The content marketing movement in B2B has remained a difficult resource to harness in today’s market. In fact, as much as 70% of content produced by B2B marketers is left unused. Part of the problem is the fact that B2B customers are investing in more than just a product. Rather, they are focusing on how that product can provide solutions to important issues within their company. So, these products are essentially investments into their own companies.
A question and answer platform can significantly improve B2B marketing reception by clarifying product benefits and appealing to business-minded consumers.
51% of B2B buyers rely on content to research buying decisions. Unfortunately, long pages of tedious technical jargon have become synonymous with traditional B2B content. This has made the research process boring for B2B consumers who are often looking for several specific bits of information about the product. Instead of relying on lengthy text, make sure that your content highlights the benefit of your products and how those products can improve the business of your consumers.
A strong Q&A platform is a powerful addition to content. The platform should have engaging content with limited technical jargon, which will keep consumers interested and allow for answers without scanning a lengthy PDF. As with your overall content, your Q&A platform should be tailored to highlight the ways that your product can benefit your customer’s company. For instance, if you are selling recycled paper, you can highlight how demonstrating care for the environment by using recycled paper can improve your customer’s brand image while also highlighting the paper’s durability and compatibility with standard printers.
Quantifying ROI within the B2B segment is notoriously difficult. In lieu of ROI, companies have turned to indirect, and often inefficient, measurement tactics such as website traffic.
Fortunately, efficient Q&A software can be used to offer a better solution by tracking the number of questions and answers in the platform, as well as the amount of revenue that the platform generates. By measuring engagement in the Q&A section, a B2B retailer can increase operational efficiency.
Meanwhile, you can also tailor your question and answer software to analyze the text and engagement data in order to troubleshoot products and operations difficulties. The collected data can be used to gauge user satisfaction, optimize product descriptions and even address new and major consumer needs.
A B2C sales and marketing team must convince only a single person to make a sale. Once a B2C consumer sees a product that they find appealing at an affordable price, they can go ahead and purchase that product. Meanwhile, a B2B product must first be evaluated by several individuals in your target business before making a buying decision—an average of 5.4 people evaluate a B2B product before purchase. Investing in a costly or complex product will involve even longer buying decisions, more people, and extensive projections of cost versus benefit analysis. The involvement of numerous individuals significantly increases the sales cycle of B2B products.
Your B2B question and answer section can shorten this cycle by providing solution-focused content. Your Q&A section can give your customers an efficient way to present your company’s product to others within their own company by referencing specific points and solutions. Instead of mentioning a good product to his or her co-workers, a B2B customer can present benefits that they have read from the Q&A section. Even if the customer chooses to simply mention your company and product as a potential investment that needs further evaluation, going straight to the Q&A section instead of reading lengthy text will be much more appealing to your customers’ colleagues. By providing an easy, readable section for solutions and benefits, you can help ensure that decisions to buy your product are made more quickly within a target consumer’s infrastructure.
As with B2C buyers, B2B customers have come to rely on peer recommendations over peer advertisements. 86% of B2B buyers consider word-of-mouth to have the greatest impact on their purchasing decisions, and 51% of B2B buyers rely on content to research buying decisions.
An efficient Q&A platform can provide a potential platform for consumer recommendation. By seeing other professionals answer questions about your product, B2B buyers are more likely to trust what you are selling. Even seeing an increased amount of questions with efficient, satisfactory solutions can confirm to B2B buyers that their peers, and sometimes their competitors, are interested in your product.
Q&A sections act as prime forms of content amplification and syndication while also providing consumers with a sense of peer review. A combination of these factors makes the Q&A a more beneficial, sensible and effective model for B2B companies than traditional content.