Digital marketing is a powerful force for brand awareness and customer communication, but many B2B businesses struggle with getting the results that match the level of work they put into developing concepts, campaigns, and content. Having a proactive plan – as opposed to a reactive strategy – is important in getting the most out of your B2B digital marketing strategies.
Here are the steps to take to develop the most impactful strategy for your B2B business.
Steps for Successful B2B Digital Marketing Strategies
1. Define your goals
Understanding what you’re hoping to achieve with your B2B digital marketing strategies is at the core of a successful strategy. Most businesses know they want to increase revenue, but having that broken up into smaller, specific, more manageable, and more trackable goals are key. Most B2B businesses goals fall into the following areas:
- Growing webinar or event sign-ups
- Increasing product video views
- Growing trial or demo requests and call back requests
Having an understanding of what customer engagement metrics you want to see will help you define what the most important parts of your strategy are.
2. Know your target audience
Having a true understanding of your target audience is crucial. It’s not enough to simply segment your marketing by executive job title or location. It’s ineffective to only use tactics that segment without giving you more insight. Disruptive Advertising notes, “What every B2B digital marketing strategy has in common is targets that can be defined and refined. It’s impossible to market to everyone at once, so you need to concentrate on your core audience…From marketplace research and buying behaviors to brand research, detailed marketing research will help you make more informed decisions as a business owner to not only better connect with your intended audience but also gives you an objective basis to measure results. After doing your buyer persona research, it is time to focus on demographics…Understanding the characteristics, needs and lifestyles of your consumers allow you to effectively craft products and services they need and marketing messages they respond to.”
3. Prioritize your channels and platforms
Digital marketing is comprised of many pieces. You’ll need to know which channels to use to make the biggest impact for your audience. Most digital marketing campaigns are a mix of blogging, social media, PPC ads, webinars, email campaigns, search ads, banner ads, white papers, and case studies, but what the exact mix looks like will depend on your business, industry, and target audience.
4. Ensure your website quality
Digital marketing pieces need to drive somewhere. Most links – whether they’re shared on social media, through email, or in other ads – will land a prospective customer on your page somewhere. Developing dedicated landing pages for your gated content is important, as is making sure that the overall website is working as hard as possible for your brand. Ask the following questions to assess your site: Does it make you feel welcome? Does it seem credible and trustworthy? Is it easy to use on the desktop as well as mobile? Does it answer questions customers might have?
5. Create the best content
Your content needs to resonate with readers. It needs to engage users. The best way to ensure this? Go back to your target market research and make sure that your content plan is in line with the concerns, problems, and needed insight that you’ve identified as important for your audience and accounts. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a mix of types of content – having long-form, text-only pieces isn’t a balanced approach. You need to have content for every stage in the customer journey, as well as a mix of assets that include video, photography, infographics, both long and short-form content, and other pieces.
6. Set up analysis
The only way to move forward with any kind of digital marketing effort is to know which parts of your efforts are successful and what is falling short of your goals, which is why analysis is key. Ultimately, businesses who aren’t utilizing analytics, drawing meaning from their reporting, and implementing changes based on data are setting themselves up to fail. Using Google Analytics, social media analytics tools, and other user analysis programs will help you shape your future B2B digital marketing strategies.
Your digital marketing efforts are foundational in reaching your key B2B audiences effectively. Having a strategy is necessary to go after those audiences, capture their interest, position yourself as a solution, and earn their business. It can be tempting, particularly when growing a B2B startup marketing strategy, to simply start creating ideas and executing, but doing the leg work to create a solid approach is worth your time and effort. Not only will it help keep your marketing on track, but it will also provide a better user experience for your customers and a better work experience for your marketing team. It’s also necessary to revisit your B2B digital marketing strategies regularly to make sure that the approaches that made sense 6 months or a year ago are still a good fit for your business today.