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From the author of B2B Online Marketing Educates and Informs

B2B Online Marketing Educates and Informs

Education is a large part of the B2B relationship-building process. Before a prospect becomes a customer, he needs lots of information about your company and the products and services you offer—much more information than a typical B2C customer requires. You can use online media to deliver this information.

You have to remember, the typical business buyer is a sophisticated buyer. Unlike many consumer purchases, business purchases are not impulse purchases. Business buyers are not often influenced by advertising and promotion; they’re driven by facts and reason to purchase those products and services that help their companies remain profitable and successful.

That means you need to supply these buyers with all the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions. The more information, the better—in fact, you can seldom supply too much data.

When it comes to supplying reams of detailed information, you just can’t beat the Internet. If you’re relying on traditional media to supply massive amounts of data, you’ll spend lots of money on paper and ink. Supplying that same information online, on the other hand, costs you virtually nothing. You can create as many web pages as you need, and fill those pages with tons of images and videos, and your incremental costs are next to zero. Cram your website full of information and let your customers go wild; they can read as much or as little as they need or want.

Even better, you don’t have to print and mail different versions of your information to each prospect you gather. Create a single information-rich website and include links to that site in all the materials you supply to your business customers. One site, many links; it’s efficient dissemination of crucial information.

That’s not to say, of course, that your other online marketing vehicles can’t contribute to the education effort. You can use a series of targeted emails, for example, to provide information to a targeted audience. You can also use your company blog, your Facebook page, and your Twitter feed to educate your customers on an ongoing basis. You can feed as much—or as little—information to your customers as you want.

The information you impart doesn’t have to be exclusively text-based, either. You can create educational podcasts and videos, and host and distribute them either on your own website or through other sites, such as YouTube. Online video is a great way to show your customers how to use your products, rather than relying on text-only descriptions.

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