Author: Tom Manke
Business owners nowadays are made to feel that they can easily handle their digital B2B marketing strategies. A number of digital marketing tools are offering ‘sure-fire’ ways to improve lead generation through social media ad platforms or search marketing software, which really leads to conflicting data situations where B2B decision makers get lost. Reality checked – entrepreneurs aren’t all digital marketing-savvy; most aren’t nor should they be tracking a fluttering confetti of partial solutions. Creating a digital marketing plan is definitely a challenge to many B2B owners.
As a B2B entrepreneur, where do you begin? Do you think creating a Facebook company page is enough? Are you applying a content marketing strategy to reach your target audience? Every business owner has a set of questions lingering at the back of their mind, and many of them never get around to starting. Others of you hammer together complex B2B marketing strategies right from the start which makes no sense at all without a company ‘philosophy’ to underpin the strategy. If you want to establish a sound and feasible B2B strategy, you should start with basics.
Here are 5 basic questions that will help you create the essential B2B strategies to improve lead generation:
1.) Why Do I Need a B2B Strategy?
A business is off to a great start by establishing its foundation through a strategy. In a recent survey, 51% of B2B companies don’t have a clear sense of what a B2B strategy is. It’s crucial to determine your target audience, create a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, and assessing your target customers’ buyer persona. This will help you know how to market your product or service seamlessly within and across relevant channels.
The survey also reveals that the most effective and popular content marketing materials are: social media content (93%), website articles/blog (78%), infographics/videos (75%), and eNewsletters (80%). Keep in mind that not all content can work for your business nor is it equally effective for each particular platform; you need to tailor-fit relevant content to reach the right target audience.
2.) Why Does My Business Need a Website?
If your business doesn’t have a website then it doesn’t exist. Your website is your company’s face on the Web. Picture it as a salesman that optimally projects your company’s mission and vision, products or services, and of course, the solutions intended to help your customers.
Yet an effective website should be enhanced with lead generation tools, CRM analytics software, and enticing content. Making your website relevant to your target audience also puts them as ease about referring your business to their colleagues and peers. Always keep in mind to personalize the content by talking directly to potential customer once he lands on your home page. Before you begin to write or have it written for you, compose and collaborate on a short ‘statement of purpose’ and a ‘statement of audience’. Now build your content. All of your website content is severely anaemic and stilted without one of each to guide the content creation.
3.) Do I Need Organic Search for My Business?
Everyone appreciates a great website with engaging content and enticing visuals. Thing is, is anyone aware that your website exists? How likely will they search that second page of results? This is where SEO and SEM comes into play; you need to have a sound organic master plan before its incremental deployment, especially if you are vying for attention on a world stage.
Your SWOT analysis will also help you determine how you deploy this organic search plan. Remember to focus on questions such as: “Who are my target customers?” and “What solutions do they seek?” Careful answers to these will help reinforce your content marketing plan at large, including your website content. A proper organic search plan forms a backbone of strong relevancy for your target customers that search your product/service online.
4.) Do I Really Need Social Media to Promote My Business?
Almost always you do, yet not every social media platform works for all products, and some of these public platforms may be omitted with advantage. Also, seek to determine the proportion of your target prospects’ time and frequency on Facebook and LinkedIn using each ad platform for research. If you already know that your product or service is not for everyone, then it’s important to tailor-fit your content for the appropriate platform – Facebook is more relaxed; LinkedIn more buttoned-down.
The idea here is to determine your target prospects and a few key buyer personas before you begin. Matching an accurate social persona to your product is essential to that product’s long-term awareness culture on the web. If your business is selling video games then you might easily reach your target customers on Facebook or Twitter, but if your business is CRM enterprise solutions then LinkedIn is the best fit for your product. Remember that promoting your product requires meticulous research gathered over months and years to determine their browsing behavior and frequently visited sites. Beneath everyone the marketing ground is shifting every day. Beneath everyone.
5.) How Do I Start with Lead Generation?
Most any business owner can purchase lead generation software and apply it on his website. But making the most out of your content and lead generation tool is a different story. Combining new and relevant content with lead generation tools will help sustain brand awareness. This is called brand nurturing. Best practices include call-to-action buttons, email newsletters, and content freebies like white papers and infographics to sustain customer and prospect engagement.
The key here is to create relevant content complemented by effective CTAs for customers to learn how your product will benefit their business. Always present your product or service as a solution that they need.
If you are ready for the next level of lead generation about which your competition is still sleeping, this has become the next gold rush of ’49, and you can own Sutter’s Mill. Technology and strategy now exists that enables new leads are combed, filtered, and presented at your out-bound sales team’s doorstep asking for their help. In fact, your existing inbound team can now be seriously down-sized. Looking for a level playing field? Not me. Nor should you.
6.) How Can Analytics Reporting Help Me?
Once you’re able to create content marketing plans for organic search and social media marketing, it’s time to determine your KPIs (key performance indicators) every month and quarter. When you know what traffic is working, and how it changes over time, you can quantify the value of your ongoing content efforts if you have the right reporting tools properly set up. Analytics reporting doesn’t just mean Google Analytics. That’s important for webpage views, average time on site, and bounce rate, but if that’s all you choose to do, you are mostly playing a passive game on the sidelines, and also allowing current customer attrition (people going somewhere else!) over time.
What if you could determine how much traffic by source is filling out the lead forms you have out there, watching webinars or buying your product/service? Modern analytics reporting, expertly set up, can really drill down there to reveal how much revenue you are pulling by source: how much revenue is coming from organic vs. PPC vs. social media? These numbers can translate into substantial recommendations to improve areas in your content marketing strategy. And that’s extremely close to everything that affects your bottom line.
These are our basic guide questions for B2B owners who want to start to build an effective content marketing strategy. Keep in mind that a B2B strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, so you also need to tailor-craft a specific B2B content marketing plan for your business. Do you have B2B questions you want to share with us? Send it our way and comment below.