By Heather Kramer
In a recent study by AdWeek, more than a third of CMOs say that digital marketing will account for 75 percent or more of their spending within the next five years. Marketers see the investment value of digital channels, and are having success integrating them into their awareness and lead generation strategies.
Customers are doing a considerable amount of research online before buying a product or engaging in a service and engaging with the brand after the sale is complete. For these reasons, B2B marketers must carefully consider how to reach their desired audiences online and nurture their relationships through the sales funnel.
Top–of–funnel awareness strategies may include social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These platforms are valuable as they allow you to showcase B2B products and services through unique content generation (posts, videos, photos) and allow the customer to learn about functions and features during the research phase. These channels are especially valuable for generating strong engagement and drive further–intent activity down the sales funnel.
Display and online advertising, such as RTB, Ad Networks, and Premium site inventory, are excellent ways to drive awareness of B2B products and services. Some vendors offer incredibly targeted audience-segment reach through data integration and allow marketers to reach the desired attributes — by demo, online behavior, contextual content, CRM data, geography — in a cost–effective and efficient environment.
Search engine marketing is an effective step in converting customers. Once someone has been exposed to your ad or content, most likely they will search for your services and products. Keywords can be used to guide the prospect to your website, where he/she can learn more about your business through content, educational pieces, and contact information. Effective and optimized search engine strategies strengthen the customer’s intent pathway.
B2B websites should be rich with content. The website is the strongest player in the consideration and conversion phase. B2B marketers can use videos, lead gen forms, white papers, and other content-related pieces to showcase specifics about the product or service and “close the loop” on sales. Carefully curated and optimized websites are essential necessities in B2B digital strategies.
All of the above orchestrations should not be implemented without a way to track available data and optimize results along the way. The best way for B2B firms to have success marketing in digital channels is to continually analyze channel– and audience–performance results and adjust the strategy/business operations accordingly. One of the best ways to measure input/output on any given digital campaign or funnel work is ROI. Did the investment return a sale?
I welcome the opportunity to discuss any other ideas or strategies you find helpful in your quest to maximize digital marketing opportunities in the B2B space. As always, I wish you happy marketing and encourage you to reach out to me at any time.
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