of countless bad examples of outdated content. Web “news” pages or social media accounts with no posts in years. LinkedIn company pages with no posts at all. Companies that haven’t posted presentations in a decade. Data sheets that prominently mention a product’s compatibility with Windows 7. Companies that post wonderful YouTube videos, but then fail to share the video link on their other social media channels or on their own website.

Call to (your) action

This is the part of the post where I share my “contact with me!” pitch, but before I do that, perhaps you should take the following steps yourself.

  1. Take a look at your website and your social media channels from the view of one of your potential customers. When putting the “customer” hat on, do you like what you see?
  2. If you don’t like what you see, what are you going to do about it?

Now perhaps Bredemarket is NOT the answer to question 2. Perhaps you have an employee who has the time to update your content, and do so on a regular basis.

But if you find that you need outside help in creating content (short blog posts, longer white papers, whatever), feel free to contact Bredemarket.

As a reminder, my process to work with a client to create content is a collaborative process. For example, here’s the process that Bredemarket uses when working with a client to produce written text of approximately 2800 to 3200 words, such as the content for a white paper.

  • Agree upon topic (and, if necessary, outline) with client.
  • Client provides relevant technical details.
  • Bredemarket conducts any necessary research and provides the first review copy within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Client provides changes and any additional requested detail within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Bredemarket provides the second review copy within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Client provides changes and any requested detail within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Bredemarket provides the third review copy within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Client prepares the final formatted copy and provides any post-formatting comments within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Bredemarket provides the final version within seven (7) calendar days.

(By the way, these times are maximum times. For the white papers that I have written, both the client and I have provided our deliverables in less than seven days, and we didn’t need all of the review cycles. Better preparation up-front minimizes the need to fix things at the end.)

A similar (but simpler) process is used for shorter Bredemarket writing projects of approximately 400 to 600 words, such as blog posts or LinkedIn posts.

Regardless of the specifics of the process, the goal is to work together to create text that states your company’s message and attracts your company’s desired clients.

And letting your potential customers know that you exist.


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