With the appropriate strategy, B2B marketing online is a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness, improve your search engine ranking, and increase your B2B sales. Failing to leverage the power of the internet will cost your business visibility and sales. In order to succeed at B2B marketing online, you have to ensure your business website is easy to find, attracts and engages your prospects and gives them a reason to get in touch.
Prospects and customers will come to your website for any number of reasons. These could include researching your products and services to see how they compare to what is offered by your competitors, to get contact information, to buy, to learn more about your company, or to discover the people behind it. Today, marketing online requires more than just a basic website. Ask yourself how your website stands out from the websites of your competitors. Does it make a great first impression? Does it inspire trust and confidence? More than attractive and well-organized, your website must be easy to navigate and mobile-friendly to provide a high-quality customer experience.
Explain what you do clearly and use blog posts, videos, infographics, and other multimedia content to show your audience how you can help them. Use your brand story to show how you came to do what you do, and why you’re good at it. This applies to on-site content, blog content, and any content you distribute on social media or as part of your search engine marketing efforts.
Effective social media optimization requires much more than on-site optimization and SEO targeting – it requires social media activity. The sum total of the social media shares, likes, and comments you get on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and other major social networks enhances your search engine marketing efforts, boosting your authority and visibility. Make social media marketing an integral component of your efforts by creating valuable, targeted content. At the same time, you want to monitor the activity of your competitors on social channels, including blogs and social networks.
The amount of content social media marketing requires can be tremendous, which is why reusing previously published content, a trend known as upcycling comes in handy. Some ideas to get started include: start with a previous but still relevant post or article published on your site and condense it into a YouTube video, Slideshare, or infographic. Alternatively, you can expand it into a white paper or case study. It’s important to understand that with upcycling, just as with business to business social marketing, it’s more effective to start discussions, provide insight, or educate than to push for a sale.
Paid Google AdWords, Facebook or Twitter ads should also be evaluated as a possible lead generator. For such ads to work, you will want to use tools like Google’s Keyword Research Tool to identify the right keywords for your brand/product/campaign.
A great way to increase engagement is by liking, following, and subscribing to relevant blogs and social pages in your market. Answering questions and addressing complaints is also important – it shows that you care about your customers and that you are willing to provide a high-quality service and a matching customer experience. At the same time, you want to make it easier for your audience to stay in touch with you. Place social links on your site where they can’t be missed, use an email subscription form to encourage newsletter signups, and build an email list. You can also generate leads and gather emails by requiring your audience to provide their email address and other personal information before they can download an eBook, white paper, or access a particularly valuable post.
B2B marketing online requires a long-term commitment on your part. Positive results are not always immediate, but the sustainability and the cost-effectiveness of this type of marketing make it a worthwhile investment for any business.