3 Steps To Beat Your Competitors With Content Marketing
B2B marketing is competitive. But it’s even tougher when you’re going up against the ‘big dog’ in your sector with its big market share and a marketing budget to match.
According to Mediative’s The Buyersphere Project, “across all types of purchases and price ranges, buyers indicated that in the overwhelming percentage of purchases, they bought from a vendor they were already familiar with.”
So it’s important to have a presence in the market sectors in which you compete, either as a known or preferred vendor, or as a vendor with recognition as a thought leader, so that your name comes up when others are asked for their opinions.
For SMBs the problem is often that few know who you are and if you’re not careful you can place yourself at a significant disadvantage. But here’s the good news. With carefully considered and well thought out content it is entirely possible to go toe-to-toe with the “big dog” and win. Here’s how.
1. Produce Risk-Mitigating Content
Each decision-maker will calculate risk versus reward for each vendor in their consideration set. But they will have different questions and perceptions of risk. So you have to eliminate that risk by producing content that addresses each concern, answers each question, for each buyer persona. Your mission is to make sure your business is perceived by all as the least risky option.
But if you’re short of resources like most of us, it’s impossible to execute for the entire scope of ‘people who might be interested in my solution’.
So instead of wasting your valuable time…
2. Focus on Neglected Niches
The B2B sales cycle is painfully long and complex. Which is why vendors need resources to match that complexity. There has to be content for every kind of buyer at every stage of their buying journey. The purpose of this content is to ‘warm up’ leads by educating them about their problems, helping them dimension and define them, read about people like them who also have that problem, present how your solution solves that problem and so on, until the point they are deemed ‘sales-ready’.
Your competitors are probably focusing on producing content for an ideal type of buyer, whilst under-servicing others. This is an opportunity to hone in on that neglected market segment and service them well.
But to win their business, you must first win their trust. And to win their trust, you must first…
3. Become Thought Leaders
Your competitors may be market leaders, but not all market leaders are thought leaders. Use thought leadership as a way to disrupt and overtake your competition.
To do this, you need social proof to prove…
- You know what you’re talking about. You follow the industry religiously, keeping on top of trends and news. You have valid and interesting opinions about what’s going on.
- You know what it’s like to spend a day in their shoes. You know what their pain points and biggest challenges are, you know how frustrating it can be, you know what their goals are and you know what other options (besides your solution) are available out there to fix those problems. More importantly, you can disqualify those alternatives based on reason.
- You can actually solve their problems. These are your customer case studies and testimonials, where your customers do the talking. Or if you’re that new, talk extensively about how to solve that problem, potential ROI, and use case-studies of non-competitors from overseas if you have to.
If you aim for those under-served niches, you will eventually be recognised for specialising in that niche. Eventually, word will spread, and you’ll be known as the guys who really get this niche. Once you own that share of the market, you can think about spreading out where it makes sense.
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