Happy New Year! Ready to rock some new goals in 2016? We are! Check out some of our tips for ramping up your B2B digital marketing plan.
Get a jump-start on driving Q1 Sales! Because the next few months will go by whether you plan or not. Make them count!
- How will you market to your current customers or reach out to new markets?
- How will you grow B2B sales in 2016?
- What plans do you have to stay ahead of the competition?
A well-developed digital strategy can help you make the most of your resources.
When’s the last time you reviewed your competitor’s marketing strategy? We recommend taking a look at your top competitor’s digital strategy. A great place to keep tabs on your competition is their blog. See what they are talking about, what their customers are saying and what pain points are occurring.
Start Now! January is a great time to plan how to bring in new business and reconnect with current customers.
As you plan for 2016, make it your New Year’s resolution to review your B2B digital marketing strategy. Whether you are tiptoeing into digital or have embraced it, here’s 7 tips to ramp up your digital plan:
7 Tips to Kick Start Your 2015 Digital Strategy
- Set Measurable Goals to drive more Sales
With 2016 in the horizon, January is a great time to evaluate your digital marketing strategy, set goals and develop a solid strategy to drive sales.
It’s next to impossible to be taken seriously as a brand without establishing a credible online presence. Digital marketing will help take your business to new level.
It’s important to identify the goals you want to achieve, and then select a digital marketing strategy that will help you to reach both your target audience and goals.
Business Goals: Realistic
Consumers have increasingly adopted new technology, search and review tools and social media channels to help drive their path to purchase. For B2B organizations, it’s important top be seen as a trusted advisor.
Your goals and objectives are those things you aspire to, and can thus measure your success against. Digital marketing is superb because you can set realistic goals.
Digital marketing provides lots of valuable data to help you set realistic goals and make informed decisions.
What digital marketing initiatives should be in your 2016 budget? Most B2B marketers say Lead Generation is the most important content marketing goal. It’s important to review your 2016 marketing plan what worked and what didn’t.
Set your 2016 digital marketing goals. It’s important to develop a plan and metrics that define success.
What’s important is that your goals are numeric and allocated to a specific time frame so that you can objectively state whether or not they’ve been achieved.
Smartinsights.com lists eight digital goals that are relevant to every B2b business:
- Contact Us forms
- Quick Enquiry Forms
- Call back requests
- Site registration forms (for whitepaper resources)
- PDF downloads
- Product video reviews
- Trial/demo requests
- Webinar/Event sign up
For 2016, we recommend creating SMART goals that are quantifiable and measurable, for example:
- Use Internet Marketing to boost channel mix goal by X%
- Increase website traffic by x% monthly
- Increase Sales Lead Quality by x%
- Convert x% more customers
- Increase traffic to purchase ratio by x%
- Increase contact us forms by 25%
Provide sales with insights into buyer motivations, behavior, and activity to help boost their results.
Spend time analyzing your customer data. This is the low hanging fruit! It is far easier and cheaper to increase revenue from an existing customer and extend their lifecycle and lifetime value (LTV) then it is to acquire a new customer.
It’s important to create an accountable action plan for growth and a road map on how to get there.
- Develop a Realistic Forward-Looking Marketing Budget
Why not take some time over the holidays to decide what you are going to do for your New Year focus.
Marketing in a digital world. MarketingProfs reports that 69 percent of senior marketers expect an increase to occur in digital spend next year. With so much riding on digital marketing, the time to get it right is now.
It is important to dedicate a budget to tackle new marketing opportunities to better adapt to today’s fast-changing marketplace.
- Deliver Superior Customer Service with a customer-focused Website
Your website is the central component of your digital strategy; it’s how your current and potential customers can most easily find and connect with you.
Your website is a place where you can share your brand story, connect people directly to your company and make that all-important first impression. Make sure you online presence is up to par by having an engaging customer experience, top-notch branding and easy navigation.
The key goals for your website should be to engage or convert or retain customers. An example of a goal is to get everyone’s email information.
Create digital strategies that are focused and game changing for your brand.
To increase website visitor to customer conversions, it’s important to consider:
- Is your website is well-designed?
- It your site kept current with regular updates?
- Is it clear how and where to buy your product/service?
- Is there a prominent sign-up box for your e-newsletters?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Do your product/service pages feature consumer reviews?
Make your website a top priority for 2016: Whether you’re just building your website now or looking to improve your existing site, keep these key things in mind moving forward:
- Make Contact Information Visible: Make it easy to find your contact information (phone number, address, email address, etc.) throughout your site.
- Subscription Form: Create a simple email subscription form for newsletter or blog post distribution
- Keep Current By Regularly Updating Content: Are you engaging your customers yet? In order to stay relevant to those visiting your site be sure to keep you content up to date.
- Social Links: Make social links easy to spot, so people can Like, Follow or share your content.
- Use Video: Videos can be used to create a series of how-to’s, tutorials and other educational themes.
- Reviews: Give customers the opportunity to talk about your brand and products/services on your site.
- Monitor Website Analytics: Pay close attention to where your website visitors are coming from, how they’re finding you, and what they’re doing on your site.
- Get Creative with Content
Lead Generation and Sales are the two most important content marketing goals of most B2B marketers.
In a highly competitive, information-saturated environment, B2B marketers a creative content strategy to stand out and inspire action. Customers and prospects expect you to update your website and social media channels several times a week with compelling content.
Search algorithms reward producers of high-quality and relevant content much more so than companies that have merely invested in technical SEO.
Content is king. As marketers, we’ve all heard this saying over and over again.
Do you have a brand story for your brand? It’s important to pay attention to the nitty gritty of the content being used for your brand as it helps in presenting your brand in a unique way.
Forget the sales pitch! Create content that people are searching for. Provide your customers with valuable information. Create content that engages readers in ways that extend beyond just providing knowledge about your product.
Define, create and plan what your key messages will be. Round out your 2016 Digital Marketing Plan with a content marketing strategy, content plan and editorial calendar.
Successful B2B organizations ensure that Sales has the required knowledge, insights, content and processes to optimize every interaction with prospects and clients. Marketing should be focused on helping to convert leads into opportunities and opportunities into revenue. Why not develop creative content that engages prospects and customers in conversations that are over and above just stating what the product is about!
Stay Connected: Be sure to incorporate compelling stories, photos and videos and provide incentives to those following your pages! Create and curate useful, shareable content.
Analyze your content programs objectively and kill what isn’t working. Reinvest and refocus your efforts on the channel you believe can make the most impact on your customers.
The best way to find and influence fans of your brand is to be passionate about the content you’re creating. Passion and caring is what will ultimately set you apart from the competition.
How do you ensure customers and potential customers like your content? Ask them!
Videos: For users on-the-go, videos offer a convenient experience that can both educate and entertain them, while helping to establish authority and thought leadership for your brand. Live streaming can be used for events, giving demonstrations, Q&A sessions, “behind the scenes” videos and other things that might be interesting to your audience.
- Use prominent calls-to-action across the site
- Use Landing Pages to maximize your inbound campaigns
- Use welcome emails and profiles to build relationships
- Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Optimized
Users expect a better mobile presence. Prospects are turning to smartphones and tablets to search for local business information, it’s essential that your website is properly mobile- optimized.
Build A Mobile-Specific Website: We recommend creating a mobile-specific website. Your mobile site should showcase the key topics that mobile users are generally looking for when they visit your site, for example directions. You can either develop a separate mobile website or use responsive design so your website is easily accessible on desktops, smartphones and tablets.
Ensure Mobile Users Know What They Can Do on the Website: Use call-to-action messaging to make clear what consumers can accomplish via your mobile website. Make it as clear as possible through bold text, buttons and other eye-catching graphics
- Ramp up your Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing is the best way to reach customers. According to Gigaom Research, marketers consistently rank email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion and retention.
There are many reasons for B2B companies to use email marketing (such as ROI, effectiveness and measurability), however, one stands above them all—mobile.
For B2B companies, it is important to focus on improving the mobile experience- being “mobile friendly” from a technical standpoint but also thinking about content and email design from a mobile first perspective.
Have you started planning your 2016 email marketing strategy?
Are you able to target your offerings and campaigns to those customers that are most likely to purchase? Do you know what a particular customer’s preferences are? Customers want to be understood and have their needs met.
A well-crafted and targeted email campaign helps build excitement. Make sure that every offer you send has urgency and a clear call to action.
Segmentation is key!
It’s important to move away from vast email blasts and take a much more targeted and personalized approach. Segment your email list with attributes like geographic location, gender, age, customer by product or service, frequent buyer, etc.
Sending targeted emails to your niche customer groups will lead to increased open and click-through rates. Recipients will find your campaigns more relevant.
Set email goals, for example:
- Increase open rate by x%
- Increase click thru rate by x%
Follow up: Follow up on purchases no matter where they are made (either virtual or from your physical site) with a personalized thank you note. A personal thank you note can go a long way in cementing a long-term relationship. Acknowledge your best customers by interacting with them.
- Build An Engaging B2B Social Media Presence
Social Media allows your brand to be available 24/7. Smart B2B companies use social media to stay connected with customers and reach new audiences.
Use social media to build your business! Again strategy here is key. Focus on sharing highly useful and targeted content that’s of interest to the people you want to connect with.
Reach customers via Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. The key is to approach them in the right manner, which means knowing key stakeholders. Know exactly how and where they want to be messaged, and have the analytics to back up every decision made.
Your fans follow you on social media to have access to information, stay in touch and yes, receive special offers. And don’t forget to leverage all the relevant features of Linked In.
Be available and engage where your customers and potential customers are. Are you listening to what is being said about your brand? Are you engaging with your customers? When someone speaks of your brand positively follow up and thank them.
Why not set Social Media goals:
- Increase click rate per post by x%
- Increase shares per post by x%
- Increase post views by x%
- Respond to Twitter comments and questions within 24 hours
- Increase post shares by x%
- Increase by 1/2 star rating on Yelp
- Increase the amount of reviews on website product pages by x%
Use social media for customer service. Remember, customers expect the same level of accurate, supportive and expedient customer service on Facebook and Twitter that could be expected via email, telephone or in-person conversations.
Monitor Your Online Reputation: It’s important to develop procedures for locating and responding to your online reviews. Yelp has become a vital outlet for consumers who want to offer their opinions about your business, good or bad.
The easiest way to monitor your reputation? Set up Google Alerts. It’s easy to set up a Google Alert at Google.com/alerts.
Encourage Happy Customers To Leave Positive Reviews: Setup a strategy for encouraging satisfied customers to post positive reviews. Send an email to customers after they purchase asking them to leave feedback on Yelp.
Measure your Success: As you head into 2016, develop a simple reporting structure that will help you see how all of your marketing activities are doing and their resulting impact on your business.
Monitor your goals and objectives. It’s important monitor your goals and objectives see whether you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. For B2B marketers, Sales Lead Quality, Sales and Higher Conversion Rates are important metrics. In my opinion, Sales Lead Quality is the most important metric.
Keep a whiteboard up to date with your metrics and proximity to achieving your goals. Make sure that everyone is involved and updated.
Return-on-investment is the key factor by which you measure your marketing efforts. However, be sure to have the flexibility to try out new marketing opportunities and ideas to see if they stick.
Monitoring & reporting will enable you to see how well your B2B digital marketing plan is performing and gives great insight into next actions.
Need help jump-starting your B2B digital marketing plan?
Contact us today! Need help bringing clarity and vision to your marketing strategy?
We’d be delighted help you jump-start your B2B strategy and boost your sales. We listen and we hear. We communicate and collaborate. Create measurable results!