The B2B digital marketing space is highly competitive, which means that ad hoc approaches to digital marketing strategies won’t pay off much.
For any company that wants to compete effectively in this space, the key to success is creating timeless digital strategies.
These strategies will require in-depth research, planning, creativity, and measurement. Internally, strategies must be measurable in terms of lead acquisition, website traffic, and revenue generation.
The first encounter most prospects have with your business is digital. Here are five digital marketing strategies to help make that meeting memorable.
If you want to create effective digital marketing strategies that keep you on the cutting edge, check out these five steps.
- Lead Segmentation
Unless you’re serving a very specific industry, most B2B marketers have broader audiences, which makes segmentation critical. All other digital marketing strategies will be linked to this first step.
Segmentation involves knowing your target audience, their motivations, differences, value of the deal, and pain points.
Doing so allows you to create meaningful messages that address your unique needs.
There are many targeting techniques that digital marketers use and we will cover a couple of them.
- Segmentation by type of organization: This type of segmentation is popular in small and medium-sized businesses. It involves grouping leads by industry, location, number of employees, and approximate revenue.
- Segmentation by needs and attitudes– This approach is based on subjective factors including values / beliefs, business priorities, interests, prices, pain points, and decision-making criteria.
- Behavioral targeting: You can segment prospects by their purchases, spending habits, their social channels, or the content they consume.
- Segmentation by profitability (potential): some marketing teams ‘tiered’ leads based on expected revenue on conversion. This allows them to allocate resources appropriately.
- Understand your buyer’s journey
Research shows that decision makers use online data to inform up to 80% of the buying process before hiring a salesperson.
The potential customer can interact with your organization’s website or social platform five to six times (or more) before taking that final step.
With each interaction, they seek answers to their immediate questions.
Mapping your prospect’s journey will help you determine the type of message (content) you will present to them at each stage.
Content that is useful throughout the sales funnel, from your first interaction to conversion, includes:
- Consciousness stage: prospective clients are open to solutions to their problems. They search for educational content such as blog posts, social posts, infographics, checklists, e-books, videos, and podcasts.
- Consideration of the internship: the prospect is testing possible solutions. They are comparing offers from different providers. Share product / service comparison guides, case studies, white papers, expert guides, and product samples.
- Decision-making stage: the prospect has narrowed down his options and is looking for key differentiators. The best content here is the one that tells them why they should choose you. Includes live demos or free trials, testimonials, product reviews, and case studies.
- Loyalty stage: the prospect is now a paying customer. They want to get the most out of their purchase. Share how-to videos, product-centric articles, including product updates, surveys, and loyalty programs.
- Upload to social networks
Since the B2B buying process is longer and demanding, decision makers take the time to research and educate themselves.
Where do they look for this information? On a variety of social channels, of course.
Social media platforms adequately meet the challenges of the B2B marketing space by performing the following roles:
- Creating brand awareness.
- Offering a platform for you to educate current and potential customers about your offerings.
- Acting as an enriching tool.
- Test information on current industry trends.
- Provide you with useful information on buyer issues as people talk about the issues they face on social media.
- Increase traffic to your website.
- Provide valuable feedback on your products or services, including complaints and other comments.
- Help organizations to obtain new business relationships
- Expand promotions, new products / services and other announcements.
These benefits are great, but the only way you will enjoy them is if your social platforms are visible to your target audience.
Here are ideas to improve visibility:
- Optimize your social profiles by completely archiving them. Make sure your physical and virtual contact information is standardized across all platforms. Use a couple of relevant keywords in your bio.
- Make sure the social media icons on your website are in the places that get the most traffic. These include your home page, contact page, footer, and blogging.
- Insert social media posts into blog posts. This creates direct links to your social media page improving visibility.
- Get employees to include your organization’s social media icons in email signatures.
- Take advantage of your employees’ connections by asking them to share your posts on social media.
- Make cold calls
Cold calling always feels like entering an unknown realm where your confidence levels and interpersonal selling skills are challenged.
However, this strategy is very effective for B2B marketing. It gives you the opportunity to reach potential customers who would otherwise slip away.
That doesn’t mean you should immediately turn on the phone and dial the top 50 companies on your list.
This strategy is not about the number of calls you make, but the quality of the calls. Let’s look at some qualities that make a good cold calling strategy.
- Make sure your contact database is updated regularly, removing contacts who are not interested in your offers. A short list containing valuable clues is better than a long list of dead ends.
- Do a detailed research on your prospects beforehand. Understand the common and specific pain points they face and how your solutions can help solve them. You will be presented as a knowledgeable person and not an annoying telemarketer who is only interested in promoting your products.
- Never start a conversation with “Did I call you at a bad time?” It will elicit a negative response. Say something like “Hello _____, this is _____ from XYZ Company. We provide solutions that help businesses minimize _____ expenses while maximizing productivity and revenue. Can I tell you more so you can see if it will be of value to your business?
- Use a call guide to keep conversations natural and prevent them from being diverted in the wrong direction. Your call guide should contain open-ended questions, statistics, and data, as well as variable conversation results.
- Be a good listener and student. Write down what your potential customer says about their existing problems and solutions. It will help you identify the gaps and see if you can address them.
- No matter how prepared you are, sometimes the answer will be “No.” Rejection is part of the process, don’t take it personally. The potential customer may not have a budget for what you offer or be satisfied with your current solutions. Or they could be dealing with internal issues.
- Use rejection to your advantage. Whenever possible, ask the prospect why they didn’t accept your offer. Your responses can provide information on how you can modify your next call.
- Collect and analyze data
Data collection involves collecting qualitative and quantitative information about prospects through multiple data collection methods.
These collection methods include conducting surveys or measuring the number of visitors to your website and social platforms. You can also collect data from a reputable paid provider.
Analyzing this data offers several benefits for sales and marketing teams, including:
- Provide deeper insights into the personal, behavioral and demographic dynamics of your potential customers.
- Help you understand your customers’ feelings towards your products or services. The data allows you to identify gaps and improve your offers.
- Test the effectiveness of past and present marketing campaigns. This will help you to strengthen the campaigns to the desired ways.
- Understand customer expectations in terms of customization, such as combinations of preferable product features or the factors that drive their decisions.
- Creating frameworks that offer better experiences and customer satisfaction.
There are several tools on the market that you can use to measure and analyze data, including Google Analytics, MOZ, and Hootsuite.
It is worth investigating which one best suits your needs.
Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be in a better position to adjust your digital marketing efforts for better returns.