What is B2B Digital Marketing
B2B Digital marketing is a broad set of strategies that allow you to reach out and market to your ideal prospects. Content marketing, automation, and SEO top the chart when it comes to the most popular strategies in the B2B marketing sphere. In addition to this, many little-known techniques complete the spectrum.
Simply put, a strategy is just a series of steps you take to reach a goal. For it to work, the marketing strategy should be tied to meaningful goals.
What’s a meaningful goal?
As opposed to “nice-to-haves”— goals hinge on hard metrics tied to revenue growth.
It’s nice to have traffic. It’s nice to have social media shares and followers. By themselves, these are meaningless numbers if they don’t translate to conversions. The right goal then is a lead acquisition or a sale. Don’t get hung on vanity metrics. Depending on your overarching goals, the strategy can be as multi-pronged or focussed as you wish it to be.
The section below is a comprehensive guide on effective digital marketing strategies, their core components, and areas that require special attention.
What are the building blocks of your digital marketing campaign?
An Optimized B2B Website as a Prerequisite
Without a website, even the best digital strategy is handicapped. Ideally, the site should be mobile-responsive, have CTAs that prompt clicks, and drive conversion goals.
The design of a B2B site differs in the following aspects.
A B2C site with its typical low average-order-values can get away with quite a few leads slipping through the cracks. For B2B that can be the last mistake, you make before your business goes up in smoke. You only have a few seconds to convince visitors to stay.
If your visitors don’t get the reason in about five to ten seconds, they won’t stick around.
How to give them a reason? Craft a strong value proposition.
The website needs to concisely explain what it is about and what it can do for your audience.
How can you solve their problems?
Why your product provides value?
What separates you from others?
This concise explanation needs to be placed in a prominent spot (hint: not the footer).
A well-executed value proposition can make all the difference between a conversion and a non-happening click.
Draw attention to features that put you in a better light. To discover what differentiates your brand from others, talk to customers, introspect, and brainstorm with customer-facing staff. Once you’ve found your star feature push it front and center of your website.
Every business can claim that they are the best of the best, but these statements are intangible. Testimonials and reviews support these statements. Customers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends.
Finally, invest in a responsive web page.
In the first quarter of 2019, mobile devices, tablets not included, generated 48.71% of global website traffic. Mobile routinely accounts for over 50% of global website traffic. A site that isn’t optimized for mobile sits this one out.
Pages should not only be responsive but optimized to different screen sizes. This way, buttons are spaced out evenly, ensuring you don’t miss clicks due to poor optimization. Based on how crowded the webpage can appear on a device, you may want to show or hide certain elements.
Using Cold Emailing in your B2B Online Marketing Strategy
When prospecting, keep in mind that quantity doesn’t always equal quality. The importance of qualifying leads cannot be understated.
Once you've got a qualified list, the buck falls on the email.
Personalize — In the subject line, use the name of the person you’re reaching out to. Any info that helps personalize it further is useful.
Get to the point — Use a casual tone. Don’t take too long to get to the point.
Be relatable — Never over promise and under deliver. Be specific about what you can solve.
Odds are the first email won’t cut it. The key to success is a good follow up strategy — best if it’s automated.
With Anyleads, you can qualify all leads on 40 different data points, ensuring you never waste time with leads that will never convert. You can also send automated follow-ups.
Why is SEO Essential to B2B Web Marketing?
You have a Conversion Rate optimized website. The next step is to attract visitors by utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Optimize for relevant keywords to get the right people walking through the door. Research long-tail keywords that your audience is searching on Google, and find a way to incorporate them into your website.
Also, tailor the user experience on your site to match top-ranking competitors on Google.
Prioritize page titles based on what you want to appear on Google. Page titles are what the search visitor sees prominently displayed on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). If you optimize well, the odds of getting more clicks improve.
Google doesn’t use meta information like tags and descriptions, save the page title.
Link quality is equally as important as link diversity. The number of referring domains is key to good ranking. Backlinko’s study of 1 million+ search results found the highest correlation between the number of referring domains and more top rankings. To Google, several different sites endorsing a page is a vital trust signal.
Don’t Ignore Other Search Engines
Search engine optimization often always ends with Google.
For B2B marketers ranking on Bing can be valuable. Bing's core demographic age is 35 to 55, which the age of a typical CTO. These searchers spend more and convert better than a primarily young audience.
In the US, Bing holds a significant 30% share of the search engine market, which is growing by leaps year on year.
B2B Social Media Marketing
LinkedIn is the most significant social lead generation tool you can possess. Research from the Content Marketing Institute says 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as part of their social media efforts.
It is a robust platform that allows you to develop a comprehensive social media campaign. Some of the advantages are:
You can create brand pages on the platform.
LinkedIn is a platform for professionals. You can reach out to industry prospects, build contacts, forge relationships, and establish authority.
Groups are the digital equivalent of office watercoolers allowing members the opportunity to discuss, learn, and share.
With LinkedIn Pulse channels, you have an opportunity to publish content and get the word out to a broader audience.
The organic reach is much higher.
Facebook organic reach:
On the flip side, Jonathan Cabo experimented with organic reach on LinkedIn.
He posted the same content on Facebook and LinkedIn. On Facebook, his post got 200+ impressions and three engagements, but on LinkedIn, it got over 8000 organic impressions and received 37 engagements.
LinkedIn is home to over one million publishers who push out 150,000 posts every week. The sheer volume of content attracts 10x the number of people.
And all you need to do is republish existing content.
Worried about a duplicate content penalty? Publish on your own blog first, and give it a week or two before republishing on LinkedIn.
Another best practice is to publish the article on LinkedIn with a link to the original. Presto — you’ve got twice the traffic for none the effort.
Now, let’s talk about LinkedIn Pulse:
The news feed on LinkedIn is called LinkedIn Pulse.
Pulse populates itself with content pulled from different places:
If you follow someone and share a blog post, chances are it will show up on your feed.
Trending stories from your extended network.
Top content on Pulse plus editor’s picks and posts from influencers.
The number of connections you can build caps out at 25000. That’s not to say that anyone ever gets to that number. The views you get for content tend to linger around the number of connections you have. To reach more people, you’d want to be featured on Pulse channels.
Blog posts posted on LinkedIn can make their way to Pulse network. Pulse has over 100 channels, each with millions of members. If your content makes it to any channel, you unlock massive traffic.
It takes a bit of luck and planning to go from a few thousand pairs of eyes on your content to a million-plus. If you want a post to reach one of these channels here’s what you can do:
Post insightful articles
Use lots of data in your posts — even better if you can include original research
Choose trendy subjects
Keep titles snappy
Ultimately, steer far away from turning social media posts into a sales vehicle. Sales pitches fall flat on their face on social networks. You want to inform, engage, and educate. You want to send people to your email list and not find people to sell to.
For all the effort invested, returns aren’t always proportional, but every once in awhile, you just might hit the jackpot. The goal is to blend creativity and relevance.
PPC Campaigns - Web Marketing B2B Strategy
A Pay Per Click campaign offers near-instant results provided you have deep pockets.
SEO and social media don’t cost a dime if you have the talent and time. Even if you outsource content and social media management, it can be relatively inexpensive.
PPC requires commitment and investment. You have to test a lot to find what works.
PPC campaigns are ideal for those who can’t wait for results from social media marketing and SEO.
In-depth demographic data available helps you filter the audience by job profile, type of company, position, income, and interests.
Let’s look at two successful examples.
Chemstations employed LinkedIn’s cost per click solution to drive high-value interactions. They targeted the right people, mainly CTOs and other stakeholders. They also created sponsored videos to engage their audience.
Their campaign resulted in increased free trial downloads and product interest.
ETF Securities, an Australian asset management service, has a client base of wealth managers and European investors. The service is complex making it hard to find the right leads. They found their savior in LinkedIn. With the help of paid content on the platform, they were able to target the right audience and get themselves in front of customers who wanted to make smarter financial decisions.
Results? ETF Securities achieved a 95% year-over-year growth in its LinkedIn followers.
Content Marketing is Essential to a Digital B2B Marketing Strategy
Content is the nucleus of any digital marketing strategy.
A blog gives a brand’s identity an additional dimension. It can establish a brand as a voice of authority that prospects listen to, follow, and buy from.
Content has to match search intent with business-relevance. The websites that appear on the first page of search engines are there because the content they produce matches the keywords that users are searching for.
According to Hubspot, on average, a company that blogs regularly generates 55% more visitors and 97% more links.
Content is also tied to social media success. A big reason why anyone follows a brand on social media is valuable and compelling content.
Each post you write should end in a call to action to convert the visitors into an email subscriber or a customer.
Any business successful with content marketing regularly tracks how content performs and builds on that. Comparatively, only a few of those who don’t track their metrics are successful.
Analyzing results helps you identify what’s successful and what can be improved. Google Analytics, Social Share Counter, and Buffer are free tools you can use to measure results.
Recent Changes in B2B Online Marketing
Long-form isn’t King Anymore
The rise of long-form content has been nothing short of a headache for marketers, especially when Google uses the same yardstick across all verticals.
Long-form is popular because it apparently meets a practical necessity — of being a guide that covers everything on a subject.
But, there are many instances where logic dictates us to be brief and to the point. Artificially inflating word count sometimes results in hilarious results such as the one below:
This excerpt from a 10k monster post reviewing— ”portable kids’ DVD players” is the prime example
“The main highlight for this great option is its low cost and good quality. Many portable DVD players of this same quality hover around the $100 mark, and this one even comes with more attachments and functions than many of those. There is almost always a low-cost-low-review correlation with portable DVD players, but this one is well priced with several decent reviews. This mini DVD player comes at a great price with great reviews, but there are many features which make it a considerable option for road trips with younger children”.
Can’t this whole thing—expressed in 91 words be summed up in a short sentence?
Here's an example in just 16 words:
"This under $100 compact DVD player, with great reviews is an excellent road-trip companion for kids."
This page exists and ranks purely because Google favors word count over UX.
Google's publicly announced core ranking update, launched this month, was an attempt at reducing the dependence on this yardstick.
GearHungry, which publishes comparatively shorter content with supporting secondary and tertiary articles revolving around its main categories, received a massive boost.
Look at the steep climb and the +60000 keyword positions gained in a day.
Sites that ramble on and on about a single topic with zero secondary content tumbled.
Short and to the point content pieces work for B2B.
That’s not to say long-form doesn’t have its place. It ranks well and for several industries makes sense.
Long-form is excellent where the subject calls for in-depth analysis and reviews.
Content Consumption is Morphing to Newer Forms
Technology is introducing a seismic shift in how people access content and what they’re consuming online. One-third of all online activity is watching videos. Video is so popular because it works in any industry.
Brightcove’s research points out that brands that use video can expect a 157% increase in search traffic. Video also helps increase the time spent on-site by 105%. The more time your customers spend on your website, the bigger are the chances of a conversion for a B2B site.
Popular content forms:
Data is turned into visuals which helps with social media sharing
56% of brands use infographics
Easy to understand. Targeted lead generation
55% of people watch videos every single day
Podcasts find their way into busy lives, hence the popularity
44% of Americans have listened to at least one podcast, with 26% Americans tuning in every month
Trends reflect the overall mood that shapes the future.
Lots of changes are coming. Being able to embrace these changes and direct efforts in the right direction will help maintain interest.
Marketing campaigns haven’t been big on personalization. With big data, personalized campaigns are not only possible but are becoming the norm. With personalized campaigns, you deliver a tailored, detailed, personal, and effective campaign.
It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on changes and formulate a successful B2B campaign on your own. That’s why Anyleads is here to help.
B2B Email Marketing Campaigns
A lead nurture campaign consists of emails that are meant to educate the subscriber about the brand or the tool. Considering the long sales cycle such campaigns are ideal for B2B.
This way people who are still on the first stage of the funnel are coaxed to enter different stages.
Despite the bad rep it gets — cold emailing works. It’s just a matter of scale and personalization. One of the better approaches is to send an email that focuses on the pain points of the end-user. How your solution shoulders their burdens and so on. A B2B sales cycle can be long. You need to nurture and educate prospects before they ever hover around the buy button.
Anyleads email marketing software helps by offering segmentation of leads according to the industry or another parameter and constructing drip campaigns to drive those leads from the top of the funnel to the final stage - the sale.
Here are a few email campaign types you can use:
What it should do
An onboarding email
Tell subscribers about the brand
Provide readers with value
Press release email
Get traffic to test out features
Announce new features/tie-ups
Learn and improve
Thank you emails
Forge a better relationship
Be a token of gratitude
To get anywhere with digital marketing, begin with clearly defined goals.
Content marketing, social media marketing, and CRO are all strategies that work. The key is to be persistent in your efforts. Test a lot, find what works, rinse and repeat.
What do you think?