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When it comes to the conversation around millennials, distributors must keep in mind two key aspects. The first, and often the most discussed, is that millennials are the new workforce. The second, less mentioned role millennials will play for B2B businesses is one of the new buyer. Not only are they stepping into key roles at your company, they're also filling those roles at your customers.
According to a new report from Google and Millward Brown Digital, 46 percent of potential business-to-business buyers are millennials, up from 27 percent in 2012. And they are doing their research online.
They're not the only ones, however. According to the report, 70 percent of all B2B buyers are doing their research online before making the actual purchase. That means if you're not providing information online that they can use in that research, chances are you will be overlooked.
What does that look like? While many people may assume that these buyers are searching for specific brands, the reality is that 71 percent of B2B research begins with a generic search, according to the study. "They're looking for a product first, not for you," Google noted in a blog post about the study.
Make sure your website has enough information for your potential customers to find you, even if they have never heard of you. Consider creating information pages on your website about the types of products before you push them to the product purchase page. This will help them do their research, while at the same time establishing you as an expert on those types of products.
The pages don't have to be long, but they need to have the right type of content. Make sure the title of the page includes the broad category – for example, fasteners. And make sure the content includes key words that people would use to search for those types of products. This may mean including many variations on how someone would search for a certain characteristic. (Read how Grainger addresses search variations on its website in Grainger Tackles the Data Challenge.)
From there, include links to where customers can actually see and/or purchase the specific products you offer.
These pages don't have to be long, but they have to be findable by the search engines, such as Google.