Content marketing is one of the easiest ways for new B2B prospects to find you and learn about your brand.
The process usually goes like this: a company has a solar-related problem, they carry out a search to find a solution, and they land on your site.
For prospects to be able to find your brand, it’s important that you’re creating and publishing content that meets their needs so that, when they do run that search, they come across your site over a competitor’s.
But content serves a deeper purpose than just directing prospects to your site. It builds trust with potential buyers and gives your brand credibility.
For content to build trust, it needs to be relevant to your customers’ pain points and the biggest challenges they’re facing. Its goal is to tackle their objections, provide a solution, and ultimately make them see that you’re the best brand for them.
Why Trust is Important for B2B Solar Brands
B2B solar companies often have a fairly lengthy sales process. Longer sales cycles mean there are more touchpoints, and therefore more opportunities to educate prospects with content.
To keep customers moving from one stage to the next, it’s crucial that they trust what you’re offering is the right solution for them.
How to Build Trust With B2B Content Marketing in the Solar Industry
Content is the number one way you can leverage trust with your audience. It avoids the traditional sales messages that encourage consumers to “buy, buy, buy!” and instead taps into specific needs to present a relevant solution.
The Kind of Content That Builds Trust
B2B brands need to deliver different content than B2C brands. This is because their audiences have different needs and validation. There are specific types of content that actively work to build trust with B2B brands, and they aren’t your usual top-of-the-funnel blog posts.
Case studies provide proof of product and can include quotes and reviews from customers, which are powerful differentiators. essentially show potential customers what you can do and what you’ve achieved in the past for companies just like them. By highlighting the problems you’re able to solve and sharing proof of how you did it, you’re establishing a sense of trust and elevating yourself to expert status.
Therefore, a case study with positive feedback about your product quoted of an actual user is critical to cementing trust, as is quantitative information about the customer, like size of their company, number of customers and geographical reach, to name a few important numbers to include. Case studies can be used throughout the sales cycle, but are most effectively employed towards the end, when customers are about to make a decision.
Energy Bin has a library of case studies for prospects to browse through.
Trustworthy brands are also considered industry experts. They prove they know what they’re talking about to ensure prospects and current customers feel safe and heard. White papers are the perfect way to do this because they are the most robust forms of content marketing collateral, presenting in-depth research and created to educate B2B customers on important issues and emerging trends in your industry.
By positioning yourself as the top dog, you instantly establish a sense of trust.
Videos and Demos
Human connection is key to building trust. Reading text on a page isn’t always enough to spark a connection, which can be a problem B2B solar brands find in today’s predominantly digital world.
Videos can take prospects behind the scenes, and create a human connection by providing walkthroughs and demos of your products by a real person in order to build trust. The videos can be product explainer videos, animated scenarios of your products in action, talking heads with different members of staff, or simply a Q&A.
Seraphim Solar shares videos on their Youtube channel to better showcase their products.
How to Ensure You’re Creating Trust-Building Content
Think about what prospects need at each stage of the funnel and how you can instill trust to keep the momentum going. It might look something like this:
- Awareness stage: prospects need to learn more about your solution. You can create guides and content that validate the pain point they’re looking to solve.
- Consideration: prospects need to see that your solution is better than others. You can create whitepapers and downloadable content that positions you as an industry expert.
- Decision: prospects need to have their objections answered. You can create case studies and use case videos here.
Let’s look at an example.
Imagine your prospects often face challenges around meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements, and this is a topic they regularly search for content on. You can write educational content around this topic to bring them to your site, and create branch-off content like case studies and a white paper about LEED requirements for those further through the sales cycle.
B2B buyers want to see numbers and results alongside the right solution for their problem. Providing content that taps into this need will help you generate more sales and create a slicker customer journey.
Continuing to Nurture Prospects With Content
Trust-building content shouldn’t always be geared towards a sale (although that’s a big part of it).
Because of the long sales funnel in the B2B solar world, buyers are often not ready to hand over their cash the moment they find you. Instead, they need to be nurtured to establish that much-needed trust.
Email marketing is the glue that holds your content marketing efforts together. Capturing prospect email addresses means you can show up in their inboxes and stay front-of-mind until they’re ready to buy.
Even better, you can share your trust-building content through email.
Share case studies, videos, white papers, and blog posts to customers that are aware they have a problem, but aren’t sure how to fix it yet. The more you show up with the right information at the right time, the more likely prospects are to trust what you have to offer. And ultimately, the more likely they are to buy from you over a competitor.