How many "touches" does it take for a buyer to like your product or service?

There is this notion in marketing that

"On average, B2B buyers consume up to eight vendor-created pieces of content and five third-party pieces before making a buying decision, according to research by FocusVision. That content includes videos, blog posts, whitepapers, analyst reports, testimonials, and reviews."

There is a massive problem with this

Linkedin is a mess, awash with content, most of it is the same, company after company say "buy my product, because we are great".  My background is selling accountancy systems and all of the market leaders say the same thing, their go-to-market is a sea of sameness.  Customers cannot tell the difference between the companies. 

I know you love the company you work for, after all it pays your mortgage and puts food on the table, but please don't be offended, I don't care and neither does anybody else.

How can we hack this content marketing process?

In this article by MarketingProfs, they use research from Edelman and LinkedIn and it explains what buyers want from content.

Let's get to the data

Buyers want you to stop selling

"B2B decision-makers say the biggest shortcomings of content are that pieces are overly focused on selling and that they have unoriginal thinking/a lack of new ideas."

In other words, cut the brochures and brochureware, stop saying "buy my product because it's great" 

That's not my opinion, the last thing we need is another opinion, this is the data.

Buyers want content that is human

"Some 64% of respondents say they prefer leadership content with a human, less formal tone over content that is even toned and intellectual."

Buyers want content that has an opinion, that is insightful 

"Some 67% of respondents say they prefer thought leadership content that prominently features the POV (point of view) of an identifiable author over content that doesn't identify the author."

"Most B2B decision-makers say they prefer thought leadership content that is provocative, features subject matter experts, utilizes third-party data, and focuses on analyzing current trends."


Here is some other research that shows that people come to social ... to be social.  They are not here to read brochures or brochureware or read you have just got a certificate or Colin is employee of the month and you have given him a pen or you have just won an award. 

We want insight, we want to be educated, tell me something I don't know, entertain me, give me your opinion.  I may disagree with an opinion but at least I can see you are not some sort of controlled corporate robot.

Follow these rules and you will find that it takes less than 13 pieces of content to convert a client. 

So who's social selling?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind” 

Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.

I don't believe you Tim!

If you check out this video of Chris Mason CEO at Oracle reseller Namos, fast forward to 19 minutes 55 seconds. Chris talks about a $2.6 million win from being on social, after completing the DLA Ignite social selling and influence course. 

Here at DLA Ignite we don't do "hints and tips sessions" we don't want you to waste your money. Our social selling and influence methodology will provide your sales team with the stable platform for growth. It is also the only social selling program based on 70:20:10 change management principles which gives your business the mindset change and habit change they need in this digital world.