Essential Guidelines for B2B Digital Marketing
There is a well-trodden path in terms of B2C Digital Marketing. This typically includes components like PPC advertising, email marketing, content marketing and social media marketing. These components are also essential elements of a good B2B strategy. The strategy itself, however, is different. In this post, we examine the differences in planning, execution, and analysis.
The inbound approach
Generally speaking, your B2B digital marketing strategy should be centred around inbound techniques which identify, analyse and nurture different user personas to drive personalised conversion.
The R.A.C.E framework
There are many different digital marketing frameworks which you can utilise to make your inbound strategy successful. For the purpose of clarity, we will take a look at the RACE framework which I feel is one of the easiest to apply in a B2B setting.
A prerequisite of the RACE framework is planning. Each component of the framework should form part of your digital strategy. With that in mind, we will take a look at the components of the framework.
As part of your planning and research, you will have identified channels with which to point your digital marketing ray-gun. In a B2B sphere, these channels may differ slightly from the typical B2C channels.
The channels will depend on what products or services you are offering, of course. If you are struggling to choose these channels, you should try and put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If you were looking for the products you offer, where would you look? How would you conduct your research?
If you are selling B2B, keep in mind that your customer is a professional too. That probably means they don’t do their research on Facebook. Perhaps they use tools like Medium. Most likely they will consult their preferred search engine.
Using this logic, you might look at Adwords, content marketing and long tail SEO techniques. Not every B2B business is the same. Research your potential customer. Identify their habits.
B2B purchases are not typically driven by impulse. The conversion window is quite substantially bigger. What you will want to do as early as possible in the process is to gather some form of intent from your visitor.
That might be signing up for a free trial, signing up for your newsletter, requesting a quote or downloading a free whitepaper. There are many more interactions that you can encourage through persuasive and consistent calls to action.
Your digital strategy should have identified some personas for the visitor that you have delivered to your website. You will want to identify a conversion path for each persona. The path should be tailored specifically to that persona.
Using your identified personas and user paths will allow you to be more effective when deploying your remarketing campaigns, email marketing and marketing automation strategies.
By monitoring the behaviour of your potential customers when they are engaging with your content and user journeys on your website, you can adapt your strategy to optimise the conversion path and improve your conversion rate.
Building landing pages which adhere to best practices will help you to convert visitors to customers. However, it is difficult to get this 100% correct every time. The best tactic is to utilise A/B variant testing to identify the version of the content which performs best for your visitors. If you identify more than one version of the content that converts well, you should attempt to identify if there is a clear segment of visitors who engage best with this version. It may be worth building a journey specifically for those visitors.
Your nurturing program does not end once a purchase has taken place. The next step is to bring these customers through a path which allows for upselling, cross-sell or encourage them to champion your products and become an advocate of your brand, products or services.
Social proof is an extremely effective sales tool. A happy customer can be far more convincing to other prospective customers than your company ever could be. You might engage with these customers by encouraging a thrilled customer to share your products or service on social media or write a review of their experience with your company.
Utilised effectively, this type of strategy can help to significantly reduce your cost per conversion and provide fresh leads.
Call to action
The clarity of your message is the key to creating a converting call to action on your website. There should be no ambiguity in the message or surprises for the visitor when they click that call to action. It should encourage activity and make clear what the outcome of that activity will be.
For example, a strong call to action for account creation might look something like this.
“Register for a FREE demo – No credit card required”
User journeys and finding the best kind of lure
As previously outlined, user journeys typically relate back to specific personas. With that said, there are a number of journey types which apply well to B2B environments. Some that you may want to consider including are:
- Contact us forms
- Quick enquiry forms
- Call-back requests
- Site registrations forms (leading to free content such as whitepapers)
- PDF Downloads
- Product videos
- Trial / Demo Requests or registration
- Webinar / Event Signup
When you are measuring these journeys it is important to create goals and funnels within Analytics to track interaction and conversion on those journeys.
Plan, Execute and definitely... definitely Measure
You will have heard the phrase: “if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail”. Whilst that is certainly true, if you fail to report, you may never know how you failed. So, all of your planning efforts will be in vain if you don’t garner any insight from your activity.
It’s important to recognise that successful campaigns can often be improved. It’s also true to say that failed campaigns can become successful with minor adjustments. But, if you are not measuring every aspect of your activity, you will not have a true picture of that failure or success.
It is possible that an outside factor has changed the expected outcome. Perhaps the timing of your activity was not optimal. Perhaps some well placed negative keywords would have made your campaign more efficient.
If you would like to know more about B2B Digital Marketing, contact us today to talk through your options.