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Give Your Business Clients The Content They Want

Give Your Business Clients The Content They Want

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If you are an online retailer selling to other businesses, it is important to understand what your business customer is looking for from your business and your website.

Unfortunately, business to business sellers are not always the best informed when it comes to their clients wants, according to Marketing Sherpa, a leading marketing intelligence and consulting firm.

In 2007, Marketing Sherpa conducted a survey of business customers and marketers who pitch to them. They asked almost three thousand survey participants to select the number one most interesting website content. Surprisingly or maybe not the responses of the marketers and the business customers did not match all that well. Here is what Marketing Sherpa discovered.

When they asked marketers when they changed their website content, the responses were almost entirely focused on the business internal issues, e.g.:

- 87% cited changes for new products
- 75% cited changes based on new marketing strategies.

Versus the 62% who cited industry news. Customers, on the other hand, seek out information from B2B websites for very different reasons.

Find below the differences in responses between the customers and the marketers:

Case study on how a company used product to improve a business process.
Business Customers: 133
Marketers: 250

New research on some aspect of the industry.
Business Customers: 124
Marketers: 50

How-to guide for using product/service to better advantage.
Business Customers: 110
Marketers: 86

Top 10 ways to improve business:
Business Customers: 106
Marketers: 116

Case study on how company used the product to learn something new.
Business Customers: 80
Marketers: 80

Interview with top analyst on state of the industry.
Business Customers: 55
Marketers: 53

Interview with top executive on state of the industry.
Business Customers: 45
Marketers: 29

While marketers believed that product case studies were most important, far fewer customers felt the same way, though case studies remained important as content.

Customers, on the other hand, viewed industry information as very useful, compared to marketers, both in terms of perceived importance and in terms of how often websites are updated to include industry information. Customers were also much more likely to want to hear from an industry executive than marketers expected them to be.

How can you use this information to make your website content more relevant and attractive to your business clients?

1. Include case studies.

Case studies remain important, especially those that help businesses to improve their performance.

2. Focus on the industry.

Business people need to be constantly aware of how the industry they are operating in is doing and constantly seek out relevant information. Make your site an indispensable part of their information gathering activity by making industry news an important focus of your content.

3. Involve your customers.

Business people like to hear from other business people experiencing similar issues. Consider posting interviews with your customers on important topics within the industry.

4. Promote your products with your customers needs in mind.

Naturally your website should be focused on promoting your products and services. The secret is to talk about your business and products in terms of your customers. If you want to announce a new product, do not simply describe it and its features, discuss those features in the context of your customers business needs.

For example, if you are introducing eco-friendly packaging materials, go beyond a description of the material, its uses and price. Talk to your customer about how their use of this new material can help them demonstrate their green commitment to their own customers, adding data about the trend toward clients selecting vendors at least in part based on their eco-friendly policies.

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