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The B2B buyer of today is not the buyer of five years ago. Just like technology and industries have evolved, so has the B2B buyer journey and the people who make the purchases. As such, content experience has become a key part of acquiring and retaining customers — and generating revenue.
If you want to take your content (and results) to the next level, the best bet is to find the right content-experience platform (CEP), which can help you create consistent, targeted content experiences. Here’s a look at some of the misconceptions out there about CEPs, along with a dose of truth for each, so you can make an informed decision.
Related: Your Buyer’s Journey Is Now Online. Is Your Customer Experience Digital-First Too?
Myth 1: Content hubs and resource centers create a passive content experience
Salespeople want to control their prospects’ journeys. They want to be part of the conversations and guide each person along a predetermined path until that person ultimately makes a purchase. To these folks, a content hub or resource center that offers self-serve content sounds scary. It means that a prospect could — gasp — sort through information themselves and come to their own decisions.
Well … exactly. That’s actually what today’s B2B buyers want. They’re not interested in someone else dictating their journey, but instead show a strong preference for frictionless experiences. This is an aspect formerly characteristic of a B2C buying journey that B2B buyers have now embraced. They want self-service experiences and plentiful opportunities to do their own research on their own terms, and if you don’t give it to them, you may just lose them entirely.
Myth 2: CEPs support marketing, not sales or other departments or initiatives
Yes, CEPs help marketers scale personalized content experiences and tie together their efforts. They’re often managed by marketing, and that’s a good thing. But, certain platforms also offer valuable tools for sales folks that help them harness the power of relevant content for their prospects. For example, a sales team could use their CEP to find and share relevant, approved content within the very tools they use daily. Beyond being used for acquisition, CEPs also benefit customer engagement, retention and customer success efforts. But it doesn’t end there.
Depending on the solution, a CEP can further help you handle smarter content targeting through qualifying questions, polls and surveys, calculators and assessments. It can also allow you to easily enhance the visual and navigational experience of your items and streams. So it’s true that CEPs primarily support marketing, but they also bolster sales and an array of other departments and initiatives.
Myth 3: Some functions of CEPs can hurt SEO
There are some funky rumors out there about CEPs being bad for SEO. This can be at least partially traced back to a fear that housing content in a stream or a hub will keep it from being crawled by Google, but that’s flat-out false. In fact, many CEPs allow you to designate which of your streams, hubs or items are crawlable.
The other fear is about iFrames. Generally, iFrames do not affect SEO, but too many iFrames are thought to be harmful to rankings. This is yet another misguided misconception. While CEPs often support iFrames, it matters more whether they are the basis of the CEP’s site structure. If they are, that’s not a good thing. If they aren’t, your SEO will be just fine. So pay attention to that as you start to compare solutions.
Related: How Changes to the Way We Search Will Impact Businesses
Myth 4: CEPs can’t scale
Some people mistakenly believe that CEPs can only handle a certain amount of content or campaigns. This myth in particular is pretty crazy, considering that CEPs are intended to be scalable themselves and to help scale businesses’ content experiences. They’re actually designed for it. In fact, one company scaled to more than 1,500 one-to-one campaigns with the help of a CEP that powered both its ABM and sales teams. If that isn’t scaling, we don’t know what is.
Myth 5: CEPs don’t offer enrichment opportunities
Some say they don’t want a CEP because they’re tired of siloed tools working disjointedly, and we get that. Disparate tools that don’t talk to each other are almost always more trouble than they’re worth. But most modern CEPs are built to integrate with marketing-automation platforms and other solutions in your tech stack, allowing you to manage all of your initiatives holistically and more effectively. Still, it’s always a good idea to ask integration questions about each CEP you’re considering getting so you can make sure you end up with one that plays nicely with your existing tools.
B2B buyers have changed, requiring B2B companies to also change and meet them where they are. One of the secrets to reaching, converting and keeping modern B2B buyers is providing them with targeted, stellar content experiences. To do that well, you need a CEP. We hope we’ve cleared up these common myths about CEPs so you can find the right one for you — and deliver exceptional content experiences in no time.
Related: Online Content Monetization 101: How to Make Money From Content