B2B companies should already have a good idea about their target audience, the product they are trying to market and their end goal. For example, you’ve just launched a new beautiful website, created a couple of blogs, shared content across social media and touched on some paid advertisement. Your branding and design are on point. What’s next?
Is there some magical process that brings everything together in one click? Unfortunately, not with one click. However, there are steps your company can take to create an effective B2B digital strategy that drives results.
Ask yourself these questions: could your business be doing more to generate better leads and ultimately conversions? Does your business have a fully integrated digital marketing strategy that works in sync with your inbound sales and marketing efforts?
Below we outline the steps to create a successful B2B digital marketing plan:
Own your strategy and know it inside out. This stage is the most important aspect of your digital marketing journey. Without this there’s no start or endpoint, no metrics to measure or demographics to target. By clearly planning your campaign for the next 6-12 months, you’ll identify areas that might require more focus, goals you want to achieve and any budgets you’ll have to work with.
Let’s say your web designer has done a great job in creating a nice looking website, after all, your website is like your shop window - it has to be attractive. Whilst it looks great, has there been any thoughts on how your users will behave on your website?
Whilst interesting visuals can increase engagements, more importantly, are your call to actions in the right place? Are there enough or is there too many? Is it fully responsive across all devices?
Some of the initial questions your users will subconsciously think when landing on your website include:
Does this website feel safe?
Did the page load in 3 seconds or less?
Is the website loading properly on my device?
Does the company seem professional, credible and stable?
Does the site answer my questions?
Your users should be the main focus when optimising your website. If any of the above points aren’t optimised properly, then your website will most likely see a high bounce rate.
B2B and B2C marketing obviously differ depending on if a business is buying from another business (B2B) or a consumer buying from a business (B2C). However, the fundamental aspects of SEO remain the same regardless.
The main difference is the purchasing behaviour and process of a user. For example, for B2C, if a user is buying one product from an e-commerce website, the SEO requirements are fairly straightforward in terms of page setup. However, if a CEO of a company is purchasing a new accounting system, the process has more steps in the sales funnel, which subsequently means more pages to optimise.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is one of the most important aspects of your overall B2B digital marketing strategy. Simply put, having a strong organic SEO approach towards all stages of your buyers' journey will lead to positive growth and ultimately conversions.
Having a general understanding of the below areas will be beneficial to your overall SEO efforts as you’ll be able to communicate to developers in a clearer way if changes need to be made:
Technical SEO: HTML tags, CSS, redirects, site speed
Content: producing high quality and keyword-focused content
On-page SEO: header tags, meta description and internal linking
Off-page SEO: building and expanding your external backlink profile
Content creation should still be at the core of every digital marketing strategy. Whether your business is creating blogs, videos or putting more emphasis on email marketing, you should be tailoring this to your target audience.
Creating content that your B2B audience sees at every stage of the buyer’s journey will be fundamental to whether you can persuade that user to buy from you. The key to a successful inbound and content strategy is building credibility, trust and adding value for the user every step of the way.
It’s vitally important that your B2B lead generation strategy is agreed upon between both marketing and sales departments. Understanding the buyers journey and aligning sales and marketing together will have more of an impact when it comes to quality conversions.
The "Buyers Journey” consists of these 3 stages:
Awareness stage >>> Consideration stage >>> Decision Stage
As marketers, it’s our job to entice and identify interested users to let them know about a company via the websites’ products and services. As salespeople, it’s their job to use this information (MQLs - marketing qualified leads) and convert them into new sales (SQLs - sales qualified leads) using the data collected from the marketing department. You can now see how both departments need to collaborate every step of the way to effectively achieve results.
In Step 1, your company will have set certain targets to achieve. However, at this step, it’s about analysing those targets and the results from your overall campaign.
This step is the most important in refining results to further improve your B2B digital marketing campaign. Whether using analytics from your website or social media platforms, most marketing software and tools offer analytical reports, which is vital to analysing what went well and what could be improved.
For example, you might see that users going through the buyers journey tend to drop off at the “consideration” stage. If that is the case then perhaps you need to improve the landing pages or content at that stage to improve bounce rates. Or perhaps that free PDF download link isn’t so easy to obtain, as there are too many data capture fields for the user to complete. These are a few examples of ways you can analyse and refine your campaign to further improve your overall strategy.
It’s good practice to be reviewing your results on a weekly or monthly basis just to ensure your team are on track. This way you can amend anything which hasn’t quite gained the desired traction.
If your business requires help with its B2B digital marketing strategy, please book a free discovery call with Juliet here.