Many B2B companies make the most content for the beginning of the buying journey and do not put enough gunpowder into producing content for the entire buyer's journey. The consequence is that they do not support the sellers throughout the process and also risk losing a large group of prospects and customers.
If you work for a B2B company and work with content in your marketing and sales, this is an important question: Do we make content for the different phases of our customers' buying trips, or are we content to help them with parts of the trip?
In my experience, many B2B companies would say no. Most people who work with content marketing, inbound marketing or content in any other form focus heavily on creating content for the first steps of the journey or the top of the sales funnel to describe it differently.
Why is most content made for the beginning of the journey?
Here are the main reasons why it will be like this:
It's easier to make content that introduces an area or arouses interest in it than to understand what the user wants in the next step. Going in-depth and answering essential questions requires a lot of analysis and much work to understand the area and the questions.
The requirements for producing much content mean that many marketing departments do not have time to map out what content is needed in each part of the buyer journey but create relevant and engaging content and then rush on.
Interest is not the same as buying
Creating content that arouses interest and highlights how you can solve is suitable for the beginning of the buying phase. But it is essential to understand the intentions of your potential customer. In B2B, you are rarely ready to buy just because something interesting has appeared. It is the first step, and then follow several equally essential steps - you must deepen the knowledge provided, answer the right questions, become qualified as a supplier, and talk to each other internally. Therefore, to stop making content for the following steps is tantamount to abandoning the potential buyer already at the beginning of the journey.
Support sales all the way
Sellers of complex products and solutions can't guide a customer through the entire buying process. Instead, they need the help of good content in the proper channels, and that content must be available in every step or part of the funnel.
Another reason is that the sellers only meet some people involved in the purchase decision. In the worst case, they meet a single person - a kind of gatekeeper - while the real decision-makers are invisible for a long time. So then it becomes even more important to, in parallel with the sellers' work, ensure that the same answers and relevant knowledge are available in different channels and media.
To underline the last point further: A buying journey in a B2B context moves forward between physical and digital touchpoints, so your messages must come from both sellers and different channels throughout the process. You also need to produce content for questions and topics late in the trip.
Many factors behind a purchase
During a shopping trip, the customer works his way through several scenarios, of which only some have to do with your solution. Instead, a lot is about their situation, what is happening in the environment and how they perceive you.
Therefore, it is not enough to describe your product or solution excitingly. The further down the funnel the customer moves, the more essential tools, examples from other companies (case and success stories), and what others think about your company.
Channels and media change
You shall adapt the content you produce before the purchase phase starts and adapt it to each chosen channel. Later in the journey, additional channels can become more critical - email feeds, portals, tools, etc. Therefore, there must be content that works well in these channels.
Deep knowledge creates trust
Few things are as essential to becoming a B2B supplier as trust and that the customer feels they can trust you and your company. There are several reasons for this; here are two reasons:
First, your potential customers need to feel that you understand their situation, needs and challenges.
Second, many customers experience that making decisions has become more complex, so a reliable partner becomes more important than the lowest price.
Being able to guide a buyer through the entire journey will therefore be substantial proof that you have the deep knowledge and experience required for you to be able to deliver.
Bring this with you
Do you remember the question from the beginning of the text: Do you make content for the different phases of your customers' shopping trips, or are you content only to help them with parts of the journey?
If your answer is no, it is a clear signal that you must re-plan and allocate resources. By not creating content for the entire journey, essential components in your marketing are missing. The solution is to spend more time mapping out what is relevant to your potential customers throughout their buyer journey, and you must do this together with sales.
Time to make things happen?
It's not so easy to change content planning and production so that you start creating content for the entire buyer journey. For more insights into content creation, take a look at our in-depth guide on the topic. If you want to focus more on how your content fits in with your buyer's journey, book a meeting with me below and we can discuss how you can improve.
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Anders asks many questions and knows what to do with the answers.