Your newly refreshed website with responsive design, social feeds and blog are not enough. Remember, B2B buyers do a majority of the purchase decision-making process before contacting a vendor. In a nutshell, buyers want to know what it’s like to work with your business before writing the check.
(A 2011 survey of 1,400 B2B buyers by the Corporate Executive Board indicated that on average they complete 60 percent of a purchase process before engaging a vendor.)
Buyers discover potential vendors early in their search, educate themselves about what to expect throughout the process and identify risks and potential pitfalls to avoid. They go online first, look at sources other than your website and view third party content as more credible than your own.
(According to a 2013 State of Demand Generation study by Pardot, over 70 percent of B2B buyers use search to begin their information discovery process for a business purchase.)
As in B2C, where personal reviews are viewed as equivalent to a personal recommendation, B2B buyers are influenced by what others have to say and seek out reviews. They view customer reviews as more credible than other forms of content. And, even though each business situation can be unique, B2B buyers benefit from understanding the experiences that other customers have had.
(A 2013 survey of B2B marketers by LinkedIn indicated that customer testimonials and case studies are considered the two most effective content marketing tactics.)
(A 2014 survey from the Demand Gen Report illustrates this—97% of B2B buyers say that user generated content such as peer reviews is more credible than other types of content.)
Authentic customer reviews need to be added to your business’ content arsenal.