Conversion isn’t your only challenge as a B2B marketer. Future deals and cross-selling opportunities rely heavily on your success at keeping customers engaged after the sales cycle is complete.
In some respects, this can be harder than holding the attention of new prospects who come to you with an immediate need and a reason to research it. Keeping decision makers returning to your content means speaking to a broader set of topics that can make them more competitive in their field. That could be a new perspective on their work, a glimpse at the trends that will shape your industry in the future, or inside expertise that only your organization can offer.
Use Diverse Topics and Formats
Engage existing contacts with a mix of subject matter and formats that fit into the various opportunities during the workweek for them to focus on professional development. Many, if not most, professionals use breaks between tasks to peek at social media, and a growing share use social platforms to inform their work. In a survey of IT decision makers (ITDMs), 93 percent say they use social media for business purposes. Make the most of this audience. Go beyond company announcements and product-focused social content by sharing fast reads like infographics, fact sheets, white paper summaries, and links to third-party articles your customers might find interesting.
Take the same diverse approach to your content library. Explore economic reports, federal contracts, census research, and custom Google News searches to uncover topics of relevance to customers outside the buying cycle. Add unique perspectives from your internal subject matter experts, and be creative when presenting what you find. Blog posts remain the most popular format among B2B audiences, but the most successful content strategy will have a mix of short and long-form content.
Make it Easily Discoverable
Make all of it easily discoverable. Omnichannel outreach that leverages email, paid social, and other resources can generate 3.5X higher engagement than single-channel campaigns. Also bear in mind that members of your customer base vary in the ways they consume media. Among engineers, for example, an industry survey found that two-thirds subscribe to at least three newsletters. Stakeholders with other professional backgrounds might be more likely to follow you on Twitter or receive marketing assets from Sales outreach.
Streaming media has become especially popular: More than half of engineers say they spend at least one hour a week watching videos for work. What’s more, 96% of ITDMs say they watch webcasts—a format that’s effective for both lead generation and overall brand awareness. Slightly more than half of this audience preferring a recorded version over the live presentation.
Podcasts are another fast-growing channel to keep brands top-of-mind with their customers. Nearly two-thirds of IT decision-makers say they’ve listened to a podcast in the last three months, with cloud computing, SaaS and security, and enterprise software among the most popular topics. Podcast adoption is particularly strong among executives with little time to consume new information. Placing your expertise in their earbuds gives them the option to engage with your content while commuting, exercising, or whenever a few minutes are available.
Discussing a technology outside our product portfolio or interviewing an expert about a niche topic that falls outside your exact market segment won’t guarantee immediate conversions. But interesting content that stands apart can establish your brand as a knowledgeable resource for your industry. Whether you’re engaging new prospects or longtime customers, the value you provide your audience will pay off in the long run.
Want to learn more advanced approaches to capture the interest of decision-makers in IT and beyond? Download our free guide—How to Engage B2B Prospects: Content strategies that earn and hold the attention of potential customers.