Help SMBs begin their buying journey before they realize they’re on one.
The small and midsize business (SMB) buying journey often doesn’t start as a buying journey. Long before SMBs realize they are in the market for a particular product or service, let alone actively looking for a vendor, they’re looking for ideas and solutions to address the disruption they are encountering in every facet of their businesses. Great content can help you generate demand for your product or service by capitalizing on this fact, well before the SMB buyer’s journey even begins. How, you ask? Read on.
By helping SMBs better understand their challenges and pointing them toward solutions, you become a trusted resource, generate demand, and position your brand top-of-mind from the start.
I speak with small business owners every day, and it might surprise you to learn that they often don’t know what they don’t know. They may realize that they’re struggling in some area, but they may not be able put their finger on the problem. When they understand the problem, they may not realize what possible solutions are available or what options may exist. For example, here are a few issues I’ve heard from business owners over just the past two weeks (I realize 3 of these are related to automation, but that is where there is a lot of opportunity for SMBs):
- Can’t scale marketing
- Spending too much time on paying bills
- Bookkeeping is too time-consuming
- Website visitors not converting
Start them on their journey
Begin by educating your SMB prospects on their opportunities and challenges, and present possible solutions. For example, if your accounting application automates transaction recording, you might want to highlight the benefits of automation as well as the cost of accounting errors. By helping SMBs better understand their challenges and pointing them toward solutions, you become a trusted resource, generate demand, and position your brand top-of-mind from the start.
To illustrate what I mean, here are the challenges I mentioned above, along with solutions and approaches that might be taken with content.
Of course, it’s important to create content for the rest of the journey as well. For the middle of the journey, begin to introduce benefits and comparative advantages of specific products or services that you offer. For the end, address common objections to your products like adoption or switching costs, or ROI. (Download our eGuide, Accelerating the SMB Buyer’s Journey, for more on producing “the right content for the right time.”)
Turn content consumption into action
The key to getting an SMB reader to take action is to recognize that the SMB buying journey is not linear, and you don’t know where they’re going next. That is why you need a variety of what we call “smart CTAs.”
- Provide great resources, such as a compelling newsletter or gated asset, to encourage website visitors to give you their email so you can stay in touch with them throughout their journey.
- Surround your content with related content for the next step in the journey, as well as other topics that might be of interest.
- Make it easy to “buy now,” even adjacent to content for the beginning of the journey. You never know when they might be ready to pull the trigger.
The key to generating incremental demand is to engage SMBs as early as possible by proactively helping them with the challenges they’re facing. Educate them by telling them things they don’t already know, and point them in the direction of solutions. Do this right and you will generate demand, build trust, and accelerate their buying journey.
Get insights and tips for marketing to small and midsize businesses from the people who speak SMB.