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In today’s evolving digital world, CMOs, Marketing Directors, and Marketing Managers of business-to-business (B2B) companies increasingly rely on developing unique marketing strategies to stay ahead of their competition. With the growing influence of AI, the changing landscape between organic and paid Search Engine usage, and the variety of social media platforms, it may be challenging to determine the best strategy for your company or client and the best way to leverage these strategies to generate revenue.
In this blog, we will discuss some of the best digital marketing opportunities you can take to grow your B2B business, how to effectively act upon those strategies, and how to make sure money is being made!
Understanding B2B Digital Marketing
In its essence, B2B marketing is defined as the strategies and tactics employed to promote and sell products or services from one business to another in an online environment. It involves utilizing various online channels and platforms to connect with other companies, build relationships, and drive sales.
When you begin to focus on a new digital marketing strategy, there are a few things you need to define that will help guide your overall strategy development. You should ask yourself the following questions:
Who is your primary target audience? Furthermore, who will be the decision-makers within an organization deciding to purchase your product or service?
This will differ from a business-to-consumer (B2C) campaign that focuses more on specific consumer demographics. In contrast, a B2B campaign targeting should focus more on the industries, job seniority, or job titles that would use your product or service. If you are selling a software product, who is most likely to use it or make that decision? Is it an IT Director, a Marketing Manager, or a Sales person?
Conversions & Leads
How do you receive leads? What is the most crucial conversion point? Should you offer free trials, free quotes, or a demo of your product? How much revenue, on average, do you get from a lead or conversion?
In a B2C world, consumers can just return a product if unsatisfied. With a product or service in a B2B world, your audience will be more open-minded to see similar products or services from other companies, so being as flexible as possible with how you develop your leads is critical.
In addition, having a defined revenue number of what a lead means can help with your analysis of the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
Is your website set up to connect effectively with your audience? Is your website professional and clean? Can a user easily navigate the site? Is your product or service defined effectively?
An effective website for a B2B company should serve as a gateway to current and future customers, highlighting priority services and products, key selling points, company information, and more. It should transcend the role of a static online brochure, evolving into a dynamic space that effectively communicates a business’s brand identity and value proposition. This digital presence is a crucial touchpoint in the customer journey, facilitating lead generation, providing valuable insights, and fostering meaningful interactions.
How is your brand positioned in the digital space? Does your brand have specific guidelines? Does your brand have a positive outlook? What separates your brand from the competition?
A well-defined and consistently communicated brand image establishes a strong foundation for a business’s success. It goes beyond mere visual aesthetics; it encapsulates the brand’s essence, conveying its values, personality, and unique selling propositions.
When a brand projects a consistent image and position, it fosters trust and familiarity among its target audience, driving customer loyalty and differentiation in a crowded market. From social media interactions to website design, it’s vital to reflect similar design aesthetics, values, and messaging across various channels. By maintaining this cohesive presence, a business contributes to the creation of a robust brand positioning strategy that resonates with consumers, leaving a lasting and positive impression.
Once those questions are answered and understood, you can begin crafting your strategy to reach your target audience and generate qualified leads.
Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy for a B2B Product or Service
Crafting a well-thought-out strategy is the cornerstone of B2B marketing success, serving as the compass that guides us through the dynamic landscape of the digital realm.
It should start with a specific goal, which should be tied to the conversions driving revenue to your business. Consider setting a SMART goal, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Once a goal is set, you can develop tactics from specific channels to reach your goal. Your tactics should focus on providing the most impact to reach your goal.
For example, your SMART goal could be to increase ‘Demo Leads’ by 50% year-over-year. To achieve this, you could use the tactics of LinkedIn Ads, Authoritative Content Development, Search Engine Optimization, and Email Marketing to specifically target your defined audience.
Now, let’s dive into these tactics and how they can be effectively used in a B2B Digital Marketing Strategy.
Understanding Key Digital Marketing Channels
In a B2B digital marketing strategy, paid media refers to the promotional efforts that involve paying for advertising space or placement on various online channels to reach and engage other businesses. This includes platforms such as search engines, social media, industry-specific websites, and display advertising networks. The effectiveness of paid media campaigns is often measured through key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rates, conversions, and return on investment (ROI), being the most important.
There are a variety of different paid media outlets you can utilize, and the big question is, which ones do I choose? Below is a list of the pros and cons of some of the most popular paid media channels to utilize:
Google Search Ads
Google Search Ads are one of the most popular forms of Paid Advertising and, when utilized effectively, can be a significant revenue driver for your business. With Google Search Ads, you can receive the top placement of search queries for your brand or keywords relevant to your business. For example, a Market Research and analytics company could target the keyword ‘Market Research Company’ and then be placed at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is an easy way to get qualified users to your website and drive leads.
While Google Search can be effective, it can also be competitive and costly, depending on your industry space. You will want to ensure the keywords you target drive qualified leads and present a positive ROI.
Social Media Ads
Social Media Ads are another great way to connect with potential customers who may not know your brand. For a B2B business, the most effective social media platform to place your ads will be LinkedIn, though others, such as Facebook, can also be effective depending on your industry.
With LinkedIn Ads, you can target users based on location, industry, job title, job functions, and interests or exclude users based on the same attributes. This can provide a unique approach to reaching a particular audience.
An additional strategy to ensure your paid ads generate qualified leads is to entice your target audience with an industry-specific case study or showcase the effectiveness of your product but require users to submit their contact information to gain access to the content.
Most people worldwide are on social media and most likely include your target audience. Maintaining a robust presence on social media platforms can be a key part of a business’s digital marketing strategy in the B2B market.
The evolving landscape underscores businesses’ need to engage with B2B buyers on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and X. These channels serve as conduits for disseminating curated content and industry insights and offer unique opportunities for fostering connections and establishing thought leadership.
While some argue that B2B transactions primarily occur in a professional context, the growing trend of decision-makers leveraging social media for information and networking challenges this perspective. The strategic use of social media in B2B marketing facilitates brand visibility, trust-building, and the establishment of meaningful relationships.
For example, one of Go Fish Digital’s B2B clients, a company that provides funding for small businesses, has found success in leveraging social media to engage with potential clients. They do so by engaging and following other small businesses on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn and producing engaging content on these platforms that this particular audience may find useful.
Content Marketing and SEO
In B2B digital marketing, the relationship between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and content marketing is a cornerstone for success.
SEO is the guiding force, ensuring a business’s online presence is visible and strategically positioned on search engine results pages. By optimizing relevant keywords, meta tags, and website structure, SEO facilitates discoverability among businesses actively seeking specific products or services. Your first focus when reviewing the organic presence of your site should be on your revenue-driven pages and ensuring they are optimized.
Content marketing, on the other hand, breathes life into this digital visibility. It involves crafting valuable, informative content tailored to address the needs and pain points of the target B2B audience. Whether through blog posts, whitepapers, or engaging multimedia, compelling content captures attention, establishes authority, and builds trust. SEO and content marketing synergize to elevate a B2B business in the digital landscape, driving organic traffic, fostering credibility, and nurturing long-term business relationships.
An excellent example of utilizing these two tactics in tandem is a local Junk Removal Service targeting other businesses in their area. Not only do they have a service page around each type of junk or trash they remove, but they also utilize their blog to target informational keywords for each of these services, setting themselves up for success in the future when that user may be more inclined to use their business.
Email marketing is another powerful tool that can forge meaningful connections and drive substantial business outcomes for a B2B digital marketing strategy.
One of its primary advantages lies in its direct and personalized approach. Email campaigns can be tailored to address specific needs, challenges, and interests of individual businesses, fostering a sense of relevance that resonates.
Additionally, email marketing is a cost-effective way to nurture sales funnel leads. Whether delivering insightful content, sharing industry updates, or showcasing product offerings, emails provide a consistent touchpoint, keeping the brand at the forefront of the recipient’s mind. Furthermore, the analytics capabilities embedded in email marketing platforms enable precise tracking and measurement of campaign performance, allowing for data-driven refinement and optimization.
By leveraging the targeted and measurable nature of email marketing, B2B businesses can cultivate lasting relationships, drive engagement, and ultimately propel their growth in the digital sphere.
The Importance of Data Analysis
After the strategy and the tactics are set, how do we know if they drive real business and revenue? Analytics and data collection need to be properly set up to ensure that revenue is being generated. This also helps provide insight into what tactics are working and what areas need to be still improved.
This data and how you interpret it should be critical in your decision-making process. While one marketing channel may produce your desired lead amount and may seem successful, that channel could be mainly producing low or unqualified leads. A thorough review of the marketing tactics should then occur to see if that is the most effective tactic, or should the focus be on other marketing channels?
This is the importance of having tools to effectively track where your leads are coming from and adequately analyze the revenue driven by each marketing tactic.
Staying up to Date
In the fast-paced digital marketing landscape, staying on top of industry news is imperative for companies looking to grow, remain competitive, etc. Technological advancements, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), are reshaping the digital marketing terrain at an unprecedented pace. Awareness of these developments empowers B2B companies to leverage cutting-edge tools and automation, enhancing efficiency and efficacy.
The ever-evolving SEO, social media, and paid media trends also require a continuous learning mindset. Following thought leaders in these spaces, subscribing to digital marketing newsletters, and keeping up with industry news from giants like Google can all be powerful ways for B2B companies to stay ahead of the curve.
Starting a new marketing strategy can be a lot of work, but it can quickly impact your business growth and revenue if done effectively. As your business navigates the digital marketing space, always think about your audience and how to reach that audience with a number of different tactics effectively.
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