While trade events and direct sales marketing efforts are often cited as a top avenue for B2B marketing,internet marketing is also becoming essential.Current figures show that 93 percent of business buyers start their product research on search engines like Google,Bing and Yahoo. However,companies in the B2B realm have been slower to embrace online marketing.They know who their customers are,and they rely on longstanding channels to reach them.
If you’re stuck and continue to be beholding to only traditional customer acquisition methods,you’re missing an opportunity.If you think your competitors are not yet engaged in a comprehensive online marketing campaign, then this is your opportunity to get a leg up on them. If they are already engaged with online marketing,you need to make sure you catch up and pass them.
Online marketing efforts for B2B businesses are different from B2C online marketing.The good news is B2B is a little easier. Why, because in B2B marketing you know exactly who your customer is. The challenge in marketing to this B2B customer base is there are many individuals involved in the final decision. Therefore, you have to engage a B2B customer organization at many levels. Additionally, B2B marketing needs address in many cases long transaction periods.
How do you do this? It puts demands on marketers to know where to find these decision makers in a complex digital world – and studies suggest that decision makers are increasingly accessible via social,search,email and other platforms.
When looking at targeted marketing avenues in social media, LinkedIn should be the focus of any B2B social-marketing campaign; because traffic that comes via LinkedIn is much more highly qualified than traffic that comes via Twitter or Facebook. LinkedIn recently hit a milestone of 200+ million members, and most of them have a business focused profile. Many of which are your customers. I’m not discounting the other platforms like, Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest etc.But depending on your business and prospective client,you along with your online marketing company will need to determine the best path.
Please note that, HubSpot research shows LinkedIn traffic has a three-fold advantage over Facebook and Twitter in B2B lead conversion. Whereas one out of 100 people who visit a website from Facebook or Twitter converts to a qualified lead, three out of 100 from LinkedIn become qualified leads.
Social media is where a new generation of clients resides.According to Inside the Mind of the New B2B buyer,37 percent of business decision makers look for product information on social media, and 48 percent follow industry conversations on social networks. Don’t miss the opportunity.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search is a prominent channel for B2B marketing.It’s important that your company is being found on page one of Google for the keywords phases that target those profit centers within your company.Companies selling their products in a B2B market generally want to create awareness, build trust and generate long-term relationships.SEO will help build awareness of your offering and services. Get found and let your website speak your message so that they take action. There are several examples where B2B companies are doing SEO just so the clients subscribe to their monthly newsletter. Once a customer has opted in, they deploy a very efficient sales team to pick up from there and close the deal. A note; many manufactures are not engaged in Search Engine Optimization campaigns which leaves the door open to those manufactures who begin the process.
Furthermore, the long buying cycles and decision making also plays a part in choosing the keywords.B2B companies therefore need to get ranked for all the keywords which might influence all the departments who would be involved in the decision making process.A successful sale would require the approval from many departments and thus any company would need to target each of those departments. Thus long tail keywords often prove to be very effective in B2B scenario.
Blogging allows you to share your insights around your industry.Blogging allows you to become the expert in your industry.People will begin to look to your company as the creditable expert.Blogging will help develop trust with your clients.Therefore, Blogging is probably the single fastest way to build traffic and inbound links to your B2B website.
What should you blog about? Pick up your industry trade magazine and look at the topics its covering. Give your companies perspective.If you direct your blogging efforts to be targeted to your clients’ needs and wants, you will begin to develop the trust around your company that you desire.
When you blog,link your blog to interesting articles around your industry that others have shared.These links give you greater exposure across the web and back to your website where your potential clients can learn more about you and your company.
A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words according to Dr. James McQuivey. (Omnivideo, January 2009). For this reason, B2B marketing should include video.When you have gone to all of the trouble to bring a customer to your Website, you need a video there to help tell your story. It’s all about connections and conversion.Consumers are 44% more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media (ROI Research) and viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video (Internet Retailer).While these statistics about images and video are about consumer behaviors,last time we checked, B’s are people too!
Today, modern content experiences are driven by storytelling and nothing elevates the conversation more than compelling visuals.
Forbes Insight found that 59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text,if both are available on the same page. 80% of executives are watching more online video today than they were a year ago.(Forbes Insight, December 2010)
Online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic and up to 69% of traffic on certain networks.(Bytemobile Mobile Analytics Report,2012)
The Video Revolution is here and your B2B business can take advantage of it as well.