Online Marketing Presence: Show Me – Don’t Tell Me
According to a recent report by ITSMA, 62% of software buyers believe reports from independent analyst groups (e.g. Gartner) are most helpful during the sales process. That’s not surprising. Companies buy based on trust – meaning your online marketing presence should be a big focus. In this self-serve world where “93% of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process” (iMEDIA CONNECTION) credibility gives you an opening to speak, strength behind your statement, and the listener a reason to tune into your message.
So assuming Gartner is not writing any reports about you in particular, what can you do to build your credibility and create a trusted relationship with an online prospect?
Let’s start with the fundamental rule of building credibility online – show me – don’t tell me. Or put another way, I don’t care what you say – I care what you do (and can prove). With this in mind, you can be sure the ‘About Us’, taglines and glowing statements about how you can help the customer are going to be overlooked as so much marketing fluff.
Instead, focus your efforts on showing who you are through:
- Your Customers’ Voices. The most powerful credibility tactic for b2b marketers are the customers you have helped and the results you have achieved. Case studies, testimonials, quotes, and customer logos all have a place on your website as well as throughout your site (not just in the “our customers” section).
- Your Industry Expertise. Demonstrate your industry experience with thought leadership content that shows you know the industry. Focusing on food distribution? Forget ‘we have 10 years in the food industry’. Articles on traceability are going to do more to show you know what you’re talking about.
- Your Online Persona. Poor packaging = decreased credibility. Think of the days of ‘dress for success’. You still pull out the best suit for a visit with an important prospect because it matters. With prospects viewing you online, it’s your online presence (your website) that needs the good suit.
Focus on these key areas to help build your credibility, differentiate your company and SHOW your prospects how your knowledge will be a big win for them.
In my next blog I’ll share some ideas on things you can do to further build your credibility online.
By Barbara Pfeiffer, Senior Consultant at The Partner Marketing Group.