My new article “Strategic content marketing educates customers and opens their wallets” appears on the Global Telecoms Business website. Here’s an excerpt on changes in the BtoB buying process from that article.
The buying process is now two-thirds online, one-third sales. About 67% of the buying process takes place digitally, says Sirius Decisions.
Rather than spend time with sales, telecom operators research solutions online and consult peers. They glean content from many websites – including trade media, standards bodies, analysts, vendors and social media.
In this hunt, genuinely useful content wins. Customers decide which content makes the most sense and delivers the greatest value, which leads them to specific vendors.
Most marketers employ content marketing, but few do so strategically. While 88% of U.K. marketers use content marketing, only 42% have a documented content strategy, says a Content Marketing Institute survey.
To win at content marketing, you need a well-defined content strategy, a consistent message, and a team that develops and deploys content in a timely way. Strategic content provides ready answers to customers’ problems, questions and pain points – as identified by sales. All vendor content needs to align around one key message that’s delivered consistently through marketing and sales.
First help, then sell. Good content starts with customers’ key questions and your solution’s relevant benefits. Vendors may offer content through websites, email newsletters, magazines, news releases, blogs, white papers, videos, social media and more. To deploy content strategically, analyze the buying process and offer what customers need during each step.
Telecom operators usually buy through large teams. A buying decision-maker drives the process, overseen by executives and supported by buying influencers in affected departments such as technology, operations, procurement and finance. Provide the content that each member of the team needs for each of the 4 steps in the buying journey.
The entire article on strategic content marketing appears on the Global Telecoms Business website.