• 3 Steps to Good B2B Gated Content

    Technical B2B companies can use gated content to capture leads on their websites. Whether it’s a white paper, survey report or another technical document, follow our three tips below to ensure that you’re consistently adding fuel to your sales engine:

    Select the right topic

    Choosing the right information to share is the most important step in the gated content process. Take time to catalog the questions that clients repeatedly ask you, or listen to your sales team about what concerns they hear most from customers. Do keyword research with Google Search or SEMrush to determine what kind of answers people are seeking. You can also review your website with Google Analytics to see which pages are most popular. Once you’ve decided on a topic, think about what related details you want to share. A good way to do this is by running through a customer use case and creating a list of questions that customers might ask.

    For example, let’s say your traffic engineering firm is consistently asked what should be considered when designing a new master-planned community development. You could compile all of the most popular questions and create a white paper using these FAQs. Some of the questions might include:

    • How much traffic will my development generate?
    • When do I need to add a second lane?
    • When is a roundabout a good idea?
    • How much parking will I need?

    Make it truly useful

    To capture the attention of B2B leaders, you’ll need to produce some high-quality content. These folks are busy with tons of material to read already. What will inspire them to offer their contact information to read your content? It has to be useful and provide some sort of meaningful value. Think about providing more than just surface level information and dig deep to share some nuggets of information that will save them time or solve a persistent headache at their company. You might do this by sharing results from a survey you conducted or by including facts from a research paper.  In our example above, the traffic engineering company could share actual statistics that will help the developer in planning.

    • How much traffic will my development generate?
      • Single Family Houses (per unit): 10 trips per day, 1 per peak hour

      • Apartments/Condos/Townhouses (per unit): 7 trips per day, 0.7 per peak hour

      • Office (per 1000 sq ft): 10 trips per day, 1.5 per peak hour

      • Retail (per 1000 sq ft): 38 trips per day, 4.2 per peak hour

      • Industrial (per 1000 sq ft): 5 trips per day, 0.9 per peak hour

         

    • When do I need to add a second lane?
      • When you have 300 left turning vehicles from that leg of the intersection in the peak hour

    As you can see, these are stats that would be helpful for the developers to know when planning their development. They’re also not facts that are commonplace or would be easily found with a Google search.

    Avoid pitching your product or service, especially as a one-size-fits-all solution

    There’s no better way to lose a B2B reader’s interest than by filling a document with promo pitches. Remember, your gated content is supposed to be useful for the reader and help them solve a problem. They’re reading to find answers, not another way to spend their money. A good way to avoid doing this is by sharing unbiased data and by readily admitting that your product, or service, is not the right fit for everyone.

    Our example traffic engineering company might include the following question and answer:

    • Do I need to do a traffic study for my development?
    • The answer depends! If your development is stirring up conflict with the surrounding neighborhood, a traffic study could be helpful in soothing their concerns for increased congestion. A traffic study will most likely be required when the development goes through an environmental review process. However, if your development is under a certain threshold for traffic (depends on the city), then you might not need a traffic study. If you decide to do a traffic study, we recommend you work with a traffic engineer who is familiar with the Institute of Transportation Engineering’s Transportation Impact Analyses for Site Development.

    The above answer adds credibility to the white paper because it doesn’t promote the firm as the sole – or best – provider of traffic studies. It provides information to help the reader decide and then a tip to ensure that they hire the right people.

    Good Gated Content Isn’t Easy

    In a time when a Google search will yield tons of results, making your content stand out requires a process to ensure that people will read it. Start by carefully choosing a topic, then filling your document with information that is really useful, and then make your document credible by avoiding a salesy tone. Cutting through the noise to reach B2B leaders isn’t impossible, it just requires effort.

  • Intangibles: Beyond Goods and Services

    If your company provides physical objects for money, you sell products.

    If your company performs activities for money, you sell a service.

    Makes sense, right?

    But, these days the line between products and services is blurry. Product retailers often promote a buying experience and invisible benefits. Services companies showcase their skills and solutions. In a competitive market, both types of companies sell quality, performance, service and expertise.

    Before we start marketing “intangibles,” let’s define them.

    A sale of a physical object with no further client-vendor contact = Tangible.

    Long-term client-vendor relationships to perform high-value services = Intangible.

    When you buy a bike, you leave the store with a tangible product that has intangible benefits, like a mode of transportation. Unless there’s a problem with the bike, you probably won’t contact the seller again. If you love owning the bike and had a good buying experience, you might return to the same store to buy another one.

    If you hire a software developer, you’re paying for an intangible. Their skills produce a valuable product, but you can’t touch or hold it. Initially, they will share their knowledge and experience to build trust. They will offer guidance as you scope out your project. They will complete the project and provide ongoing support. Above all, your relationship with the developer provides the most value.

     

    Cost is another way to define “tangibles” and “intangibles.”

    If you sell something pricey, or with a lengthy sales cycle, intangible perks can help convince a buyer to say yes and stick with you. For example, as a car salesman, converting Hyundai buyers to Mercedes buyers would be a boon for your business. But, people buy Hyundais for their good gas mileage and low cost. To sell a Mercedes instead, you would promote luxury, status and a premium buying experience – all intangible benefits.

    What makes the marketing of intangibles unique?

    Marketing’s purpose is to attract attention, build demand, and lead buyers into the sales funnel.

    You can touch, see, and try a tangible product before buying. And a low sales price requires less effort to attract buyers. There are many companies who sell tangible products without salespeople or follow-up buyer support. Marketing for tangibles revolves around efficiency, speed, competitive pricing, and easy buying.

    For example, a Mexican food restaurant may receive rave reviews for its service, but at the end of the day, it specializes in selling plates of enchiladas at a competitive price in a comfortable setting that promotes a limited dining experience.

     

    Intangibles don’t work that way.

     

    Intangibles are characterized by being highly experiential, tailored to the client’s needs (or scope) and sensitive to emotion. Your customer chose your firm based on reputation, brand, service, and unique value. Your customers might not even understand what you do, but they’re buying peace of mind. This happens all the time in insurance, custom home building, engineering, and more, where the seller offers intangible hard skills and a relatable promise to improve the buyer’s life.

    Beyond Services Marketing

    What should you remember after reading this? What’s the main takeaway?

    Intangibles are more than just services.

    Intangibles are high worth products, software, professional skills, trades, engineering expertise, performers, and so much more. A company selling intangibles must tell a compelling story to attract a buyer. They need a sales process – usually with real live salespeople – to build trust and close the deal.

    The answer to marketing intangibles involves knowing your customer and understanding that they don’t buy things, they buy solutions. To properly market your intangible, start by establishing who you are, what you offer and why you’re different. Match your intangible to your customer’s needs, deliver an excellent buying experience and continually reinforce the value of your service.

    Want to move forward with your business? Let’s talk.