Most B2B SaaS, FinTech, and infrastructure startups totally miss the mark with their content marketing. Your prospects won’t be ready for a sales conversation until they’re 60% to 80% of the way through their buyer’s journey. So your traffic generation playbook needs to address how you’ll create and distribute content to strangers that don’t yet know that your startup, scaleup, or small business even exists.
In this video, you’ll learn why your startup needs a content marketing strategy for strangers, how to make this happen throughout the buyer’s journey, and what startup content marketing for strangers looks like.
When you’re creating your go-to-market strategy, if you’re like most startup founders, you may be trying to get qualified leads in front of your sales team as quickly as possible.
But given the way that most buyers of B2B SaaS, FinTech, and infrastructure now research and make purchase decisions, you’ll likely be making a huge tactical blunder.
The latest research from Gartner found that 83% of a typical B2B purchase decision -- researching, comparing options, and evaluating pricing -- happens before a potential buyer engages with a vendor.
And McKinsey & Company has discovered that 70% to 80% of B2B decision-makers now prefer to make decisions digitally.
Also, keep in mind that in its B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report, LinkedIn in partnership with Edelman, concluded that “thought leadership remains critical to customer engagement but breaking through the noise is harder than ever.”
What does that mean?
Your ideal customers, your ideal clients, go through three basic stages of their buyer’s journey:
10 or 20 years ago, your sales team would engage prospects throughout the entire buyer’s journey -- from awareness through to decision and even post-purchase. Today that’s no longer the case.
Most B2B buyers simply don’t want to spend time with your sales team anymore during the awareness and consideration stages of their buyer’s journey. Some buyers don’t even want to engage with your sales team during the decision stage of the buyer’s journey -- preferring self-service purchase options.
This can create a multitude of thorny problems if your leadership, go-to-market strategy, and marketing and sales playbooks are living in the past.
You may have done a great job identifying prospects for your product or service, and these awareness-stage strangers may match one of your target buyer personas. But these strangers have no idea that your company exists yet.
These strangers don’t care that your company -- or any company, for that matter -- even exists, at least for now.
These strangers have never even heard of your product or service. Knowledge of your product or service comes much later in the buyer’s journey -- during the decision stage.
And it’s also equally likely that these strangers aren’t even aware of your product or service category quite yet. Knowledge of your product, service, or solutions category also comes much later on in the buyer’s journey -- during the consideration stage, when prospects begin to consider different categories of approaches.
What these strangers do know, however, is that they have a goal that they’re trying to achieve, a problem that they’re trying to solve, or a nagging challenge that’s frustrating them.
The companies that successfully create and distribute helpful, educational content from the point of view of the buyer persona, in the exact words of the buyer persona, earn the chance to build a relationship with these strangers. So these strangers become subscribers, fans, followers, and eventually highly-loyal clients and brand evangelists.
But again, remember that during the consideration stage, traffic generation content needs to prioritize the goals, problems, and challenges of anonymous strangers. These strangers don’t yet know who you are, and you don’t yet know who they are.
By the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, prospects may now be ready for a sales conversation. (again, most but certainly not all)
But here’s the big issue: did you have an active enough role during Awareness and Consideration to earn that conversation?
If your company did some serious educating and trust-building during the awareness and consideration stages, great! If not, you need to invest some serious resources and time in your startup content marketing strategy for strangers.
Do you treat all of your prospects as if they’re already in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey? Do you have a content marketing strategy for strangers? Let me know in the comments section down below.
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