Strategies for B2B Digital Marketing that Really Work
B2B digital marketing strategies are different than strategies you might use to sell to consumers. B2B purchases tend to be planned and budgeted, not spur of the moment buys.
The process can be more lengthy and complex with more than one decision maker. For many businesses, there is a personal touch involving a sales person. For a great many B2B companies, digital marketing is about generating quality leads, supporting the sales effort, and facilitating an ongoing relationship.
Digital marketing for B2B companies involves outbound techniques to get your message in front of potential decision-makers, but also inbound techniques that attract customers to you. Most people begin their buying process with a Google search, so ensuring you are easily found is an important component of any B2B digital marketing strategy.
What else do you need? Below we outline the core B2B digital marketing components:
Core B2B Digital Marketing Strategies
1. Targeting potential customers
Even with a large budget, you don’t have money to waste. The better you are able to hone in on the people most likely to buy, the less money you will squander talking to people who are not in the market. Every plan should start with developing a precise definition of your targets—then keep learning and refining as you go. Answer questions such as:
2. A website that works to engage visitors and capture leads
Nearly 80% of B2B buyers look at company websites at some point during the purchase process. That is why having a great one is so important.
Replace your old-fashioned brochure-ware website with something more dynamic and hard-working. Rethink your content by asking “What brings a visitor here and what do they want to know and do?” instead of “what do I want to tell them.”
Before writing a word, outline customer information needs. Ask yourself if a customer comes looking for a company in business “since 1982” or if they are looking for “the best widget money can buy.” You would be amazed at how often companies put the length of time they have been in business at the very start of the first sentence of copy. Who cares?
At best, that should go last as a proof point: “If you need the best widget money can buy, you have come to the right place…Customers have been loving our widgets since 1982.”
When you have gotten a good outline of what the customer wants and needs to know, then organize it into a logical flow. Take the time to identify words and phrases a customer might use in a Google search to find you. Then get writing, using those words and your outline to create a site driven to serve customer information needs, not what you want to talk about.
Content is not all there is to a website. Here are some additional must-haves:
3. Search Engine Optimization
We touched on understanding the words and phrases your customers use when researching a purchase. You want your site to show up when they start searching. To make that happen you need to look at two streams of work:
Some great ideas are to invite prominent people to write guest blogs on your site. They will promote your site and link to it. And then do some guest blogging yourself, which can send links from your guest blog back to your site.
4. Content Marketing
Content is the way you attract visitors, establish your credentials, convey your messages, and engage supporters. Once you have your website site up, populating it with as much quality content as possible should be your top goal for non-profit digital marketing. If your non-profit are a primary of source of information in your mission area, you will attract the right kind of attention from the right kind of people. Good content marketing has these qualities:
5. Social Media
Social media is arguably as important as your website for B2B digital marketing. Some searchers check out your social profile first and many younger searchers may never visit your web site. You should build out your profile to be as robust as your web site, taking advantage of the various functions you can add to your profile.
Don’t make the mistake of just doing LinkedIn. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and even Twitter can connect you to possible buyers.
The key is to be social on social media. If all you do is promote your product, you won’t attract many followers. Imagine walking into a party and blaring about your business to everyone who comes up without so much as asking their name. People are incredibly busy. To earn a few seconds of their time, you need to offer them something they value and start conversations they are interested in. Include links back to your website content and landing pages as appropriate. Post ideas include:
Think visually—your posts need to include something eye-catching. Think about sharing—an image or infographic that motivates people to share and repost dramatically increases the reach of your content. And think engagement. Ask people to interact.
Be prepared to spend some money. Fewer than 2% of your followers see any of your content. Social media companies need to make money, so they charge you for exposure.
6. Email Marketing
Email is a tried and true method in B2B digital marketing. Pay attention to messages and format—and be sure to test with at least an A version and a B version. Be mindful that most people screen email in a preview window so make sure the subject line and first few lines of text hook readers. Avoid having too much imager—it makes emails take forever to load and are really hard to handle for people reading mail on their cell phones. Have more than one call to action; one near the top and one near the bottom at least. To bring yourself up to date, consider getting fresh email training on a regular basis.