As a Business-to-Business (B2B) organization, you cannot merely adopt the best generic digital marketing strategies. After all, what works for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) does not necessarily translate.
The digital marketing strategies that you employ must understand the audience of B2B buyers.
- This is an audience that is educated and searching for the products and services that will improve their return-on-investment (ROI)
- They deal in long sales cycles that include multiple decision makers between procurement, accounting, and so-on that requires much more attention and nurturing.
The purchases your buyers make are significant decisions that will impact their business for months or even years at a time.
For example, if you are selling Managed IT services, your digital marketing efforts, in turn, need to cater to the intense decision-making process that comes with investing in IT.
71% of B2B buyers begin their search for new products or services with a generic search on a search engine, and the average makes 12 searches before even reaching a brand’s website.
To bring those buyers to your website, you must adopt these four proven and successful inbound marketing tactics.
Developing an Agile B2B Digital Marketing Strategy
According to Statista, only 45% of B2B companies have a formal digital marketing strategy in place. The door is wide open for organizations to capitalize on this lack of strategy and capture market share from their competitors who are leaving these opportunities on the table.
Your B2B digital marketing strategy begins with a dedicated strategist with the knowledge to unite the products and services that you offer with the buyers that are most ready to purchase.
They need to understand the differences between B2B and B2C, like long buyer cycles, multiple decision makers, and a wider range of keywords that must be pulled from.
This isn’t any old digital strategist with inbound marketing experience. The digital strategist your business needs is one with experience in B2B services who are familiar with industries such as technology.
After all, if your strategist can’t explain the difference between your custom software or cloud services, a digital marketing strategy designed by them can’t do the same.
An Agile Marketing Strategy for Your B2B Company
If you work in software development, you’ll be familiar with the concept of adopting an agile methodology. Agile marketing follows the same principals; it is a tactical marketing approach where small groups of teams identify the most high-value projects and put their collective focus on them.
This allows your strategy to be, well, agile.
By implementing weekly sprints that measure the impact of projects, you can see what succeeds and what fails.
Under this structure, agile teams can: respond to change and rapid iterations over entire projects with ease, as the structure itself – based around 90-day strategies – allows for continuous improvements and necessary adjustments according to data collected.
93% of CMOs who have employed agile practices report that their speed to market for products, campaigns, and ideas has improved, and has allowed their digital marketing teams to switch gears more quickly and effectively.
An agile digital marketing strategy is necessary for your business to succeed in highly disruptive industries. It allows you to:
- Rapidly respond to changes in the market
- Enforces inter-departmental collaboration that prevents tunnel-vision
- Ensures that strategists, content writers, SEO specialists, etc., are always doing the most efficient work at all times.
B2B SEO Specific to Your Industry
Business leaders fall for shiny SEO presentations on the daily, only to discover that the skimpiest of keyword research is being conducted. Your inbound marketing strategy relies on great SEO that is unique to your B2B business.
SEO designed for B2B is very different than SEO designed for B2C. If B2C keyword research is narrow and deep, focusing on few but high-trafficked keywords, then B2B keyword research is shallow and wide.
Your organization needs multiple rounds of extensive keyword research that finds the exact search terms that buyers in your industry are actively using.
B2C vs. B2B Keywords
Achieving high volumes of traffic to your website doesn’t mean a thing if none are converting into actual leads.
You must search for keywords with the highest buyer intent.
For example, if your business is a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that offers a disaster recovery backup solution, you will need highly specific keywords designed to drive only those looking to buy to your website.
Here are some example keywords for disaster recovery:
- “Disaster recovery cloud services”
- “Backup and disaster recovery services”
- “DRP services”
- “Disaster recovery as a service providers”
- “Disaster recovery for small business”
Dive Deep Into B2B Keyword Research
An extensive deep dive into what your competitors are doing on their websites and with their own keyword research can give you the upper hand, allowing your strategy to beat them in areas they are successful, or target facets of the industry that your competition isn’t even aware of.
The most successful SEO for your B2B business will involve multiple, extensive rounds of keyword research to best determine those keywords that lead buyers who are ready to purchase to your website.
Expert SEO Services for B2B Companies
Content Marketing for Lead Generation
SEO brings buyers to your website, but quality content is what will keep readers engaged. Every piece of content on your site should be considered an investment.
Each word must:
- Use industry terminology and acronyms
- Reference the buyer’s industry and specific pain points
- Guide your target market through your sales funnel
Although about 90% of B2B marketers use content marketing as a core component of their digital marketing strategy, only 37% have a documented content strategy.
Simply adding blog post content is not enough to truly garner any proper attention in your industry.
By creating a content marketing strategy, you can precisely target buyers with premium content as they make their way down the sales funnel. Rather than publishing aimless blogs or videos, content can be designed for specific phases of the buyer’s journey.
(Source: Content Marketing Institute)
According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 47% of B2B marketers leverage buyer personas. This gives businesses with a B2B digital marketing strategy targeting specific buyers a leg up.
Blogs continue to pave the way as the most critical form of content marketing. This is further proved by the fact that B2B companies who are posting more than 11 blogs per month have almost three times the traffic compared to those with only a couple.
However, do not just publish aimless blogs, as quality over quantity still applies.
Work with your digital marketing strategist to map out the areas of your business that should be targeted for the quarter, and determine blog topics based on that specific strategy.
If your business is in the mining industry for instance, and you’ve decided to focus on mining operations, blog topics examples could be, “Finding the right employee deployment for your mine” and “How to Gain Complete Insight Into Your Mining Operations.”
And blogs are not the only form of content your business should be producing.
Successful B2B businesses will also produce:
- Email newsletters
- eBooks and White Papers
Real-Time Data Powers Every Component of Digital Marketing
Data is the gold of the modern age. Every decision that is made along your digital marketing journey should be backed up by extensive data proving the best path forward.
With real-time data integrated into every phase of the buyer journey, you get real insight into what is succeeding – and what is failing – within your sales funnel.
No matter the digital marketing strategy, it should include full-funnel data visibility with access to custom, real-time dashboards that give you an inside look into data about your buyers.
Evaluate the data collected against your strategy, SEO, and content marketing KPIs to prove that you are moving in the correct direction, or in dire need or a shift in focus.
This is particularly important for agile marketing strategies. You need data that tracks bounce rates, time on site, exit pages, traffic sources, pages per session, leads data, the number of leads per month, lead scrubbing, etc., to verify the path that you have taken.
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An essential piece to the data puzzle is lead validation – the process of separated real sales leads from other types of leads generated from campaigns.
Lead validation is vital to the entire process; without it, it is impossible to determine the effectiveness of any digital marketing strategy.
If you have two sources for generating conversions – phone calls and form submissions – a high number of non-sales leads can misrepresent how effective particular strategies are.
Your sales marketing team may report 100 new sales leads over the month, only for you to dig deeper into the data and realize that half of those leads were non-sales leads like customer service inquiries, job applications, direct calls to staff members, or form submissions missing critical data.
Read More About B2B Digital Marketing:
Four Digital Marketing Components to Rule Them All
A B2B digital marketing strategy is lacking if even one of these components is sub-par:
- An agile marketing strategy
- B2B SEO focused on your specific industry
- Content marketing designed to improve lead generation
- Extensive data that influences every single decision
These make up the lifeblood of successful B2B digital marketing.
By adopting these core components, you are on your way to making your business a superstar. To unlock exceptional digital marketing, there are additional services that you can utilize to ensure that your organization stands above the rest.
For those additional digital marketing tips, stay tuned for part two of our B2B digital marketing services blog, covering everything from paid media to social media and account based marketing (ABM).
If you’re ready to develop an intensive digital marketing strategy like we’ve outlined, contact Jumpfactor today to get started with a free strategy session that determines what the best path forward for your business entails.