Many organizations produce some great product-focused content but wonder why it’s not effective when they try to use it for demand generation. The issue is that most product content fits in the persuasive bucket and should be used further down the sales funnel.
What’s needed to address the top part of the funnel, which accounts for 57% of the sales process, is educational content. This content helps readers understand industry trends and new technologies to solve their problems. It also positions you as a thought leader so that when it comes time for them to choose a technology, you are on the short list.
But more importantly, for any lead generation program to work, you need to collect email addresses and other contact info at some point. However, no one is going to give you this info to download a data sheet. In fact, if they are at this stage then they will just click the contact sales or other similar link on your site and you have a really hot lead.
But it’s rare for prospects in B2B to be hot leads from day 1. That’s what the 57% stat is really all about. So until they are ready to buy and engage with sales, you need to find a way to nurture them through their buying process and to do this you need to deliver educational content along the way.
I’m sure this makes sense to most in marketing yet I’m also sure you get push back, either when you start the document or during the review process, as to why you would produce a document that does not talk about our products or solutions. And that’s where this all starts to fall apart.
Someone decides to add a section on how your product solves the problem you outline in the paper or how you are at the forefront of a certain trend. Then someone else will start to add even more details about the product. And then, because the paper is starting to get long, you decide to remove some of the up-front material. Has this happened to you?
Now, I’m not saying that this product document is not needed. I’m just saying it’s not educational content and will likely turn people off from your company and solution as they are just not ready for that part of the pitch. They are exploring their options and looking for a company that they want to work with.
They are not looking for the product details because they may not even know what they need yet. They are not looking for why your product is better, yet, because they are only looking for all the available options to solve their problem.
With this in mind, think of how you look for a product. Do you start by looking at the detailed features? Do you fill in a form on a web page to get these details? The answer is likely not, especially if it’s a B2B sale. Then why, would you do it to your prospects?
Educate them first. Become a thought leader. And they will see you as a credible option when they are ready to buy!