Having a defined strategy is the key in 2014 for improving the effectiveness of your B2B online marketing efforts. In fact, 84% of marketers who feel their strategies are ineffective admitted to not having a documented strategy. Spending a little time and resources making sure you have a clear plan this year will ensure you are intent on getting better results for your business.
The Basis for your Strategy
Focus, measurable objectives, and action are the strongest trends being seen in the last year among effective marketing campaigns. Loosely put, this means finding a specific target audience, defining realistic approaches to reaching that demographic, and commencing techniques designed to get your business results.
Articulate your Business
Knowing what your company offers is essential to directing your focus to customers. Theodore Levitt’s classic questions asks, “What business are you in?”, implying the difference between knowing what your producing and knowing what your customer wants. As an example, think of a photographer. He may know all the best gear, how to light his subjects, and how he wants to edit his images. But photography customers don’t want to know all the techniques. They want photographs. Spending more time seeing what your customers want ensures your selling photographs, not your knowledge.
Invest in understanding your customer
What forms of technology have you invested in over the last year? In order to understand your customer you need feedback on the relevance and effectiveness of your content marketing techniques. The modern consumer is mobile, has a short attention span and does about half of their shopping online. Some suggested upgrades include:
- Using an eCommerce Platform
- Installing and tracking Website Analytics
- Implementing Responsive Web Design
- Creating and Sharing More Video
- Taking Advantage of Merchandising Tools and Sales Apps
- Investing In Web Content Management Solutions
Tap into Social Media
Effective B2B Marketers are now using an average of six Social Media platforms, as opposed to five in 2013. Of these platforms, 91% are using Linkedin, and is said to be the only platform the majority of B2B marketers find effective. However, it’s still a good idea to create presence in a variety of sectors to increase the content being seen by your audience. Nowadays, when we’re considering conversions it’s better to ask if we made a connection, rather than did we make a sale?
With the ability to follow businesses online, being able to connect with your customers on a human level is the bottom line in Social Media. Tips on how to do this include:
- Create useful and shareable content
- Interact with customers using the social media platform that works best for you
- Use Assisted Conversions in Google Analytics to show retention rates
Make sure to take the time to adapt to visual and mobile platforms. Video, pictures and mobile applications are beginning to dominate in terms of how individuals access information and where they’re engaging. Creating engaging content is the first step to building an audience.
Creating more valuable content
The internet is massive and the truth is people are burnt out with everyone cramming advertisements and flashing promotions. The best websites focus on the customers needs and pains, ultimately the customers just want to know what you can do for them. Five tips for creating better content include:
1. Paying attention to your audience’s needs
- Ask yourself who your reader will be, and what do they need?
- Get to the good stuff first, readers want to save time
2. Be distinct and brief
- Keep sentences short and to the point. Try for 30 words or less
- Don’t over complicate your message with jargon and fluff
3. Include your keywords but don’t go overboard
- SEO standards still require keywords for finding your content, but it’s no longer the key factor. Over stuffing can actually give your page a negative ranking!
- Try to use no more than 3-5 keywords per page
4. Keep your content organized!
- Use headings and subheadings to organize subject matter
- Use images to break up text
- Incorporate sidebars to link other content and relevant pages
- Add social media buttons to share your content efficiently
5. Investigate your results
- Helpful tools include:
- Google Analytics
- Open web analytics
- Make sure you’re tracking qualified leads and sales growth.
- Leads tools:
- Sales Growth tools
- Leads tools:
Effective B2B Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Boring
Humor and authenticity are the most confident ways to connect with your audience by showing the lighter side of your brand. Not everything you post has to have a sale attached to the end of it. The best websites provide an experience for their customers, not just a receipt. Take a look at your business and analyze how you can improve by stating your focus, making the objectives, and executing action based off calculated results.
Have you altered or updated your online marketing strategies in 2014? What are you doing differently this year? Leave a comment below.