It is often difficult for B2B companies to establish an online presence due to a lack of clear instructions. In this article we will show you how to create an online marketing concept that fits your B2B business.
Lack of Strategy
An online marketing concept encompasses the entirety of your digital activities: from web presence and apps, to advertising, blog posts and posts in social media channels. The range of possibilities is almost endless, making a clear focus on the most relevant measures all the more important.
In order to keep up with the digital age of marketing, your B2B company also needs a clear online marketing strategy. Only with clear goals and an understanding of how content marketing works will your company be able to hold its own in the long term.
Unclear instructions for B2B
The challenge for B2B companies is that best practices from the B2C area can not be applied 1:1 for your company. The products are much more complex, the decision-making process takes longer and is based on facts instead of emotions. Furthermore, the final decision is often made by more than one person and is characterized by personal contact. There is a lack of concrete content marketing examples for B2B.
Many B2B companies are willing to enter the world of online marketing, but for the reasons described above they do not know where to start. Here are 10 tips for building your online marketing strategy.
10 Tips for Your Online Marketing Concept
In order for your content marketing strategy to bring the desired success, the following must be clear in advance: Who is your target group?
Tip #1: Create Personas
A persona is the fictitious representation of your target group. With a persona, you create a uniform understanding within your B2B company of who your target group is, what topics they are concerned with and what channels they use. The persona thus forms the basis for a successful content marketing concept.
Especially in B2B there is usually a lot of knowledge about your own customers. Use your data and your experience and create meaningful personas.
After it has been clarified who your target group is and what moves them, the needs of the target group should be aligned with your product portfolio. In which areas do you want to be the topic leader? Where does your expertise lie?
Focus on these topic clusters and build up your content marketing in selected subject areas.
Tip #2: Create a topic cluster
With the development of topic blocks (so-called Pillar Pages) on your website, you signal to your users as well as to Google where your expertise lies and in which topics you are the expert.
For this purpose, gather your most important products and services and think about which topics are suitable to gradually introduce a user to a purchase.
In a second step, your range of topics should be checked for online search volume. Your content will only be found if your customers also search for the content you have written or if it is equipped with the right keywords.
Tip #3: Keyword research
An analysis of your existing keywords as well as keyword research for supplementary search terms will help you to find the appropriate keywords for your topic cluster.
With the right keywords you ensure that you appear at the top of the search results of Google & Co. and hence bring as many users as possible to your website. Keywords are the basis of search engine marketing and have a great influence on the ranking of your website and the click rate of the individual contributions.
After the research, the most important topics should be regularly packed into articles and published on your website.
Tip #4: Create content
Write content that interests your target group and creates value. For each piece of content, consider what your persona needs at this moment of your customer journey and how you can help them.
With a well thought-out content marketing strategy you can guide your customers step by step through the customer journey and lay the foundation for a long-term and qualitative customer relationship.
Don't forget that the customer's intention is in the foreground and not your product or service. The focus should be to create a first contact and then to lead the user to a conversion over time.
The created content should now be published and distributed. Specific entry pages on your website are suitable for this purpose, in order to actively guide the user and not to send him to the start page, where you have to completely reorientate yourself.
Tips #5: Create landing pages
A landing page is an entry page that is based on the requirements of the persona at that moment. Does a user want to inform himself about a subject area unknown to him? Then you create orientation and help him to get to know the most important aspects. Product information or specific offers are out of place here.
Test new formats regularly. Not only blog posts with pictures and text, but also videos, multimedia interviews, infographics, checklists and webinars are suitable for getting in touch with your customers and creating value. In addition, you can use them to expand your pioneering position as a digital B2B company.
Once you have developed and implemented your content plan, one thing is still missing: traffic. For your content to be consumed, it must first be seen by your target group. Many B2B content marketing strategies forget this important aspect.
Choosing the right channels for your content distribution is crucial. If you have analysed your target group in detail in the first step, you now know which touchpoints you have with your customers.
Tipp #6: Social Media Channels
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are all social media channels, but they differ greatly in the way they are used. Therefore, please check in advance which channels are used by your target group and how they are used to do successful social media marketing.
While LinkedIn and Twitter are more related to the professional role of a person, Facebook and Instagram are more private channels that also require a more personal approach.
Not every social media user is an active user, so consider carefully what are realistic goals for your social media contributions. Do you want users to see your brand often? Do you want users to react to, comment on and share your contributions? Or is it your intention to bring users to your website and generate traffic? Depending on the goal, the message is different and a different call-to-action is needed.
Important: With organic social media contributions you reach your existing network. To increase your reach, it can be useful to run social media ads in the form of lookalike campaigns or with manual target groups.
Tip #7: Google
There are also different options for search results on Google. Your long-term goal should be to achieve a good ranking in the organic, i.e. free, search. Such a ranking is the ultimate proof that you have been able to build your topic leadership. Any SEO measures therefore aim to strengthen your organic positioning.
In order to simplify this process and to appear at the top of the search results right from the start, you have the possibility to place Google Ads. The choice of possibilities (Search Ads, Display, Google Shopping, etc.) is very large. The more exactly you know what you want to achieve with the ads and what their goals are, the easier it is for your B2B company to decide which form of advertising to use.
Tip #8: E-mail Marketing
Despite all pessimistic assessments, one very efficient way to reach your customers and users is by e-mail. You shouldn't put everything on this card, because your customers are also overwhelmed daily with a flood of e-mails.
Nevertheless, with e-mail marketing you can reach people who are effectively interested in your topics and products and this in a cost-effective way. If you also offer valuable and exciting content via this channel, there is a high probability that users will convert to buyers in the long term.
As already mentioned, with email marketing less is often more. Only communicate with your customers if they win something and not just because you have a new product on offer.
Segment your target groups into small groups to guarantee a targeted approach and to respond to the needs during this customer journey phase.
You have now created your content and are actively disseminating it through all channels. In order not to lose track of the content and the different channels, you need a functioning tracking and monitoring tool.
Tip #9: Tracking and Monitoring
The advantage of content marketing is the measurability and comparability of content and channels. With tools such as Google Analytics or Social Media Monitoring Tools you can see at a glance how many people are currently visiting your B2B website, where the visitors are coming from and which interactions your contributions are causing.
This allows you to compare the performance of different content and channels, set benchmarks and make data-based decisions on how to use your resources in the future.
Besides the different channels it is also important to think in terms of devices. Most users today no longer research on their PC at home or in the office, but use their mobile phone to inform themselves and make purchases. How the distribution of your B2B customers looks like you can also find out with Google Analytics.
Tip #10: Mobile Marketing
To ensure that your customers and users have an optimal user experience on every device, your content must be optimized for different device types. This can be achieved with responsive websites and the creation of high-performance mobile apps for specific purposes.
Especially in the app sector, additional application possibilities arise to promote downloads and attract more users. But also in this area, think very carefully about what you intend to do with an app. Creating an app just to have one is an expensive undertaking and should not be underestimated.
However, if there is a clear need for a mobile app and if it brings a clear advantage to the user, this is the way to go.
Online marketing is an ever-changing area where B2B companies can quickly lose track of what is going on. Therefore, focus on your strengths and build your online presence step by step.
This way you can continuously test new formats and generate value for your target group. With a well thought-out online marketing concept, you can build long-term customer relationships.