Did you know that a majority of B2B businesses (74%) rate their content marketing success anywhere from “moderately” to “not at all” successful? What the heck is the problem here?
While the state of B2B content marketing is a big issue to tackle, we believe much of it can be chalked up to how legacy eCommerce platforms limit a business’s creative potential. Even sophisticated systems may offer only basic content display options, formatting tools, or limited templates that make it hard for businesses to speak to their audience in ways that make an impact.
This is a particularly important part of the B2B sales cycle, as B2B buyers tend to undergo lengthy evaluative processes of potential vendors before committing to a purchase. This means that an on-site content strategy isn’t just a luxury channel for lead generation; it’s a vital part of the company’s broader eCommerce goals.
Of course, to tap into these benefits, companies need an eCommerce system that doesn’t limit their content presentation capabilities with strict coding requirements. In other words, they need an eCommerce solution designed from the ground up for flexibility, such as a headless eCommerce platform.
- B2B businesses are struggling to create successful content marketing campaigns.
- Legacy eCommerce systems are an inhibiting factor in content marketing due to the technical and creative limitations they impose.
- To properly support the research-intensive B2B sales process, companies need commerce platforms that make content sharing simple.
Headless Commerce and Content Freedom
It’s no secret that many old-fashioned eCommerce engines weren’t really designed for content presentation. In fact, the platforms themselves assumed that there would be only limited content to display. Meaning, of course, that companies wanting to integrate blogs or extensive content into their eCommerce storefront would need to find an external resource to make it happen.
The drawback was even more frustrating in terms of search engine marketing, building a cohesive brand, and maintaining a consistent presence between store and content. Finally, there was the frustration felt by the marketing team when forced to work with two platforms that wouldn’t (and couldn’t) work well together.
Headless commerce takes a different approach by creating a separate framework that can be worked on independently. This means that companies have more freedom in their integration choices and can choose resources based on what fits best rather than getting stuck with what their system will support.
In terms of content presentation, this means that content marketers won’t have to worry about how (or if) the content will show up to users because any content library, article, webinar series, or other deliverable can be put up and displayed with relative ease.
This is a huge benefit for marketing flexibility. B2B sales rely on stable, consistent outreach between a potential vendor and customer. (By some estimates, it may take as many as 7 to 13 “touches” before a B2B client is ready to buy).
Content supports this by speaking to B2B buyers at various stages of their purchasing process and giving them the information they need to make an informed decision. It’s a way of delivering regular touchpoints that is vital to online marketing. But as noted above, companies need a flexible content management system to really put the strategy to work.
- The old-fashioned commerce engine you may still be using limits your ability to deliver content effectively.
- The innovative approach of headless commerce gives you freedom to add integrations based on what you need, rather than what will work in the system.
- Through headless, B2B marketers can consistently publish content to support prospects throughout every stage of their buyer’s journey.
The System is Open – Now Start Publishing
Solutions like headless commerce offer unrestricted freedom in how companies display content, and once the system is running, companies can focus on content publication. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, 53% of marketers view blog content creation as a top organizational priority.
Why is it so important? Regular content production helps generate traffic for your site, draws leads into your sales funnels, and boosts the SEO value of your website. It’s a great tactic for inbound marketing, but like any type of outreach, marketers are under plenty of pressure to continually add value and drive results from these methods.
As such, flexible headless commerce solutions can be the perfect way to give them the support they need. By eliminating the technical roadblocks of your legacy system, it’s easy to add content, change published materials, pivot marketing strategies, and apply any other type of outreach that helps the business reach its clients. These moves could be as big as launching a new, targeted product line or as small as updating a blog post. Regardless of the strategy, it all contributes to on-site experiences that are more engaging and better targeted toward the audience in question.
Plus, there’s the added benefit of having your content management system managed independently of the frontend. This means that you won’t have to settle for any system that comes pre-bundled with your eCommerce platform. Regardless of which system will work best for your company, the choice is yours.
- Content publication is a top priority for marketers due to its ability to drive site traffic and generate leads for a company’s sales funnel.
- Decoupled commerce engines offer an adaptable way to add or update content to support your company’s evolving marketing goals.
Headless Reduces Time Spent on Marketing Details
The benefits of content marketing for B2B purchasing are clear – but who has the time to sit down and update content assets, templates, and post layouts within traditional eCommerce frameworks? (None of us, that’s who!) But Gartner tells us that up to 45% of a B2B buyer’s time is spent performing independent research on vendors, so clearly, this content groundwork needs to be done.
Fortunately, this is another area where headless pays dividends. By separating out your platform, cosmetic edits on the frontend won’t change the way your eCommerce platform operates, and vice versa. For content management, this means that marketers can update the platform and respond to emerging opportunities without needing to perform an entire system upgrade. The cost and efficiency savings of this approach are hard to overstate, especially when you think about how much time and money are put into even small marketing changes.
With headless, marketers can take a more agile approach to their B2B outreach and deploy new strategies with relatively little effort. It’s a fundamental shift in how you manage your eCommerce strategy, and it’s a necessary one for effective B2B marketing.
- Every business changes over time, adapting to new markets, products, and sales channels. Companies need a way to respond to these changes as efficiently as possible.
- In most cases, separated platforms offer a way to roll out new changes faster and at lower cost than traditional eCommerce platforms.
- Headless commerce engines make it easy to update your eCommerce presence independently of your CMS, providing a level of agility that legacy systems can’t match.
A Single Source for Sales Management
As stated above, a major benefit of headless systems is that the system is separated, subverting software limitations inherent to tightly-coupled architecture. For B2B marketers, this means that the system is completely open for incorporating the tools you need to address buyers across multiple sales channels. This may mean reaching customers through your website, through mobile channels, or through traditional in-person outreach—and having all of that data tied to a single eCommerce data repository.
Every update you make to your platform is globally applied through the headless connection, offering a fast way to update sales information, customer data, product information, content assets, and more. Ordinarily, incorporating these channels would mean setting up complex API integrations into your legacy eCommerce system, but with headless, it’s far easier. Marketers can set up whatever content that fits their goals without any backend disruption.
And given that 87% of B2B buyers agree that online content has a major-to-moderate impact on vendor selection, this type of messaging flexibility is a crucial part of earning their business.
- Headless offers open integration that supports simple, clear information flow across products, sales channels, and marketing goals.
- This information availability provides necessary data for shoppers and supports their goal of making an informed purchase.
- Value-driving content supports vendor selection in B2B, and it’s something that customers expect — the old excuse of “our platform doesn’t support it!” won’t cut it anymore.
B2B Content Marketing Through Headless eCommerce
By selecting an eCommerce platform with headless commerce capabilities, you’re creating new opportunities for managing, customizing, and building for your audience. But it’s not just about your customers! Your marketing team (who are likely accustomed to “making do” with substandard CMS options through traditional platforms) will thank you too. Across the board, headless allows your team to build better content experiences, test and adapt to changing marketing challenges, and overall, reduce the level of investment required to build the exact content experience your customers look for.
A new blog series about the critical eCommerce capabilities missing in most eCommerce platforms for B2B companies. #1: Quoting & Sales Support
A closer look from the Ultra perspective on what we really mean when we talk about headless commerce and why it may not be right for every company.