Digital marketing is a rapidly-evolving field, and the tools B2B marketers use have continued to progress and develop. However, one thing hasn’t changed: a solid marketing strategy will differentiate your organization from your competition, generate leads and sales, and drive your business’ growth.
What does an effective online B2B marketing strategy look like today? Here’s a brief overview of the components of a successful B2B marketing program:
of B2B buyers are now millennials
1. Understand Your Changing Audience
Technology has undoubtedly transformed the way we shop as consumers, so it’s no surprise that it has also affected how businesses shop for products and services. Just as B2C brands have had to adapt their marketing strategies to changing audiences, B2B companies will also have to market in new ways.
Here are some key points about the modern B2B marketer’s audience:
- According to research by Merit, up to 73% of B2B buyers are now millennials. These digital natives won’t respond as well to traditional collateral and cold-calling, and will expect to find information about your organization’s offerings online.
- The modern B2B buyer does their research online. Across all industries and services, up to 67% of buyer decisions are influenced by online services, with buyers often browsing the websites of two or more vendors.
- Most B2B researchers start with Google. According to recent studies, up to 71% of commercial buyers begin their research with generic Google searches, doing 12 searches on-average before engaging with a brand’s website.
2. Search Marketing and SEO for Success
With an ever-evolving audience, B2B marketers must divert an increasing amount of attention and resources to their organization’s online presence. But what does this look like in practical terms?
Your organization’s website needs to be visually appealing, function properly, and, most importantly, feature engaging content. For many of your potential buyers, this content will replace the print collateral, cold-calling, and in-person pitches that previously defined many businesses’ marketing strategies.
Quality content can be effective at all stages of the sales process. A well-written, informative blog can raise awareness of a need for your products and services (demand generation). Meanwhile, while a landing page with carefully-crafted messaging and a strong call-to-action can generate leads for your sales team and ultimately drive growth.
In addition to driving sales and helping your potential buyers make decisions, quality SEO-optimized content can make your organization appear in more web searches. Google’s algorithms give websites with quality content higher search authority, displaying them first for related searches. Well-crafted content will increase your search ranking, getting your business in front of more potential customers.
Content creation and optimization are a significant investment of both time and money, so consistently maximizing your return on investment is critical to the long-term health of your business. Rather than focusing on one-off campaigns or short-term tactics, creating or investing in a reliable marketing system delivering consistent performance will allow you to invest in your business or future marketing efforts with peace-of-mind.
Does your sales team frequently answer the same questions?
This may indicate an informational gap in your current marketing mix, and would be an excellent starting point to begin creating content.
3. Continually Evaluate & Optimize for Growth
Constant evaluation is crucial to the success of any marketing program. Continuously monitor performance to ensure your marketing efforts meet expectations and effectively reach your audience. Take note of both successes and opportunities; your search ranking will fluctuate as your competition creates new content, and there will always be another topic on which to establish search authority.
Performance metrics and analytics are essential tools in evaluating your business’ digital marketing strategy. Data-driven insights will allow you to build upon past successes, adapt your approach to changing market conditions, and achieve consistent performance over time.
Google Analytics products are an excellent way to track your website’s KPIs. They also offer courses and training materials to help your team make sense of the numbers and improve your understanding.
As B2B digital marketing continues to evolve, marketing professionals will need to be vigilant in tracking current trends and adapting to their changing audience. Laying solid strategic groundwork today will set your organization up for success tomorrow, and allow you to confidently pursue new tactics to generate leads and take on new clients.
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