Top 12 B2B Digital Marketing Strategies for 2016
Smartt has helped leading Canadian B2B companies execute digital marketing roadmaps that led to measurable sales improvements. Here are our top 12 real-world tested strategies we believe every B2B marketer should be using:
- Create targeted content based on the buying journey. The B2B buying cycle is now controlled by the B2B buyer, with buyers getting 62% through their buying cycle before contacting vendors. This means companies that provide that most relevant content during the research phase increase their chances of getting short-listed when qualified prospects are ready to buy.
- Sequence Your Content with Email and Retargeting. The Internet is a very powerful tool for serving targeted, relevant content to B2B buyers. Use email-marketing and retargeting to serve content that inspires prospects to move along the buying cycle.
- Utilize Events. Leverage events, both your own and the ones you attend, for live networking and social media. Share interesting facts and pictures during the event. Engage with other attendees before and after the event. Capture their emails and other contact information. Show relevant display advertising. Create contests that prompt engagement.
- Offer case studies. Case studies that feature results continue to be one of the most important ways to bring credibility to the table during the B2B vendor selection process.
- Integrate multiple channels. We’ve seen ROI for B2B campaigns go up drastically when we help clients integrate email, display, and mobile advertising. In one case, we helped a global telecommunications company reduce their lead generation costs by over 80%.
- Perform content outreach. You’ll see your B2B content marketing efforts deliver substantially higher returns if you have a large following – and these days the way to gain that large following is by reaching out over social media.
- Research your customers. The Internet is a goldmine of information waiting to be exploited by you – and your competitors. The best B2B marketing departments conduct research that makes it easier for their sales team to sell.
- Expand your reach and volume. If you have a scalable product or service, consider reaching out to new markets through the Internet. We've seen Canadian B2B clients sell abroad more successfully than in domestic markets.
- Simplify Your Messaging. One of the most important things we do with every B2B client is simplify their messaging and align it consistently across all campaign channels. Many B2B companies – especially technology companies – often find their messaging too bogged down with technical details. Agree on a one-sentence definition of your product/ service that describes what it is, who it is for, how it works, and why it exists. If you can’t get stakeholders to agree, then your messaging is too complex to be effective.
- Humanize your brand. It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing too much on features and benefits. At Smartt, we cringe every time we see yet another faceless corporate website filled with stock photos or videos of stick people talking about a new product. In a world where so much business happens virtually, give your audience the assurance of real live humans in your business eco-system – including employees, partners, and happy customers. Use pictures of your staff and customers whenever you can.
- Create a content production matrix. Many marketing teams complain that last-minute requests from company executives and the sales force take away from the time they need to create content. We find it really helps to create a set content production matrix for every month. For example, allocate:
- 20% of time to sales collateral updates
- 20% to SEO-friendly content
- 20% to targeted content
- 20% to executive requests
- 20% on reserve for contingencies
This will help each stakeholder group prioritize their wish-list and in turn help marketing teams deliver better results.
- Get Responsive. Most B2B decision makers are avid users of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They're likely to open up links on their phones during ‘downtime’ -- while waiting at the airport, in a lobby, or riding in the back of a taxi. If your website isn't responsive, doesn’t load quickly enough, or scales badly on a mobile screen, they may leave and never come back.
Smartt offers a private 90-minute executive briefing with 50 more facts that can make your B2B marketing more profitable. If you’re interested in attending this complimentary executive briefing, please write from your company email to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>