Why you should flirt shamelessly with your customers’ customers:
Are you working for a Business-to-Business? If your answer is “yes” then your Content Marketing campaigns need to engage two groups: your customers and their consumers. Whether your B2B is aimed at contractors, attorneys, doctors, restaurant owners or even politicians, you can differentiate yourself from your competition by building more than just a brand; a partnership. Businesses look for programs, products and outside services to bring value to what they have to offer. With changes in leadership, growth and needs those services can be in-housed or moved to another provider. So what will you do to show your customers that you care?
Ready to start on your B2B2C content?
First ask yourself why your customers are using your products/services? Who are they trying to connect with? It’s easy to identify who their target consumers are, but you need to focus on the ones who can drive the most new business. Which type of B2B are you?
“I work for a publication”: If you work for a medical journal or publicati0n, your customers are trying to reach practitioners who are already treating, but they’d love to connect with their future consumers. Residents in most medical industries are difficult for businesses to reach because of their demanding academic schedules and the touch-and-go process of getting products into a university program. Students are the future of any industry; why not give your customers a way to reach them directly?
If you work for this type of publication, you can easily build your brand recognition with up and coming practitioners via universities and industry events with free online subscriptions to your content. The only caveat? They agree to receive weekly updates and news from your sponsors, i.e. win-win.
Use Content Marketing online (Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) to keep your web presence visible. If your site is generating traffic, why not let your customers reap the benefits? PsychologyToday.com is a great example. They constantly publish articles and blogs on work-life balance, career and mental health. These articles pull consumers to their site from LinkedIn.com and other websites so they can find a directory listing of psychologists and counselors nearby.
“I work for a manufacturer:” Building your own brand recognition among your customers’ consumers is imperative to staying relevant in the market. Your content should reach beyond your target audience to well, their target audience. If you’re providing medical equipment for surgeons for example, let consumers know why doctors rely on the safety and quality that comes with your products – then let them use a map or contact form to find the surgeons in their area who do. Searches can be filtered by insurance type too, to make it more likely that they’ll seek treatment from one of your customers.
“I work for a web services provider:” There are web service providers tailored to specific business segments. A perfect example is Stem Legal, a business led by Steve Matthews, a Content Marketing powerhouse. Their business model focuses on providing customers with compelling web content, elegant WordPress designs and targeted, hard-hitting SEO campaigns helping their customers attract clients. What could Stem do to differentiate themselves from their competitors and freelancers?
Why not create a new portion of their website dedicated to people searching for the right attorney? They already have the ability to get customers listed in legal blogs, but why not provide that right from their webpage? Consumers who find an attorney and are pleased with the final outcome can provide important testimonial information on their attorney and why they’re happy they used Stem. (Of course considering the audience these testimonials may use first names or initials only, but why not? They can easily pair these quotes with a photo of the lawyer mentioned.)
Stem could even feature one consumer testimonial each month on their site and invite web visitors to peruse their portfolio of legal gurus. Steve can even feature those customers on their B2B homepage and show attorneys how Stem partners with them in a remarkable way.
The best Business-to-Business marketing concepts will always focus on both the ‘B’ and ‘C’ audiences and what matters most to each. Do you work for a B2B? How have you been able to leverage business for your customers? Please drop a comment below and let me know!