Content Marketing: Help Buyers Compare to Grow Sales
Be bold: offer competitive comparisons to advance the buyers’ journey.
The lack of comparisons sends buyers away and costs you sales.
Where can you find a big upside in content marketing? Understand what buyers need in each step of the buyers’ journey. Then map your content to your buyers’ journey.
In carefully considered BtoB purchases, during step 1, buyers decide:
- Is there really a problem?
- Is it serious?
- Is it serious enough to change the status quo?
To maximize the opportunities in step 1, magnify the problem. Once you convince buyers to address a problem, they need to compare their options.
Content marketers who help buyers compare can advance them smoothly through step 2. As you educate buyers about how to compare, be sure to maximize the differentiation of your offerings.
Start by making it easy to compare all of your company’s offerings with each other. If you sell 3 product lines that address a buyer’s problem, create a grid to show how they compare, at a glance. Make it easy for buyers to do their homework.
Next, offer a broad competitive comparison. What could buyers buy from you or from competitors to address the problem? List options and compare.
Marketers resist naming competitors in their content and on their website. But when you look through the eyes of buyers, you see that competitors turn up on the first page of Google search. Chances are good that your buyers know your competitors already.
BtoB websites such as http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com help buyers compare with:
- Buyers’ overall ratings
- A handy summary of pros and cons
- Responses to buyers’ comments from a product expert.
Wow! That’s highly useful content marketing for buyers. It saves them time and hassle – and keeps them on your website.
What if you don’t allow buyers to compare competitive offerings? Chances are, they’ll make those comparisons anyway by clicking away from your content. They’ll go back to Google or a competitor to continue their buying journey.
Most BtoB websites lack competitive comparisons. That’s a huge missed opportunity.
One specific data point BtoB buyers seek is a price comparison. In usability testing, Jakob Nielsen learned that buyers usually go to competitors’ websites when they don’t find an exact price or a sample price on your site. Why?
Your website is not the center of buyers’ universe. Google is.
Buyers are not asking, “What are all the things I can buy from Company X?” Instead they’re asking, “What are all the different solutions I could buy … from Companies X, Y and Z – even companies I never heard of before? How can I compare?”
- Do you mention competitors on your website by name?
- Do you mention specific products your competitors offer?
- Do you show how your products compare with competitors’?
That’s what buyers want. When they don’t find what they need on your website, they go elsewhere. That’s how you lose up to half of your revenue opportunities.
Admittedly, sellers have long pretended there’s no competition, or no competitor worth mentioning. But with the Internet, social media, and content marketing, do any buyers still believe that?
Be bold. Help buyers compare. In your comparison, clarify trade-offs such as:
- Higher quality vs. lower quality
- Many features vs. few features
- Simpler design vs. complex design
- Better service vs. little to no service
- Faster fulfillment vs. slower fulfillment
- Lower first cost vs. lower operating cost
- Higher price vs. lower price.
Any company needs to excel in one or more of these areas in order to win business.
Consider this: your products may look better to buyers with a competitive comparison than without one.
- In which of these dimensions does your product excel?
- How clear are your competitive advantages in your content marketing?
- If you boldly offer a competitive comparison, will your differentiation become even clearer to buyers?
Help buyers compare well. Put them a step ahead. Keep them advancing through your content by offering the help they need, when they need it.
A thorough competitive comparison could be one of the biggest upsides for your content marketing in the year ahead.