One of the most effective ways to offer solutions to your customers’ challenges is to create useful content and promote it to key prospects who want it most. This is especially important because in the B2B sales cycle, buyers conduct a lot of research before contacting a company about possibly making a purchase. That means you want to provide the best material to answer both their most common and most challenging questions. In addition, you want prospective buyers to find your content easily.
Hiding in Plain Sight
It’s likely that your company has many content offerings at hand – white papers, PowerPoint presentations, product application notes – that you can gather into one easily accessible spot to create a “knowledge center.” By offering such a resource, you can position your company as the go-to solutions provider in the field, while building awareness of your full scope of products.
An effective way to feature content and make it easy to find is to create a dedicated landing page for this material. That way, buyers of your technology who are researching the market can easily find the answers they are clamoring for – right on your website.
Our research of B2B tech-based markets and the motivations of buyers has shown that relationships are very important to winning a prospect’s trust. People are an important part of the equation in terms of establishing differentiation, getting a sale and retaining that customer. Naming key personnel as solutions experts gives a human touch to your information, products and organization. They also add personality to your content. These designated specialists represent your business lines to the industries you serve. And they are ambassadors to the media as experts in their respective areas.
Tech-based companies generate content that they might not feel comfortable releasing to the public. A thoughtful tech marketing program respects concerns about intellectual property and trade secrets.
With that in mind, we’ve found that most tech-focused companies have a large amount of content that is fit for public distribution. This is the material that can be used as part of a solutions-based content marketing program. It’s important to have a tech marketing expert help you to evaluate the content you have available and determine if it will receive notice from prospects. Such an assessment can guide recommendations about how to use or modify the in-hand content and generate new material as needed.
Getting the Word Out
Using public relations outreach is key to launching the knowledge center, introducing your experts and announcing additions to the site. Messaging that addresses industry challenges will drive visitors to your site. Because trade publications are always looking for good editorial content, we advise making your experts available to editors to provide insight into important trends and topics. The goal is to be asked to contribute an article or provide informative quotes that will appear in a featured piece in the journal.
It’s important to include social media in spreading the word about your company’s knowledge center. Increasing likes and shares will ultimately drive followers to your website. Use LinkedIn to engage with industry-specific groups and discussions. Promote engagement with your experts via Twitter. Add presentations to SlideShare. If you don’t have many PowerPoint presentations handy, you can convert content that exists in other formats into slides.
Marketing becomes much more effective when it translates your brand into real solutions. While a strong brand builds trust among clients, your market must also understand what it is you can provide – specifically – to help them solve those issues that keep them up at night.
Are you considering starting a knowledge center on your website? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Lisa Goetz is a public relations executive at Schubert b2b, where she primarily writes content and manages media relations. She brings 20 years of editorial and communications experience to Schubert b2b and holds a PhD in English literature from Duquesne University. When not in the office, Lisa likes to take excursions with her husband and hang out with her cat and a good book.