Most leadership groups at B2B businesses understand that content marketing is important. The challenge is to get them to understand that it is the MOST important thing they should be working on every day.
Every day B2B businesses have an opportunity to do something that will make them stand apart from their competition and stand out in their ideal customer’s minds.
Every day B2B businesses fail on both counts.
Getting your ideal customers’ attention is the most important thing you should be focused on every single day.
Why is that?
“Attention is the currency of the 21st century. “
This is critically important if you manufacture heavy-duty parts and use a distribution network to sell your products to the end-user. It is even more important if those distributors sell your products and your competitor’s products concurrently.
If you want the full support of your distributors, then drive customers to their locations and generate revenue for them. The best way to do that is through a comprehensive content marketing strategy that systematically gets your ideal customers’ attention and directs them to the distributor of your choice.
Now imagine this: You deploy an effective content marketing strategy and you build an audience of loyal customers. The larger this audience becomes the more negotiating power you will have.
As long as your distributors are the only one who has a relationship with the end-users of your products they hold a great deal of influence. The way to change that without disrupting your distribution network and the relationships you have with your distributors is to develop a relationship with the end-user via content marketing and direct them to the place of your choosing.
I Can Hear the “Ya buts…”
As in, “ya but I don’t have the budget for expensive videos” or “ya but I don’t use social media and neither do my customers.” You know the “ya buts…” I’m talking about.
The reality is that your customers are using social media and consuming digital content far more than you realize. Digital content also holds far more influence than most B2B leadership groups will admit and I can easily prove it.
Answer this one question, do you believe that social media influenced the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election that resulted in Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States of America?
If you answered NO I want you to stop reading this blog article right now and go away. I mean it, go away.
Okay, now that the one person who doesn’t believe that Facebook and other social media platforms play a significant role in the outcomes of elections, even the 2016 U.S. election, I can make my point.
If social media can influence how people vote, social media DOES influence how people buy. All the data supports this. In fact, in a recent poll of U.S. consumers, it was found that 82% of people DO NOT want to speak to a salesperson UNTIL they are ready to buy.
What does that mean for traditional manufacturers and distributors of heavy-duty parts?
It means that there is a new way to do business and you absolutely, positively, MUST change the way you interact with your end-user customers. The most important word in the statement, “82% of people DO NOT want to speak to a salesperson UNTIL they are ready to buy” is the word UNTIL.
What that is telling us is that 82% of people still want to speak to a salesperson, in fact, nearly 100% of people still want to speak to a salesperson but only after they have made a buying decision.
This is a major shift in buying behavior and it affects your end-user customers and your distributors. It also presents a great opportunity for you and your heavy-duty parts manufacturing business.
The good news is that almost none of your competitors are going to get it and take action until it is nearly too late. This means that if you want to do something special in the first couple of years of the 2020s and get out in front of the tsunami wave of disruption that is about to crash into the heavy-duty parts industry, there is still time.
But that time is very short.
Now what strategy should you use and how do you go about writing, producing and distributing a new narrative to your end-user customers in a way that doesn’t crush your existing distributor relationships?
First, I would like to introduce you to my omnichannel marketing system. Take a long look at the infographic.
The Final “Ya but…”
While you may have heard about this omnichannel approach before or even if this is the first time you have been exposed to this concept the thing that most people immediately ask is, “ya but what should I make the content about?”
Well, get ready for some great news.
Like Henry Ford who broke down the manufacturing process of the Model T into 84 steps and then created the modern assembly line, the way to create the content for the omnichannel marketing strategy is to break down the buying process for your end-user customer into as many steps as necessary.
Once you have mapped out the buying process you must create videos (and other supporting digital content) that explain everything a customer needs to know to make a buying decision. Every step becomes a piece of pillar content that is broken down into many pieces of micro-content. The micro-content is distributed across every digital platform and leads back to the pillar content.
Like a great Netflix series, your pillar pieces of content that explain every step of the buying process should be organized in a way that a prospective buyer can come into the series at any stage, quickly find the beginning and consume the entire series if they choose.
At the end of this process, the end-user of your product should be fully educated and prepared to buy. At this point, they will want to speak to a salesperson. All you must do is direct them to your distributors so they can take the order.
The concept is simple but executing on this strategy takes focus, determination, and a willingness to change the way you communicate to your end-user customers.
Let’s be honest, your distributors are going to require some training on how to receive the business you drive towards them and they themselves would benefit from a series that helps them come to the conclusion that your products should be distributed in place of your competitors but hopefully you get the concept and you can put it to work in your business.
If you would like to get assistance with this please reach out to me directly by filling out this form on my contact page.
Did you know that I host an industry-leading podcast called The Heavy-Duty Parts Report?
Listen to episode 27 entitled:
Disclaimer: This blog article and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, Jamie Irvine (d.b.a. Irvine Sales & Service and The Heavy-Duty Parts Report) may receive a small commission.