Content is king. It’s a saying you’re so used to hearing that you hardly ever stop to question its validity. Why would you?
The entire concept of inbound marketing is based on creating content that satisfies the queries people type into search engines. This is good and necessary, but B2B marketers often fail to consider another type of content that doesn’t always come up in keyword research: buyer enablement.
Buyer enablement comes from the idea that maybe readers don’t need more product info content to nudge them along the buyer’s journey when they get stuck. Maybe they need more content that teaches them how to get buy-in with their buying committee. Here are a few content writing suggestions geared toward helping influencers sell your product to their colleagues.
In this post...
1. Consider the stakeholders
Sure, B2B software products are robust, sophisticated systems, but technology buyers have easy access to plenty of educational resources. Finding information about any given product usually isn’t the problem — it’s trying to convince the five to nine other people involved in making the purchasing decision why the company should buy your particular product over a competing product.
When developing your buyer enablement content, think of who these other decision makers might be. Depending on the size of the company you’re targeting, buying committees can include any of the following titles:
- Chief executive officer (CEO)
- Chief information officer (CIO)/chief technology officer (CTO)
- Chief financial officer (CFO)
- Chief security officer (CSO)
- IT director
- Vice president of sales/marketing
The list could go on, but the mix of titles you end up with will be tailored to the pain points your product addresses. Talk to your sales team. Do they have any insight around which stakeholders clients usually need to include in decision making? Look at your own company, too. How many stakeholders had to sign off on the last technology purchase you made and what were their titles?
2. Research objections and provide some answers
Once you have your list of titles, come up with a few questions every person on that list might have about your technology product. For example, a CEO might want to know how your product will help their company in the long run while a CSO might want to know how it will interact with the company’s existing tech stack.
Thorough research is your friend here. Do your competitors publish buyer enablement content that you can study? Can you set up an interview with people in similar roles at your company? Are there any trade magazines or blogs that discuss the problems these people face?
Get creative to gain a better understanding of different stakeholders’ thought processes, and come up with direct responses to their questions or objections. Just like any other piece of content you produce, you want these answers to be as easy to digest as possible for buyers. Give them something easy enough to quote directly to their colleagues.
3. Decide on a format
If you’re new to buyer enablement content, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking it has to be a white paper or an article. Buyer enablement content is just that — content — and it can take many forms.
There’s nothing wrong with white papers and articles, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Feel free to steal some of these ideas:
- A week-long newsletter where buyers can sign up to receive one tip for overcoming objections per day
- A one-on-one coaching session with a member of the sales team
- A video featuring a member of the marketing team going over some objections and offering tips for overcoming them
- A web app ROI calculator hosted on your website, like this worksheet we made for TechnologyAdvice
- A podcast episode that either explains overcoming objections or explores it through an expert interview
- A simulation that takes buyer inputs to show how your software would work in their particular situation
- A one-pager with exact responses that can be used for a list of questions
Out of all these ideas, an ROI calculator might be the most powerful asset you can create for increasing buy-in. You can provide people with all the product information and persuasive talking points in the world, but when you give them the means to see exactly what their money can buy, something clicks.
Don’t be afraid to reuse buyer enablement content, either. If a piece of content worked as well as a blog post, chances are it might also work well as a video. If you’ve already recorded a video, it’s easy to export the audio and publish it as a podcast. Reusing content is an easy way to broaden your reach and educate more people about how to overcome objections.
4. Make it accessible and easily shareable
If done correctly, buyer enablement content will make your life much easier, so you don’t want to eliminate opportunities for yourself by making it too hard to access.
This might be one of the stronger arguments for not making buyer enablement content as a traditionally gated piece of content, like a white paper. The format you decide to go with ultimately boils down to your business needs, but in most cases, it’s best to make buyer enablement content easy to find on your website without having to hand over contact information.
This also plays into making your content shareable. This doesn’t mean white papers are a bad idea — people still email PDF documents to each other all the time — but links work much better when a buyer comes across useful content and wants to share quickly with someone over Slack. Web pages are also much easier to read on mobile devices whereas downloadable content is usually not.
5. Track results and continue to nurture where needed
One of the ways marketers first realized the need for buyer enablement content was by analyzing bottlenecks in buyer journeys. Thanks to marketing automation software, marketers can see which content leads buyers to make a purchase and where buyers become disengaged in a campaign. When buyers do become disengaged, sending more product education content doesn’t usually help.
Take the same approach with buyer enablement content, looking in your marketing automation system to identify the effect of sharing the content with leads. If the content helps to move them along in the buyer journey, great! If not, you may need to continue nurturing with more in-depth buyer enablement content.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
The Content Solutions team at TechnologyAdvice is here to guide you through the unfamiliar territory of buyer enablement content. Our writers have years of experience in B2B technology marketing, and they would love the opportunity to help you get more out of your leads. Get started today by visiting our Content Solutions page.