Key Points: SaaS and Cloud Software industries are primed for at least a 17% growth this year. The top SaaS companies...
In the B2B space, efficiently marketing your brand across your most profitable channels is a must. As a B2B marketers, the “digital” in digital marketer can no longer be left out. Of course, B2B digital marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, sometimes it can be as simple as ten simple steps.
The following ten steps are the absolute essentials for efficiently growing your digital B2B brand.
1. Set Conversion Goals
A conversion goal is a specific goal set for each piece of content your brand produces. Some pieces of content will garner sales. Other content pieces will build brand awareness. Conversion goals help decipher what each piece of content should do.
As you set conversion goals, pay attention to the stage of the buying process you are working with. Whether your user is just beginning their search, comparison shopping for different brands, or looking to buy, your conversion goal should be focused on the user’s specific point in the funnel. For example, a newer business may set a goal of getting their audience to visit their website. As your brand and business grow, so do these goals.
To help keep track of conversion goals and progress, Google Analytics is a great tool most marketers trust.
2. Personalize Your Brand
In B2B marketing, personalization is important. Within B2B marketing, your audience expects a certain level of familiarity. To distinguish yourself from other brands you need to provide a personalized, familiar message. This means you know who they are and cater to them personally. A great way to create a personalized brand is through social media.
Some social media platforms lend themselves to personalization better than others. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for example, are perfect platforms to try. This is because a good majority of your audience already exists and interacts here.
And, with the personal info/interests of social media profiles, you can learn a lot about your end customer from these platforms. The better you know your leads and the faster you can interact, the better. Social media makes personalization easy thanks to high visibility and quick connections.Social media makes personalization easy thanks to high visibility and quick connections.
3. Utilize Your Social Media Platforms
A social media presence means nothing if you don’t use it. Some brands exist online, but don’t engage with their customers. Success in B2B marketing depends on utilizing social media platforms to reach the right users. Find out where your audience is, and go there. As mentioned, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great places to start. In addition, there is also Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, and more.
Make sure that there is always someone there to monitor your social media sites. This is important for quick responses to any questions, comments, and concerns that may arise.
Your B2B customers will respond to a strong social media presence, and it will win you higher visibility over time.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Your B2B marketing strategy will likely never be set in stone. The Internet is always changing, and you have to learn to go with the flow. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to experiment with your brand. If your social endeavors aren’t working as well as they used to, be open to changing things up.
Some social media platforms won’t last long. Others will. Still, others will change the way they fundamentally work. Your audience may change. Your brand’s goal may change. Don’t allow these changes to trip you up. Experimentation means being able to handle trial, error, and trial again. Allow your business time to adapt to these changes. Try revamping your website or updating your blog.
In short, be aware that B2B strategies and your brand are not fixed. A rigid brand and B2B strategy will just make things harder when change inevitably arrives.
As Theodore Levitt once said,
“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”
5. Create Relevant Content
If your brand is going to succeed in B2B marketing, relevant content is a must. In fact, content marketing is one of the strongest lead-gen channels for B2B marketers. Information is how you connect with your audience. If the information you are putting out does not help them, it won’t be able to help you.
Whether your offer education, services, products, or all three, relevant content must reflect this. Relevant content is more than just explaining what you do. It also includes showing how you can help. And the more creatively you can relay your value – the better. Blogs, infographics, videos, and eBook are just a few mediums to try.
The right content will drive your marketing strategy. For this reason, context is important as well. Context refers to what your audience cares about. Why does what you are offering matter and why should they keep reading? A great way to answer these questions and produce relevant content is to use a keyword strategy.
Learning what your audience needs and wants is the first step. With this information, you can craft topics for site pages, blog posts, videos, and more.
6. Organize Business Around Outcomes
Organizing business around outcomes is a type of reverse-engineering. Depending upon the outcomes of your current B2B marketing strategy, you can go back and modify a new one.
Spending time and money on a new B2B marketing strategy is not the way to go. Instead, looking at your current strategy and focusing on what works and what doesn’t is a better approach. This way you can salvage current business practices and create new ones at the same time.
Some experts say that, “marketing has an impact on the core business and must be woven into it, not placed atop or beside it.” This means that marketing must work with your business organically, not be tacked on.
With help, you can organize perfect B2b marketing strategies based on current business goals.
7. Employ Analytics
Analytics can track and assess how well or how poorly your B2B marketing strategy is doing. Over a period of time – either weeks, months, or longer – analytics return useful data on traffic flow, rankings, engagements, and conversions. Was content shared? Did a blog post or web page receive a high volume of clicks? Did visitors contact you? Which pages had the most traffic? Analytics can answer these questions and much more.
With this information, you can then strengthen the weaker spaces of your website and continue to work with topics, pages, and spaces that are bringing in traffic. As mentioned, Google Analytics is a great tool to measure this data. You can also use Optimizely and ClickTale.
8. Invest in Resources
Besides blog posts, videos, and infographics, your brand should invest in other resources as well. A strong B2B marketing needs reliable software in its arsenal. Social media and a website are great, but there is more you can do. Some resources will require purchase, such as Google Adwords and other paid advertisements platforms. Other resources include
- Knowledge Tree: This is a blog that posts useful information for full-time marketers. It offers insights on sales training, sales enablement, content marketing, and more.
- Daily B2B Marketing Insights: Another great blog about B2B strategies and tips. Run by Matt Heinz from Heinz Marketing, this blog offers ways to improve tactics for B2B marketers.
- Moveable Ink: This is a great email marketing tool. It automates content, boosts ROI, and makes A/B Testing a breeze.
- Hubspot: Hubspot is a WordPress plugin that creates pop-ups on the site that capture leads. This is excellent for analyzing visitor behavior. It also helps identify what leads visitors towards conversion.
9. See Things from the Customer’s Point of View
Knowing what your customer wants and needs is an important part of B2B marketing. A god B2B marketer knows that empathy is a critical skill in any market interaction. Your brand should be working with your customers, addressing them as people and not targets.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and really think of what they need. How can your brand meet these needs? Is there a way to make your services and products better? What do your customers care about? Why are these things important?
Think less about your promoting your product or service, and more about how these things can solve your customer’s’ problems and needs.
10. Upcycle Your Content to Increase Visibility
The longer your business is around, the more content you’ll have. At some point, go back and reassess the content you have before making new content. This is known as “upcycling.” In other words, you take existing content and expand upon it. Try to do this with content six months old or more. You can expand content the following ways:
- Republish: If the article or blog post is older than six months, you can republish it on another site, or update and share the updated version.
- Build an Infographic: Turn old content into a new visual by making an infographic. This is a fun and easy to streamline information for the visually inclined.
- Recap In Video: Give a rundown on “old” content by recapping the major points in a video. As the video will act as a new artifact, you can both update old content and create new content in one move.
- Create a Slideshare: Another way to create a new artifact with “old” information is to create a Slideshare. Slideshare presentations are simple to make, shareable, and easy to understand.
The bottom line is that B2B marketing can be a headache. But starting from the right point is important to avoiding unwanted pitfalls later on down the road. Follow these ten steps to make sure you are “checking the boxes” of your B2B marketing strategy. Now you can start to optimize and improve on top of an already solid B2B growth strategy – and see where your leads and ROI go from there.