In 2011, Google published a study that showed 88% of consumers consulted an average of 10.4 sources before buying.
And 70% of the buying decision was made before they contacted a business for the first time — before your company even knew they existed!
This is known as the Zero Moment of Truth.
So, how can businesses adapt to this shift?
Companies used to have all the knowledge about their products and services and were able to pick and choose what they wanted to share with us buyers. But technology has leveled the playing field and given consumers the advantage.
Sellers are no longer the gatekeepers of information. Almost anything is available at our fingertips, literally.
As consumers, we’ve shifted how we buy, but most businesses haven’t, and some flat out refuse. This has created a giant gap and an incredible opportunity for your company.
#1: Converting contacts / leads into customers
#2: Increasing frequency and amount of repeat sales
#3: Growing website traffic
The solution to these problems starts with creating a clear strategy that includes content marketing. While content marketing continues to dominate as a low-cost, but extremely effective, marketing strategy, 80% of small businesses don’t utilize content marketing.
Content is at the center of every stage of your ideal buyer’s buying process, also known as the customer value journey.
Content marketing is simply communication. It is a strategic marketing approach focused on consistently creating and distributing valuable and relevant content that attracts, retains, and grows your client base.
Content marketing can take on many different forms: blog articles, social media posts, infographics, videos, emails, seminars, white papers, etc. Does this mean content marketing is the right move for your company? In short yes. How that looks for your business will vary based on your unique circumstances and market.
Content Creates Awareness, Educates, and Informs: 75% more B2B customers in 2016 used content to research their purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. And what’s more: 95% of respondents said they are open to accepting vendor content as trustworthy.
Content Drives Search Traffic and Social: 79% of people search for relevant content in search engines (up 259% from two years ago). Social media is the #1 type of content accessed on mobile.
Content Converts Traffic to High-Quality Leads: Organizations who have an effective overall marketing strategy cite content marketing as the best source for the highest quality leads.
Content Nurtures Leads to Customers and Generates Revenue: 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly. 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI from content marketing.
Content Turns Customers to Fans and Promoters: 91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making their buying decision. Word-of-mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%.