For B2B businesses, the digital economy can be very competitive. It’s no longer enough to offer the best service or product in your geographical area. You must offer something that stands out against competitors across the world.
To succeed in this, it’s essential to have a strong digital marketing strategy. Digital marketing can help your brand scale online and reach new customers.
Throughout the blog, we’ll cover the following:
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing (aka online marketing) is the use of digital channels to market products and services. It’s different from traditional marketing methods (such as billboards, magazine ads, direct mail, or even TV and radio ads) in that it’s spread through the internet and digital devices (such as computers, phones, and tablets).
Various digital marketing strategies have been around since the beginning of the internet in the 1990s. Today, some of the most common digital marketing strategies include display ads, search engine optimization (SEO), paid search, and email marketing.
The goal of digital marketing for B2B companies is to raise brand awareness, generate leads, attract new customers, improve market share, and ultimately, increase revenue and profits. The stronger your B2B business’s digital marketing strategy, the more likely it is to be successful
How Does Digital Marketing Work?
At this point, you may be wondering how digital marketing works. The process will vary from business to business, but generally, it involves going through the following steps:
Identifying Your Target Audience
If you want to see the most significant results from your marketing efforts, you must first identify your target audience and explore where they spend most of their time online. When you have a firm understanding of what kind of platforms they engage with most, you can craft your digital marketing strategy around these platforms, allowing you to generate the most interest from your business growth efforts.
Once leads have been segmented, digital marketing specialists begin creating marketing content aimed at different buyer personas. The content aims to address their specific pain points and educate them on topics of interest. To stand out against a growing sea of online content, it should also provide value to the reader and help establish your company as a trusted resource on topics they care about. In the case of search engine optimization (SEO), you may also need to perform some keyword research before you start creating content (more on this later).
With the content created, it’s ready to be distributed across different digital media channels. These could include your business’s website, social media, or ad networks. The key is to choose the marketing channels where your target audience spends the most time. That way, you maximize how effective the marketing is. For example, 85% of American adults use smartphones. If that’s a key demographic for your B2B business, you may want to distribute your marketing content across mobile device channels like mobile apps (such as social media) or mobile-friendly websites.
If someone comes across your marketing material and sees value in what your company has to offer, they may feel encouraged to reach out to learn more or make a purchase. Either way, you’ve captured a new lead that you can continue to market and sell to going forward. Marketing specialists often use lead magnets (such as free trial subscriptions, samples, white papers, e-newsletters, and consultations) to gather contact information from visitors and turn them into new leads to nurture with additional marketing content.
Lastly, digital marketing specialists evaluate the performance of their marketing efforts, scrap what’s not working, and double down on what is. For example, they might conduct an A/B test between two versions of a marketing email. Whichever email performs better on common email marketing metrics (like open rate, clickthrough rate, and conversion rate) can then be sent to the entire email list or segment. By constantly evaluating marketing efforts, digital marketing specialists are able to iterate what works and improve on results over time.
That’s how digital marketing works in a nutshell. In the next section, we’ll go over what a digital marketing strategy looks like in more detail.
What Does a Digital Marketing Strategy Entail?
Now that you know the basic process behind digital marketing, let’s go over what goes into a digital marketing strategy. A digital marketing strategy may require you to:
Create a Company Website
In digital marketing, leads typically learn about your product or service by going to your company’s website. Think of your website as an online salesperson. It’s where first impressions are made, so you want it to be good. To create an effective company website, you can hire a website developer or use a website-building service. Either way, you want your website and its landing pages to be attractive and engaging.
Develop Marketing Materials
Digital marketing material can take various forms: blog posts, white papers, ebooks, podcasts, videos, and more. Whatever it looks like, it should aim to educate, inspire, or entertain. If it succeeds at doing any of those three things, it’s more likely to resonate with your audience. This will help boost your brand awareness and enable you to build lasting relationships with leads and customers. Whatever you do, be sure to include effective calls to action (CTAs), which let your audience know what to do next after engaging with your marketing content (e.g. sign up for a newsletter, make a purchase, or contact you by phone or email). And don’t forget that you can repurpose marketing content across various marketing channels.
Practice Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the art of getting your website to rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing for certain keywords related to your product or service. That way, when people search those terms, they can find your business in a natural way. The best part? It’s free! Well, sort of. To be effective, it still requires investing in keyword research, content creation, link building, and more.
Invest in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC is similar to SEO with some important differences: Instead of getting your website to rank high on search engines naturally, PPC lets you pay your way to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). How? Search engines will let you bid for keywords coupled with specific user locations and demographics. Whoever bids the most gets to have their site displayed at the top of searches with that criteria. Because it’s an auction, PPC prices vary based on the amount of competition there is for a particular keyword. That said, you only have to pay for a PPC ad if and when users actually click on it.
Engage With Leads Through Social Media
Social media use continues to grow year after year. In fact, LinkedIn gained 65 million users in 2022 alone. As a result, social media has become a highly effective marketing channel. One of the unique benefits of social media is that it allows you to communicate directly with your audience and get feedback almost instantly.
For example, you can gauge how well your posts are resonating with your audience by measuring the number of likes, comments, shares, and follows they generate. However, it’s important to be cautious not to focus exclusively on these vanity metrics since they don’t always directly convert to revenue.
Social media marketing can be done organically by posting content from your company page and engaging with your followers. Organic growth typically takes time, so if you want to drive more engagement or get in front of a bigger audience, you can use paid social media marketing tactics like sponsored content, native ads, and collaborations with influencers.
Run Display Ads
A display ad is an online ad made up of text, images, and a URL. You can run targeted display ads all across the web by partnering directly with online publications or working with a third-party ad network (like Google Display Network or Facebook Audience Network). You can also use them to retarget leads who once visited your website but left before making a purchase. To be effective, display ads need to be highly creative and emotionally impactful.
Send Marketing Emails
Email is one of the most effective marketing channels. Why? Because emails go directly to your target audience’s inbox. To get the most out of your marketing emails, get a professional copywriter to write eye-grabbing subject lines and effective sales copy. Make sure your marketing emails are personalized, too, by using the recipient’s name (which you can collect while gathering their email address) and allow recipients to set their own email preferences (e.g. what types of emails to get and how frequently). You can also use email marketing software to automate your marketing emails. For example, email marketing software can help you create drip campaigns, which trigger an automated email sequence as soon as someone signs up for your newsletter.
Leverage Public Relations (PR) Opportunities
The internet offers many ways to boost your business’s PR. For example, you can partner with companies like Influence & Co to earn brand mentions in digital publications. All you do is sign up to be alerted when journalists are seeking quotes from industry experts like you. Then every once in a while, you may be interviewed to be featured in an article. Additionally, working with a PR agency can help you secure guest posts for popular publications within your industry.
Additionally, leveraging PR opportunities can also help advance your website’s E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. The stronger a company website’s E-A-T, the more likely they are to rank to SERPs because the search engine identifies your content as valuable to readers.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important for B2B Businesses?
So far, we’ve discussed how digital marketing works and what goes into a digital marketing strategy. But why is digital marketing important to B2B businesses specifically?
When you sell to other businesses (B2B) as opposed to consumers (B2C), you rely on digital marketing even more than B2C businesses do. Why? Because business owners aren’t going to malls and stores to shop for business solutions. They’re searching online. And if you want them to find your product or service, you need to have an online presence.
The best way to scale your online presence is through digital marketing. Digital marketing can help you:
- Build a sales pipeline with inbound leads (aka lead generation). After all, you need to maintain a steady stream of leads to keep your business running.
- Learn what potential buyers in your market want when it comes to purchasing products or services that you offer. That way, you can better target them.
- Secure more revenue opportunities. It can help you reach more customers and nurture them through your sales funnel.
- Establish a brand presence by making it easier for your brand to grow and scale online.
- Save money on more expensive traditional outreach methods like print, TV, and radio ads.
- Leverage data with the help of data analytics. That way, you can get the most for your marketing budget instead of spending it blindly.
Ways To Track Your Digital Marketing Performance
Digital marketing won’t do your B2B business much good if you don’t know how to measure its performance. After all, as Peter Drucker once said, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
Consider tracking your digital marketing performance in the following ways:
- Check your website ranking for target keywords on search engines. The higher it ranks, the better your SEO performance.
- Learn common marketing terms. The better you understand common SEO and PPC terms like “meta descriptions,” “header tags,” and “URL structure,” the better you can evaluate your SEO and PPC performance.
- Measure the amount of traffic driven to your website. Pay close attention to the number of unique visitors and returning visitors to see if your campaigns are successfully driving people back to your site or if they are only attracting new leads.
- Count the number of leads generated through various digital marketing channels. In other words, measure traffic by their source (e.g. direct visits, paid search, display ads, affiliates, and so on). Look for trends.
- Calculate click-through rates (CTRs). See which ads or links on your website are clicked on most frequently.
- Track conversion rates. This is the number of leads that convert into customers. A conversion could mean a sale, subscription, sign-up, or download—whatever it is your CTA is trying to get them to do.
- Observe bounce rates. These tell you which pages on your site get abandoned the most. If a page has a high bounce rate, it could reflect poor user design, long load times, a site error, or a lack of relevance.
- Watch average session durations. This is how long people spend on your site on average. The higher they are, the more likely visitors are to convert.
- Keep track of engagement metrics. These include likes, comments, shares, and follows on social media campaigns.
- Monitor return on ad spend (ROAS), which measures how much money you’ve earned per money spent on ads.
Of course, manually measuring all of these metrics is difficult. It helps to have digital marketing tools do it for you. Such tools include software like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or Semrush. They help keep all your marketing campaign data in one place while providing analytical insights that can help you improve your marketing efforts.
Start by setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals related to the marketing metrics listed above. Then have marketing software regularly track your performance and find ways to gradually improve over time.
Digital marketing is indispensable to any serious B2B business. It’s integral to building brand awareness, generating leads, and converting and retaining customers. In a world in which so much business is done online, B2B businesses must harness the power of digital marketing to survive. Without it, the competition will beat you to the sale.
This is true whether you run a small startup or a large enterprise. Digital marketing can help your B2B business scale to new heights, or it can help you maintain your existing market share. Either way, it plays a critical role in your business’s longevity.
In short, digital marketing strategies and tools like integrated appointment setting can help B2B businesses maximize their business growth efforts. As they say, you have to spend money to make money, and it’s the same with digital marketing.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our digital marketing experts know how to optimize your small business’s online presence so that it can secure more leads and generate more revenue. We offer SEO services, website development, marketing collateral, video production services, social media marketing, B2B appointment setting, salesforce consulting, all-inclusive lead generation, and more.
If you’re ready to maximize your approach to inbound lead generation, connect with our digital marketing specialists to get started!
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