After attending a great webinar presented by Google and sponsored by MarketingCloud,“The Zero Moment of Truth – A Google Discussion to Understand the Most Critical Moment of the B2B Buying Cycle”, marketers must realize the need, more than ever, to optimize their company’s website on the search engines.
“Zero Moment of Truth” is a new stage in the mental marketing cycle that all online marketers should know about. The traditional marketing cycle featured 3 stages: Stimulus (an ad or marketing element that got your brand into the consumer’s head), First Moment of Truth (a personal interaction with your lead), and the Second Moment of Truth (a closed deal and the customer experience). Advancing digital technology coupled with the economic recession environment, many B2B companies have changed their buying behavior. Being especially cautious with spending budgets has impacted the course of purchasing decisions and the path companies take to fulfill their research requirements.
62% of business buyers spend more time researching before making a purchase since the recession began in 2009. The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is that moment when a prospect becomes curious about a product or service, surfacing from the first touch point with an advertisement or other form of marketing communication. At this point, the prospect will search on the internet for more information and make comparisons before making their final purchasing decision. Some things a prospect may consider are reviews, competitors, price samples, and testimonials. Your SEO efforts can help make sure leads find what they need to know about your business on the search engines, before landing on your competition.
An important question to ask yourself when selecting keywords for your company to rank on is “What questions are potential leads asking, and how can I answer them?” When leads are searching for your brand name, what are they looking for? Google’s auto-fill option keeps track of trends when people search for your brand. You can type in your brand name and see what pops up. [Your company] reviews or best [your category] are two examples of how you can target potential customers looking for information. Leading prospects to the type of content or information that matches their query can be fulfilled with a successful SEO program. You’ve already got the lead’s interest, don’t lose it by letting your competitors rank above you and answer the query first.
Once you start ranking for keywords related to your brand, it’s important to provide content for the customer to view and read. Case studies and testimonials will increase trust around your brand and provide valuable links in the search results for queries about your client work, success stories, and your company reputation in the industry. Providing this kind of information and making it easy to find on Google will move the prospect further down the path to convert. What we are seeing it that more often, B2B prospects are taking more time to complete research before making a purchase decision. Critical to online marketers is the fact that B2B companies are conducting their research online with Search. According to ZMOT research, 84% of buyers are making their purchase decisions based on the influence of the Zero Moment of Truth phase.
What does this mean for online marketers? Jump in to SEO and start the path to success and recognition for your business among your leads. Be visible, reliable, and offer enough information to your prospects so that they continue to follow your conversion funnel without dropping off.