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 Nov 2019  |  White Paper

Two Little Changes

How to Make a Big Difference in Capturing Early Stage B2B Buyers

The BloomKing Agency. All Rights Reserved.

engage@bloomking.com

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High Level Ideas

Up to 50% of your buying pool will have decided on a list of vendors within 30 days.

It’s difficult to convert a lead in 30 days when it’s placed inside a system designed to nurture and convert in 3-12 month cycles.

Hard landing pages deny early buyers access to your competitive ideas at the time you have their attention - many simply bail rather than register.

PDF downloads are rarely read and don’t contribute to the awareness and engagement you need to capture agile buyers.

Static content is not as attractive as interactive content, so more potential buyers are lost.

This briefing outlines two simple changes that can be implemented in short order that will help get you onto the new fast-tracked vendor selection lists:

Change #1

Soft-gate to scoop in more potential buyers and allow them to determine if there is a value match between your ideas and what they are seeking before they give you personal contact information

Change #2

Introduce interactive elements into your content such as assessments, quizzes, and polls. Give information, then ask for information - all within the same reading experience.

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Summary (TL;DR)

The consensus based on research in 2019 is that B2B buyers are doing more of their own research and using that research to form short lists quickly, usually within the first month of beginning their search.

It’s more important than ever to make your content interactive, compelling, easy to access your content and to get it read so you’re in the immediate mindshare of your buyers.

Please drop us your email address to learn more about soft gating and interactive content

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Change #1

Soft-gate at least some of your best content

Allow anyone who is interested to access your ideas, and then decide for themselves if it’s a match that contributes positively to their research needs.

The self-help buyer is not a new revelation. It’s become a fact. Buyers are doing more research before contacting vendors. This is a big change. But has your content marketing strategy changed too?

According to The Demand Gen 2019 B2B Buyers Survey 75% of buyers said they are spending more time researching purchases, which is up from 72% in 2018. And buying committees are trying to be more agile.

42% of respondents say they are contacting vendors within a month of starting research, compared to 33% a year ago.

Additional data from the survey backs the trend towards more agile vendor research:

%
accepted outreach from vendors for calls and demos in the first month, compared to 23% in 2018
%
sought RFP, competitive bids and/or pricing information from vendors in the first month, compared to 20% in 2018
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Summary (TL;DR)

This means that your content must sell for you upfront and quickly. It can’t sit in a virtual drive or inbox waiting to get read. To get onto the B2B buying fast track short list, you need immediate engagement. What is referred to as ‘Engagement’ is just getting your ideas read and not swept into the dust bin of the virtual drive. The traditional gating and download system of the past 20 years creates too much friction and repels potential buyers.

Use the slider to indicate your level of interest

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The Gating System Today Looks Like This:

An offer is syndicated

Responders are presented with a registration landing page

They can decide to fill the form or bail out

Those that complete the form are presented with a PDF which they scan read and save to their drive

Hard gates like registration landing pages have:

One Advantage

You are capturing potentially accurate information about someone who may have some interest in your value proposition. This is usually sufficient for longer term (3-12) nurturing systems. It can be used in parallel with soft gates.

Two Problems

You are also turning away someone who has some interest in your value proposition because they don’t want to give up their contact information before they know the quality of what they are about to read

For those that do register, there are going to be many ‘false positives’ in the lead batch for people who registered and then discover the ideas don’t apply to them

If you believe the trend towards more agile buyers, then the goal of your content should be to try and match as many potential buyers with your content as possible, quickly. Then convert the ones who are truly interested or engaged.

In the Demand Gen report, 97% of B2B buyers said it was important to offer content options with minimal gates, 56% said it was very important. You can’t put your head in the sand anymore when it comes to facing what actually happens to your content after a buyer registers. It needs to get read. At least most of it so the buyer gets the ideas. That is engagement.

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Change #2

Make your content more compelling and personalized by making it interactive

In their research journey, B2B buyers are hungry for engaging experiences that offer ideas and solutions that solve real business problems, but also to help them grow and learn as professionals.

Getting your content read is the primary goal in capturing early, agile buyers.

In their 2018 content preferences Survey, DemandGen Report found that:

%
of B2B buyers surveyed preferred interactive content to static
x
the rate of static converts to a lead with use of interactive content
%
of B2B readers who start an interactive content piece finish it, unlike static

Examples of interactive content:

Interactive Media
Calculators
Assessments
Surveys & Quizzes
Chatbots
Interactive PDFs
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Using interactive content does not have to add to your already busy workload.

You can take existing content and repurpose it for interactive. Better yet, your lead gen vendor should offer to do this for you.

Use the slider to indicate your level of interest

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Summary

We’re not proposing you scrap your current system of content syndication. We are suggesting you consider taking some budget and experimenting with soft gates and interactive content specifically for the purpose of capturing early buyers.

• Use your existing content
• Convert it to interactive
• Soft gate
• Using your existing CPL budget to fund the leads just as you do with static

What you don’t convert in 30 days, you can still add to your existing nurture system.

The BloomKing agency can add soft gate/interactive content experiences seamlessly for you using your existing content. We will set up all interactive experiences and data collection for you on a CPL basis, using your existing CPL budget.

We don’t call it CPL, we call it CPR (Cost Per Read) which reflects the reality that with the BloomKing approach a significant portion of your content will get read before it counts as a lead. That means you tell us the point in the document when meaningful information has been exchanged and we will place the gate there.

Let’s Get Started!

The BloomKing Agency. All Rights Reserved.

engage@bloomking.com