In this article, we introduce the B2B product page. We look at the purpose of B2B product pages and the role they play in educating visitors. We explore why the product page is often overlooked and give you some things you should think about before crafting your product page.
Key takeaways: The important role of the B2B product page
- B2B buyers are avoiding marketing-driven content. The product page is your opportunity to cut through the fluff.
- The B2B product page must focus on providing informative product content that communicates how the product solves the problem.
- Product content and datasheets are the most consumed content by decision makers.
- A well-crafted B2B product page should give B2B buyers definitive information about the product.
- The B2B product page gives vendors an ideal location to provide information specifically about a product, leaving behind the marketing
B2B product pages play a critical role in educating prospects
As B2B buyers move through the sales funnel our aim is to is to educate visitors about their problems, build trust in our brand, build interest in our products and ultimately aim for a revenue-generating sale.
When it comes to B2B we often overlook the importance of the individual product page. We tend to focus on much grander marketing landing pages; however, surveys consistently show that B2B buyers are fed-up with marketing driven content. A 2012 IDG survey reported “marketing hype,” “lack of truly independent, unbiased information,” and “information is too general” as top 3 content problems that B2B buyers identify.
In 2012 Harvard Business Review reported that solution selling is dead. “Solution selling worked because customers didn’t know how to solve their own problems, even though they often had a good understanding of what their problems were. But now, owing to increasingly sophisticated procurement teams and purchasing consultants armed with troves of data, companies can readily define solutions for themselves” – HBR. The product page is now more important than ever.
Your prospects have identified a problem they are trying to solve, and the product page must focus on providing informative product content that communicates how the product solves the problem.
B2B product pages should fill the content gap
B2B marketing is a game of trying to identify the knowledge needs of our audience and then attempting to meet that need better than our competitors. Research has shown that white papers are consistently the most consumed content by B2B influencers, but did you know that product content and datasheets are the most consumed content by decision makers?
With 60% of the buying journey complete before a salesperson is involved, product pages need to work harder than ever before. Put yourself in the shoes of the decision maker. Likely to be someone senior in the organization who probably presides over multiple departments and is not a subject matter expert. The decision-maker will rely on influencers for their guidance, they will do some research themselves, and that research will start with the product page.
Why is the B2B product page overlooked?
The B2B product page could be overlooked for some reasons. One reason is likely to be that the marketing organization often owns the website. If that marketing organization sees their job as being limited to generating leads and passing them to sales, then they may see the product page as beyond the parts of the funnel they look after. Potentially a prospect can become a hot lead if they look at several white papers. If that’s the case, the lead could be in the sales bucket even before they have looked at detailed product information. This is a result of the marketing organization being measured by the quantity of leads they pass to sales, rather than the quality. As B2B purchasers complete an increasing amount of the purchasing decision before contacting a vendor, the duty of the marketing organization to focus on quality is paramount.
The B2B sales cycle is very long. The typical B2B purchase can take anywhere from 2 to 12 months, examples of a sales journey taking three years is not uncommon. This sales cycle is obviously much longer than in B2C, where once a need is identified it can be filled almost instantly. This longer buying journey is potentially yet another reason the product page is overlooked. Whereas on a B2C e-commerce page we measure how many sales are generated, we can’t do the equivalent on a B2B page. There is less reliance on a B2B product page than there is on a B2C e-commerce page. That’s why many e-commerce companies spend millions testing product pages.
What do you need to think about before creating a B2B product page?
Often when creating a B2B product page, we fall at the first hurdle. Many organizations focus on the product and don’t think about who will be reading it. Before writing your product page think about some of the following areas.
Who is going to read the page?
Who are you writing your product page for? Having an audience or persona in mind will help keep your product page focused on the customer.
What are the benefits of your product for each persona?
List all the features of your product and map each feature to a benefit. Every feature may have a different benefit for each of your personas.
What is your tone of voice?
The tone of voice you use when writing copy can define your brand. Your tone of voice could be fun and engaging, corporate and trustworthy, youthful or optimistic. In fact, your tone of voice could be anything that you feel will enhance your brand. Decide your tone of voice before you start creating any website content and then stay consistent. When determining your tone of voice always think about your audience and personas. If your B2B organization sells data backup solutions then using a ‘carefree’ tone of voice doesn’t fit your product or your audience.
Conclusions on the B2B product page
B2B buyers have always been information hungry and now they are using this information to complete an increasing amount of their buying decision. B2B vendors are rising to this challenge, and that’s why content marketing has taken such a strong foothold in B2B marketing. Research is, however, showing that B2B buyers are struggling to find accurate product-specific content.
A well-crafted B2B product page should give B2B buyers definitive information about the product. Think about the journey a buyer would have taken to get your product page. The B2B buyer has probably read your blogs, downloaded multiple white papers and attended webinars; now they want clear information about your product and its features, its benefits, technical information and implementation guides.
The B2B product page gives vendors an ideal location to provide information specifically about a product, leaving behind the marketing and more higher-level thought leadership articles. The B2B product page is where we get to the crunch.