Use of the internet as a means to learn about purchasing options – has fundamentally changed the way those purchases are being made, as Jose Sanchez (@zesanchezr) wrote recently in Sales for Life (@MySales4Life). And these patterns apply across the whole of the economy, including the C-Suite.

B2B purchasers are relying on content

Sanchez cites statistics including a Forrester study that found that B2B buyers go through 90 percent of the buying process before speaking with a vendor.  And that “Eighty four percent of key decision makers” — [including] C-level executives — “use social media to support buying decisions.”

In this changed reality, Sanchez explains, “businesses get found through their content, not their traditional [sales] efforts. How good you are at creating and promoting high quality content will determine how much prospects know about you, your business, and products.”

“It doesn’t matter whether your buyers find you through a Google search or an article on their LinkedIn news feed”, he outlines, “to show up and stand out, you need content.”

So what content to produce?

“Delivering content in context isn’t a new trend for content marketers…it’s become an expectation” as Jon Henderson (@JHendyoutlined recently in uberflip (@uberflip).

“Context, relevance, theme”, Henderson continued, “whatever you want to call it, if you aren’t having meaningful conversations and serving up relevant experiences, you’re doing it wrong.”  When talking with your audience,” he explains, “whatever the situation, you need to think about what’s next.”

The net result in the change in the economy and buying behavior, therefore, doesn’t just mean content needs to be produced and integrated into the sales process.  It also needs to be well researched and well written — as it will be published into an ocean of competitive content for what is likely to be increasingly discerning audiences going forward.

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley provides custom communications services to professional services firms operating in international markets.

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