For a while now, buyers have been making key decisions long before they meet a salesperson. As content marketing began its rise a few years back, a survey of 1500 corporate decision makers found that buyers—at a minimum—are 60% through the process before they contact a supplier. They are researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on.

“The hardest thing about B2B selling today is, customers don’t need you the way they used to,” CEB executives explained to the Harvard Business Review.

Pre-purchase research steers the buyer, narrowing their choices. Analysis starts early, and it’s not limited to digital content. Buyers wait to identify themselves once they know more about what you sell, and know more about your competition.

How does your business manage content—your own customer/prospect information—for this new, empowered customer? You publish content to get more sales and profits. How’s it working? What’s working?

Is your content compelling so customers and prospects alike read it? How does it answer their needs, make their lives, work better?

How do you make it credible, believable? This is the age of skepticism. How does your content build trust in what you sell?

Does your content connect to specific product benefits?

Is your content leveraged consistently across all media platforms at your disposal?

We’ve found the best approach to create the kind of content that meets these criteria is to start with journalists. Journalists know how to apply techniques that build and sustain audiences. That’s a powerful tool when applied to the challenges and opportunities of business, because today, businesses with the best content are always in the buyer’s mix, always in the hunt for that sale.

Have questions about how content can work for your business? Contact us.