Creating a B2B Digital Marketing Plan
Business-to-business (B2B) companies use a variety of digital marketing strategies and tactics to achieve their goals. Although activities such as content marketing, SEO, and social media can produce meaningful results, you will get the most from your marketing if you develop an integrated inbound marketing plan first. However, 51% of businesses have no strategy in place.
By developing a sound marketing strategy, you can increase your company’s competitive advantages. The planning process clarifies your target audience. It also helps you prioritize your marketing activities based on analyzing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. During planning, you can get crucial buy-in for your strategies and tactics from your company’s appropriate team members.
But what strategies and tactics should you include in your plan? Which marketing activities will produce the biggest return on your investment?
Leveraging B2B Content Marketing
Based on a Content Marketing Institute research study, marketers used the following B2B tactics most often:
- Social Media Content other than blogs (93%)
- E-newsletters (80%)
- Website Articles (78%)
- Illustrations and Photos (75%)
- Videos (74%)
- In-Person Events (69%)
- Blogs (67%)
- Branded Content Tools (47%)
- Infographics (45%)
- Microsites (44%)
- Mobile Apps (42%)
Creating and Maintaining an Impactful Website
Your website is your primary decision touchpoint for B2B customers. But when is the last time you updated your site to ensure it delivers a customer-centric experience?
Before you begin overhauling your website, evaluate it from your customer’s perspective. Does your site convey credibility, stability, professionalism, and trustworthiness? Will your visitors feel welcomed? Does the content you provide answer pressing questions? Will visitors come away wanting to do business with you?
Improving B2B Search Marketing
One study found 30% of B2B marketers spend no time on SEO each week and 55% spend no time on pay-per-click. These marketers are missing out on substantial opportunities to improve their marketing performance.
To benefit from the full potential of B2B search marketing, you should:
- Group target key phrases by decision-maker
- Define key brand messages for Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
- Build quality backlinks using public relations and outreach
- Establish geographic targets and use localized meta data for international marketing
Generating B2B Leads with Social Media
When it comes to producing results with social media, 57% of inbound marketers obtained leads from LinkedIn, 52% from Facebook, and 44% from Twitter. To achieve the best results, you must:
- Focus on creating useful content that your audience wants to share
- Decide which platforms will work best for your company
- Learn about all the features LinkedIn has to offer and exploit them
- Rely on Google Analytics to show you what works
Implementing Lead Nurturing Campaigns
When you generate leads, only 27% are ready to buy. Therefore, lead nurturing becomes an essential component of your marketing activities. However, only 35% of B2B marketers have developed lead nurturing campaigns.
You can improve lead generation and nurturing efforts by making it easy for your audience to engage with you. Also, you can enhance results with prominent calls to action, landing pages, welcome emails, and strategic follow-ups.
According to a lead nurturing benchmark study, the most effective forms of lead nurturing content include:
- White Papers (41%)
- Thought Leadership Articles (35%)
- Webinars (33%)
- Research-Based Content (32%)
- Email Newsletters (28%)
- Blog Posts (24%)
- Infographics (22%)
- Sales Calls (22%)
- Demo Offers and Free Trials (21%)
- In-Person Meetings (12%)
- Account Based Marketing (10%)
- Direct Mail (9%)
- Podcasts (0%)
Using the Power of Analytics
Marketers employ analytics to test and improve their marketing programs. However, fewer than half of B2B marketers fully use analytics. When properly implemented, analytics can help you determine the most impactful content, see which calls to action work best, and increase conversions on key pages. Analytics play a significant role in your marketing program and can contribute to overall company performance.
B2B customers spend lots of time online. To reach them, you need to create a comprehensive and flexible digital marketing plan. Without one in place, you will struggle to develop innovative programs, measure campaign results, adjust your strategies and tactics when needed, and grow your business.
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With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.