While scrolling through a collection of statistics assembled to highlight the effectiveness of online marketing and social media, the following line popped off the page: 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say when they’re ready to make a purchase, they find a vendor by:
- Using search, 81%
- Looking for peer recommendations, 59%
- Reading content from thought leaders, 41%
What those simple numbers really show is just how effective Inbound Marketing has become for the B2B space.
In a nutshell, Inbound Marketing is about creating an online presence that a prospective customer will find when they search to resolve a problem or need. That’s accomplished by producing great content, optimizing it for your prospects and making sure it can be seen in the places they’ll look. That will attract them to your website where they can convert leads by completing a simple conversion form in exchange for your content.
Interesting, though perhaps not surprising, those three core components of Inbound Marketing correspond almost exactly to the activities B2B buyers take when they’re making a purchase.
Let’s go through them one at a time:
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1. Using search. This corresponds directly to the Search Engine Optimization of your website and your content. The reality is that buyers rely on search to get them started in their buying process and to find the companies offering products or solutions they’re looking for. If you’re using Inbound Marketing, then you’re going to be found before a business that doesn’t.
2. Looking for peer recommendations. This is why it’s so important to be engaged on social media. Not only does it help you to distribute your content to a wide audience, but social media is also the modern water cooler. This is where people congregate and share information about your company and your solutions. As an active participant, you can engage with prospects and shape the way your company is perceived.
3. Reading thought leaders. More than likely, that means reading blogs or other content such as white papers and eBooks. By regularly writing a credible and educational blog, you will establish your company as a thought leader providing relevant information to prospects about solutions to their challenges. Credible, downloadable content such as white papers and eBooks will further enhance your reputation and draw the attention of others. (New content also signals the search engine crawlers to visit your site, improving your rankings in search results).
We may say this a lot, but it’s worth repeating: Internet search has changed how businesses research and buy products. That’s what really made that line of statistics stand out. This is how buyers find companies to buy from. Inbound Marketing is specifically designed to take advantage of that change and position your company to be found first.
Since 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, being found first is important to your company’s long-term success.
If you have not yet adopted Inbound Marketing for your business, you’re letting opportunities pass you by and falling behind your competition. These days, who wants to let that happen?
Learn more about how Inbound Marketing can help your business be found when B2B buyers go searching for products and solutions by downloading our guide Turn Your Website Into a Sales Magnet