The Internet has opened the door to information on demand and endless options and content. People have the luxury to make their own buying decisions based on preferences, convenience and personal choices.
However, in our increasingly digital world, users can be faced with information overload. Options are great, but too much information and too many choices can be overwhelming.
This especially rings true in the B2B world where there are hundreds of products or services for every problem.
As such, companies have turned to personalization strategies and content recommendations to help users navigate this new world.
Content recommendations powered by a personalization engine suggest relevant and engaging content to your site visitors. Offering individualized content improves the user experience and keeps readers on your site for longer.
Up until recently, the major push for personalization strategies has been driven by consumer-focused companies. But B2B (business to business) companies are now also quickly adopting these personalized marketing strategies.
Much like consumers have come to expect personalization with every engagement, B2B customers expect the same. In fact, 72% of B2B customers expect personalized experiences from their vendors. Another 67% have reported switching vendors for a more consumer-like experience.
Personalization for B2B customers however, must go beyond tailored messages and greetings. To stay competitive in the crowded market, you must proactively anticipate customer needs by using tools like content based recommenders.
If you are a B2B company, and have a lot of content, you need to start thinking like a media company. Implementing a content discovery platform will be critical for B2B companies to beat out their competition.
Although content recommendation engines have risen in popularity in the B2B environment, there are still doubts about them. For example, many believe that recommender systems are only affordable to larger companies with massive spending budgets or a very large number of users. Although you may not be selling a lot of products online, your website presence is just as important as other vehicles, such as social media.
Fortunately, LiftIgniter can help companies of all sizes capitalize on this trend. We seamlessly integrate onto websites to start collecting user behavior within hours. By leveraging machine learning, we can deliver the best content recommendations tailored to each individual buyer in real-time.
Recommendation engines can have an immediate impact without disrupting your business. Below are several ways they can help you deliver a more relevant and tailored experience for your customers.
Optimized Marketing for a Better UX
Business customers have access to a plethora of options to fulfill their needs with a click of a button. They are turning to your brand for knowledge just as much as a solution. That’s why every successful business today has adopted a solid content strategy with personalized marketing campaigns.
A personalized marketing strategy is worth this investment, as 62% of buyers say they can make a business decision based on online content alone.
You have likely invested a lot of time and effort into creating relevant and useful content. But content overload is a common problem and relevant content can quickly become “buried” on your site.
The average person has an attention span of a few seconds. If a visitor comes to your site looking for specific information that is not on immediately and visually accessible, they will be gone.
Any company that has a significant amount of content on their website should take advantage of optimizing the user experience.
At LiftIgniter, we provide personalized content recommendations tailored to each user to guide them to the content that best serves them. Our real-time recommendations evolve with your customer’s behavior as they engage with your site. This ensures the content they see is always unique to their needs.
Many B2B buyers are looking for websites to be much more than a purchasing tool. Content recommendation engines enable companies to become a trusted resource. Personalized engines help you understand, connect and identify the right information quicker.
Some of the ways in which you can provide personalized content to your users:
- Provide one-to-one content recommendations at the bottom of a blog article or content webpage
- Organize a knowledge center to show categories and knowledge articles more relevant to each visitor
- Present the right FAQs to each visitor based on their purchase history or CRM information coupled with their current browsing behavior
- Surface the best product recommendations for the visitor (Note: in this case, the recommendations work better if you have a set of more than about 20 products or so)
- Send personalized emails with recommended articles based on the visitor’s browsing behavior (through email marketing tools)
After all, it’s really about providing the best customer experience. If you provide users with data they want, with a minimal amount of effort and searches, those users are far more likely to become loyal customers.
Close the Sales Cycle Faster
In the consumer buying cycle, decisions are often made on impulse by one individual. But the buying cycle for B2B customers is much longer and complex.
According to a 2017 study about purchasing behavior over the last year, 77% of people increased the amount of time they spent doing ROI analysis and research before making a purchasing decision.
In a B2B world, the “buyer” is a corporate entity, which inevitably means that multiple decision-makers will be involved. Final approval will require education and, most likely, proper content discovery mechanisms on your website.
Using a recommendation engine, you can offer customers content to answer their questions from the start. From the first click, we can anticipate what a customer will want to know next at any given moment.
Providing on-demand knowledge can dramatically increase customer engagement and send them down the right path faster. Ultimately, providing the right information at the right time helps close the sales cycle quicker and improve your conversion rates (or open rates in the case of emails).
Enhance Content Discovery
Likely, a customer will come to your site through one of two ways:
- Your customer goes directly to your site because they are already familiar with your product or services through referrals or sales outreach.
- Someone types in a desired search term and clicks on your search result. In this case, you have created great content that answers a question they may have.
We recommend optimizing the customer journey for either of these scenarios. If someone goes to your homepage, present your customer with obvious and additional content recommendations on the homepage. If someone goes to a blog post or a well-travelled content page, present further content options there, too.
When you use a good recommendation engine like LiftIgniter, you can help guide your visitors in both scenarios.
- If the customer has already visited your site before, these recommendations will take into account what someone did and didn’t click on in previous visits.
- If the customer is new, LiftIgniter will take into account the current and most popular actions of all of your users. It will also react accordingly as the new customer clicks around your site.
Content recommendations are extremely helpful if you have a variety of content, especially if they’re not that closely related. Our algorithms will choose the perfect content suggestions for each individual visitor. We can set rules and filters for different audiences and only provide content that is relevant for them.
If you are interested in improving the size of your audience through SEO, content recommendations also assist with that in two ways:
- LiftIgniter recommendations load quickly enough to be crawled along with the rest of your webpage and will show the most closely related content to the crawled page.
- LiftIgniter recommendations leverage your internal linking process, which helps the web crawler to understand the relationship and strength of your content.
B2B Personalization in Action
Legal Zoom is a LiftIgniter B2B customer who engages customers in real-time across several areas of their site.
LegalZoom is a trusted online legal platform, helping businesses and families protect what matters most. Providing the right type information to those seeking help was critical. But what good is that investment if it does not quickly reach the right people?
With an initiative to improve their personalized marketing strategy, Legal Zoom turned to LiftIgniter to become a premier online legal resource. Now, they are able to deliver valuable content personalized to each individual’s experience.
By integrating LiftIgniter’s beacon on to their site, LiftIgniter recommends personalized articles to their readers in real-time. This creates a more engaging customer experience, keeping customers on the site and ensuring that readers get the answers they are looking for.
Using LiftIgniter’s technology, LegalZoom saw a 19.3% increase in its conversion ratio and a 19.2% increase in revenue per visitor.
If you want to start or improve your B2B personalization strategy, LiftIgniter is here to help.