If the leads who are reading your content aren’t involved in the buying process, then all your marketing efforts could come to naught.
Content marketing is a key pillar of your marketing strategy. When done right, it delivers valuable information to the buyer, builds trust, and warms up leads – but only if it reaches the right eyes.
Sales funnels are getting longer and more complex. There are often multiple stakeholders involved in the buying process, and you might not be reaching the ones who really matter. In fact, it’s likely that the buyer will be the last one to hear about your solution, and when it's time to place an order, this person might not have read any of your content firsthand.
Let’s go through strategies you can implement to make sure that you reach the stakeholders involved in the buying process with the content you're investing in:
Why It’s So Hard to Reach the Right Stakeholder
You can optimize all your content, sales funnels, and marketing campaigns to resonate with your key buyer personas, but without optimizing your content distribution strategy accordingly, there’s no guarantee that you’ll reach them.
The main problem is that the decision-maker often isn’t the one doing the product research. You first need to convince the reader that your content is valuable enough to pass it on to the buyer.
When you share content by simply posting it to your brand’s social media channels, it’s still unlikely to reach key contacts on the buyers’ side. That’s because a combination of new algorithms that work against brands and commercial accounts ends up limiting the organic reach of your branded posts.
If you want to reach B2B buyers, you may want to target millennials. They are indeed reshaping the way we do business: 81% of millennials conducting purchase research have an impact on the final purchase decision. They don’t trust sales pitches and have sharp radars for inauthentic messages. Nearly 60% of them report that they engage with sales representatives only in the middle stage of the buying process, actively avoiding conversations with them before they have a chance to do some research on their own.
Social Selling Increases Trust in Your Brand
Social selling is a great way to increase trust in your brand. Millennial B2B buyers are digital natives who use social media to answer every question they may have. They might not trust your brand, but they do trust recommendations from their peers, third parties, and your employees: 55% of millennials involved in a buying process ask for opinions from their peers.
As trust in your brand messaging drops, your employees become more trusted than you are. What’s more, millennials appreciate active employee engagement and are more willing to buy from a vendor with a strong sense of culture.
Social selling gives you a chance to get your expertise and value proposition noticed by the buyer without having to first overcome their distrust in your brand messaging.
Content shared by your sales reps is more likely to be read and trusted without preconceptions, unlike the same material shared through branded social media accounts. And given the way today’s buyers operate, conversations on social media may be more likely to flourish into promising sales opportunities than any other messaging channel.
Smart employee advocacy positions your sales representatives as trustworthy experts who can have meaningful conversations with potential buyers. These conversations are the start of a relationship that can lead to sales.
Your Employees Can Help You to Reach Stakeholders Involved in the Buying Decision Process
Approximately 54% of B2B buyers use social media to research solutions and providers. As a result:
- They are already familiar with your content and references.
- Brand mentions on social media help you to make sure that potential buyers are aware of your solution early in their buying process, so they can consider it from the very start.
- The more often these buyers read recommendations from your employees on social media, the more positive sentiment they’ll have towards your brand, and the more receptive they’ll eventually be to your sales pitch.
Your employees have large social media followings, typically 10 times larger than your brand's, and your brand's reach is 561% higher when posts are shared by your employees.
When your employees share your content as individuals on social media, it appears on the feed of their connections. That way, you can get your content read by the main buyer. This amplifies your brand awareness and improves your organic reach.
Not only can your employees increase your social reach, but they also share valuable expertise. That’s why you should encourage all your employees to share professional content on social media rather than only include sales representatives into your employee advocacy program.
Even the best content strategy can only generate sales if it reaches the right pair of eyes. With lower brand trust and decreased organic reach for brands on social media, employee advocacy is a smart way to get your content seen. By enlisting all your employees to amplify your social reach, you can get your content read by the buyer and close the deal faster!
Are you interested in learning more about how employee advocacy can help you to reach your target audience? Join the upcoming webinar “How to Maximize Marketing Impact with Employee Advocacy” we’re co-hosting with HubSpot! Bruno Bin, our Head of Marketing and Lisa Edwards, Product Marketing Manager at HubSpot will share their best practices for encouraging employees to become brand ambassadors!