If you are a B2B market vendor, this question must have crossed your mind many times — What is the best way to attract buyers in the current market scenario? Let me tell you the answer — E-commerce. That brings us to a whole new set of questions – There are a lot of B2B websites on the internet. Why shouldn’t a buyer seal a deal with another vendor, and instead build a relationship with you? What is special about your offerings that will make a buyer trust you for further future deals? Whether a B2B vendor is credible or not, is a matter of great concern for a customer who might probably want to join ties with the vendor. Unless the customer is fully satisfied with his research about your firm, there is not the slightest chance of business happening between the customer and your company. As many as 55% potential buyers are unlikely to trust your website on the first go.
The above chart represents the factors that influence the trust and credibility of a B2B vendor.
(Outsourced Marketing Services )
In the video below, Vicki Sparks of Connect Working explains, “Particularly when you’re starting a business, it’s really hard to find out who’s a good post, who’s someone you can trust, who’s someone who’s not going to rip you off”, while talking about why trust and credibility play an important role in B2B Marketing.
Let’s talk about gaining the trust and credibility for your B2B firm and your corresponding website now. The rise of B2B marketers in the recent years is no doubt assurance to the fact that B2B marketing is a safe commercial option in the current market scenario.
The above chart shows the rise of B2B marketing, with almost half of the buyers being millennials.
(Think with Google )
Among the various other techniques that will boost your website’s credibility, the best and the most important method is taking the help of visuals, such as statistical images, reports and videos. Here’s a quick overview of how visual tactics help in boosting trust and credibility for B2B businesses.
From the above table, it’s explicable that visual aids play a great role in building the trust and credibility of a B2B vendor in the minds of patrons, which eventually helps customers to expand business relationships with them for a longer period of time. We have seen how visual aids can be a game-changer in hiking your trust and credibility factor among potential buyers. But now, let’s address the burning question – How can a B2B vendor use visuals to build solid customer trust for its business? 1. Apply The Pareto Principle of 80-20 on Social Media:
The Pareto Principle is more commonly known as the 80-20 rule. This is simplified as – 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. In B2B marketing, 80% of your clientele will be the outcome of 20% of your content on social media. Most businesses make the mistake of posting self-promotional content only on social media. While it makes sense to do that (after all, your social media platforms must educate and drive buyers towards your offerings), this is a slippery slope that needs to be treaded carefully. A good way to apply the Pareto Principle here is to limit your self-promotion to only 20% of your content and use the remaining 80% to post content which may not be directly related to your brand but is of interest to your users. This will make sure that users view your social media channels as not just brand advertisement platforms, but as sources of helpful, relevant information. User engagement is also higher in non-promotional content. To lay the foundation for effective use of visuals by B2B brands, it’s advisable to keep the following factors in mind:
- Business Demographics : If you do a thorough research about the needs and wants of your ideal customer, you can accordingly plan what content on your website or social media will attract them.
- Psychographics : This includes the buying patterns (previous deals), influences (industry thought leaders or peers) and the loyalty of a brand. This helps you know which engagements to target based on the buyer’s inclinations.
- Firmographics : This includes the industry, geography, corporate size and structure. Once you get an idea about this, you can easily shape your products and services according to the need and capabilities of a prospective buyer.
If you spend 20 hours on content for your website, spend 4 hours on creating the content, and 16 hours on promoting it.
~ In the 20% that you use to sell your product/service, include each and every detail about it, the company and the benefits that your buyers will receive. ~ The 80% promotional part of your content plays a crucial part, because the more interesting your content is, the more number of shares it will garner from your audience, and hence, attract buyers. So, include statistical images, inspiring videos, regular quiz activities etc., all related to your business and the B2B market in general.
This video by The Better Men Project shows how to productively use the Pareto principle in your business.
2. Use visuals to Boost Retention & Recall: How likely are you to process a document that’s 20 pages long, full of headings, numbers and long statements? By the time you complete the third page, you will be drowsy. Would you want a buyer who is visiting your website to go through the same, while reading a documented analysis of your services? Videos, images and related GIFs tend to pique more interest of the viewer than a long document. This is your biggest cue to use visual aids to help buyers trust your firm. If a customer can recall your brand after visiting your website, they are more likely to start thinking of your business as a credible one. Many iconic brands like Surf Excel and Coca-Cola used the principle of repetition (of both brand name and logo) to establish reliability. A B2B firm can learn from the same and pursue reinforcement through visuals, since they are easier to comprehend and remember.
A few clever ways in which B2B businesses can use visuals in enhancing credibility are: ~Capitalise on the meme trend: Memes are easy to create and are a quirky form of visual content. The memes can be related to your marketing strategy in particular, or the generalized market scenario. Since memes involve humour, they are more likely to attract people from all sectors, and appeal to even the most professional of patrons on a personal level. ~Release PowerPoint Presentations: Upload your company’s internal presentations on educational websites, say SlideShare. Not only does it spread the word about your company’s work ethic and standard (which can attract clients), but it also helps you interact with students and professionals who want to know about your company and the business you do and the clients you deal with. While B2Bs don’t interact with ultimate consumers (laymen users, who B2C businesses target), it is important to keep in mind that while building trust in a brand, all positive responses matter. Hence, the net of target audience in such campaigns can be spread across all sectors and segments, even if they are not prospective customers for a B2B company. In fact, the show of public confidence in the brand will only reassure the actual consumers of the B2B’s integrity. 3. Words Can Deceive But Visuals Don’t Lie: There has always been this proverb, “Believe your eyes.” This applies to your client’s trust as well. A potential buyer will have more trust on visual details of a company, the services provided and the benefits involved than the same implied in a written manner. If you’re promoting your B2B service on a social media site, say Twitter, then once you gain the trust of your potential buyers, then your business will dramatically soar.
This chart shows the improvement in your marketing firm and clientele post employing visual techniques in your website and posts.
( Online Social Media )
There are a lot of ways to pursue this. Below are the top two suggestions for innovative trust-building:
~Offer Behind-The-Scenes Insights Into Internal Processes: A slightly risqué yet stunningly powerful way to execute this is to record boardroom meeting videos while working upon a decision or a new proposal and how you plan to bring it out into the market. This will enable your buyer to understand your decision-making process and feel like they are involved. Even if you don’t go all out, you can still share anecdotes from leaders and heads of departments of your business in the form of a series of tips or share photos and videos of team events. The main idea here is to make the customer look beyond your company’s website or brand name and view your organisation as an amalgamation of people dedicatedly working towards delivering the best output possible. By adding personality and human qualities to the B2B company, you are allowing the customers to connect with your brand on a personal level and hence, inducing trustworthiness. Think of it as turning your brand from a ‘stranger’ to a ‘friend’ if we consider the metaphor of human interaction. ~Explain your product/services : You can upload videos of yourself or your team, discussing and explaining the type of services and products provided by you for your buyers. This clarifies any doubt a buyer might have while going through your website or your social media post. It also works on the same principle of humanising the brand mentioned above. The more users interact with your brand in an indirect way (i.e. not actively pursuing sales or conversion), the more likely they are to develop trust and eventually turn into clients.
4. Showcase Your Successful Projects & Deals Through Case Studies : When deciding whether or not to consult your firm for a business deal, a client will always want to know about the types of companies you’ve worked with, the background of those companies and the relationship you hold with your existing clients. Giving them access to this information is tricky and cumbersome because of the sheer volume of data. Representing these details in the form of infographics, videos and images can solve this problem for you. It will also make the customer more likely to actually go through these case studies since they’re easy to understand and visually appealing.
A few ways to employ case studies of previous performance to gain your customers’ trust are: ~Present The Challenges You Faced: Upload a chart showing the different challenging situations and factors that you have to deal with. Make a flowchart showing the degree of toughness of each challenge or problem, and how you and/or your teammates overcome these situations. Also, you can record a video, verbally explaining your challenges, the various difficult environments you’ve worked in and giving tips on how to tackle tricky situations. This, once again, reflects dedication and innovation—two qualities that will go a long way in building credibility.
This chart shows the probable list of challenges faced by a B2B vendor.
(Internet Retailer )
~Turn Your Clients Into Your Advocates: Involving your current and past clients in your marketing strategy is a great tool when it comes to establishing trust and credibility. If you have a good relationship with most of your clients, then ask them to help you out. This can be done via images and graphics that reflect their ROI from the services of your B2B firm (for instance, statistics of profit, customer conversion, sales, etc.). They can also record a short video testimonial about how they got to know about your firm, how fruitful your deals have been, and how successful their company has become, post ties with you. This lets a future buyer know you better and also forms a good impression about you. Since it is coming from a past client of yours and that too, one that they can see on the screen in front of them, a potential customer is more likely to believe and be swayed by it. Check out this video, which explains why case studies are an important part of B2B content marketing.
5. Use Your Human Resources To Create Personality: Along with your company, a buyer will also want to know the people involved in the company, so as to have a clear idea about the Who’s Who of your company and with whom will he be chiefly working. This also helps to break the artificial exterior and reflect your brand as a living, breathing entity. Two great ways to use your human resources as visual elements of trust are: ~Show Stability Through Your Organisational Structure: Gather your team members and ask them to shoot a video of themselves, where they introduce themselves and their work in the company, in brief. If your company is huge, then get the higher-ups, the team leaders and the project managers and ask them to do the same. Collaborate the short videos into a big one, and post it on your website. This lets the buyer know where everyone stands in the company and who does what. It also makes the buyer associate faces of professionals with your brand. ~Team Spirit Also Reflects Trustworthiness: Irrespective of the size of your company, get all your employees together and pose for a formal group photograph, which you can post on your website or social media. This elucidates the buyer about your company’s strength and capabilities and helps him form a personal connect.
InsightBee is an easy-to-use service, delivering custom reports on companies, executives, industry sectors or business questions. This video is an introduction to InsightBee.
If you want to explore this topic further, check out this short video on the importance of visual aids in B2B marketing.
This was just a glimpse into the strategies and aspects of using visuals for gaining trust and credibility as a B2B vendor. The possibilities of growing your clientele through visual marketing are endless, all you have to do is start right away