B2B Digital Marketing Explained
Breaking Down B2B Digital Marketing
Remember the good ole days of when going business to business selling your product or service was actually effective? Cold calls weren’t dreaded, and knocking door-to-door actually built valuable relationships. Yup, those days are long behind us.
In our previous post, we had emphasized how no one wants to be sold to in their free time — and this includes business executives. Everyone has infinite access to the resources of the internet. Everyone knows how to conduct online research — and 81% of them will do so before buying.
Your marketing strategy has shifted. You’re having to figure out how to leverage the power of digital to not only get in front of key decision makers, but connect and nurture these relationships until they finally convert into a sale. It’s a lengthy, and sometimes complex, process, but inbound marketing is the marketing strategy for B2B companies.
Create S.M.A.R.T Goals
With any effective strategy, we need to start with understanding what we want from all our digital marketing efforts. Of course, we want sales, but what are some of the other goals we need to achieve? For a new business, it might be expanding brand awareness. For other businesses, it might be generating leads to convert.
Next, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Set S.M.A.R.T marketing objectives for each goal. Each objective should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This will help you create measurable outcomes from your digital marketing efforts. Trust us — it will help you understand how your campaigns are performing, identify areas of improvement, and it will keep you sane!
An example of this is as follows:
- General Goal: We want to generate leads
- S.M.A.R.T Marketing Objective: We will generate 25 leads within 6 weeks using our eBook and free webinar lead magnets.
Understand How the Role Your Digital Marketing Tactics Plays in Your Customer’s Buying Journey
B2B digital marketing isn’t as cut and dry as B2C (Business to Consumer) marketing. There is a lot of relationship building that goes into closing the sale. It’s a heftier price tag and is often a purchase that requires multiple approvals from key company executives. Because of this reason alone, there are several touch points during your buyer’s journey. In fact, over 50% of people will consume 4-5 pieces of content prior to purchase decision.
On the contrary, B2C buyer decisions are much more impulsive. The customer just got paid and is looking for the exact style of shoes a company sells. They conduct some research, find your company through Google, look at your Instagram, and see their favorite beauty guru bought the exact heels they’re scoping out. They’re sold.
Back to your B2B digital marketing.
There’s not a single channel that is effective on its own. You’ve got to be everywhere your customers are conducting their research. All of your digital mediums, like paid advertisements, email marketing, blogs, etc., are working together toward the bigger picture. It’s important to view each channel as crucial to your marketing success and invest wisely in each one.
Check out how each channel helps you achieve your ultimate goal of increasing sales:
We also wrote a blog post covering how to align your sales funnel with your marketing efforts. You should definitely check that out, too.
Build a Solid Foundation
If you want some really great data and results, you have to put the tools in place to support it from the get-go.
Start with a Strong Website
Your website is the first thing your customers are looking at when they’re conducting research — does it perform how you need it to? Will customers actually like using it? Does it function how they need it to? Is your branding consistent? These are all important questions to ask when you’re evaluating your online presence.
Setup a Killer CRM
You need a place to keep track of all your incoming leads, how they’re finding you, and monitor their journey through the sales cycle. We love Hubspot for closing the loop between sales and marketing — but there are cheaper alternatives, like ActiveCampaign, that can assist with this as well.
Proper Tracking Matters
Google Analytics, AdWords tracking, Facebook pixels, and LinkedIn Conversion Tags are all critical to being able to see how your ads are driving website traffic and desired actions. Also, don’t forget about using a tool like CallRail to track where your phone calls come from.
Remember: Success Isn’t Built Overnight
There is a lot of work that goes into inbound marketing. It requires substantial time and monetary investment to develop the content your audience wants to read and engage with, as well as create strategic goals and a plan that is consistent with both your brand and products/services. Take your time and know that it’s okay to not get it right immediately.
All of your paid advertisements are at the top of the funnel. This is where your customers are conducting their online research. It’s unlikely you’ll convert your website visitors into buyers right off the bat. They want to make sure they can trust your company. They want to validate their purchase. They’ll look through your blog content, check out your social media, read reviews, and perhaps even join your email list before committing their budget to your company.
This is even more true for B2B companies. We know that, if you see an ad about our web development services, you may not trust us right away to redesign your seemingly outdated website through a measly 150 word ad. You need proof that we’re capable of getting the job done. And the only way you can validate our credibility is through extensive research.