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Procurement Professionals Are Migrating To Online Resources

Online MarketingImagine you’re in the marketplace in some long ago city. Instead of selling whatever high-tech product or process that you sell now, you’re selling fruit.

People from all over the world are in the marketplace, everyone vying for their business.

If this doesn’t sound all that different from the internet, well, you’re on the right track. The marketplace may be digital, and your product more high-tech, but it’s still tough to capture b2b buyers’ attention.

With tighter schedules and fewer resources, purchasing and procurement professionals are using the internet to source and purchase supplies and components.  If your business can’t fill their needs, chances are they’ll find a business that can.

Here are a few numbers to consider:

  • In 2013, 57 percent of B2B buyers bought goods online. By the following year, that number had jumped to 68 percent.
  • About a fifth of all B2B buyers spend at least 90 percent of their budgets online.
  • Nearly half of B2B buyers research company products on a smartphone or tablet. If you confine the data solely to millennial workers researching with smartphones, it jumps to 55 percent.
  • Close to a third of all B2B buyers say they research at least 90 percent of what they plan to buy.

There’s a thread running through all these examples: the audience you’re targeting — the B2B buyers, the procurement professionals, the manufacturing engineers – are on their way to your website. What will they find when they get there?

Here are a few different inbound marketing tactics to help your customers – and potential customers –better understand who you are.

1. Your Blog

When you post a new entry on your business’ blog, you’re adding to your company’s web presence, giving search engines another path to lead customers to your site.

You’re also creating content that – in most cases – will be useful to customers today, tomorrow, a month, or even a year from now. Blog posts can help solve problems, or at least, show how a company like yours can help.  The more you blog, the more leads you attract, so try to publish at least a couple of times a week.

2. E-books and Case Studies

An e-book allows you to share the same sort of information that you would on your blog, only in more detail. And because you’re putting more work into this piece of content, you’ll be asking for something in return: contact information. You’re sharing your expertise, and in exchange, they’ll give you their e-mail address.

You can also share case studies that give your audience specific examples of how your company helped an existing customer solve a problem. Readers see this and know how you’d be able to assist them.

3. Webinars

Explaining what you do in print might seem kind of dry, so why not present that information in a webinar, allowing your audience to look and listen. You can start with the presentations your sales and marketing teams use, and build from there. And once you’ve conducted the webinar, you can save it and continue to push it as a piece of content.

4. Videos and Photos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth…well, no one’s done the math, but we’ll assume it’s a pretty high number. A video of one of your products in action, or a demonstration of how it’s made, can be more effective than a few paragraphs explaining the same thing.

{{cta(‘5a261306-d6f1-4033-919e-eee917afedd2′,’justifyright’)}}And when you share photos of what you do on social media, they’re more likely to be liked, shared and retweeted than a standard link. All of this brings people back to your site.

If you’re not using inbound marketing to attract customers, trust that your competitors are. But it’s not too late to begin using these practices. IQnection can help you identify who your audience is, and to create great content that speaks their language. The customers you want are using the internet. You owe it to your business to do the same.

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