For B2B companies, web marketing is essential if you want to remain competitive.
It’s no longer sufficient to just have a website. Your competitors are driving relevant prospects to their site, converting them into leads and growing their revenue. It sounds simple, but how do you actually get started?
We take a look at some steps to market your B2B company successfully online, based on proven tactics.
Set your goals
Before you jump into planning B2B web marketing campaigns, you need need to take a step back.
Firstly, consider what goals you want to achieve with your marketing strategy. Are you trying to generate leads, raise awareness of your brand or sell products directly to consumers?
By clearly planning out your goals you can better. If you can articulate what you want to achieve, you can then easily plan it out and measure your results using the relevant KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
For example, if you’re a roofing company, you might choose the number of roofing leads generated per month as a KPI. Or if you’re a pet food company the gross sales revenue per month.
Once you have your goals in place, you can create a target (e.g 50 roofing leads or $5000 worth of goods sold) and work backwards to develop the tactics to achieve them.
Know your audience
The beauty of digital marketing platforms are that they allow you to precisely target who you advertise to. With this in mind, you should have a good understanding of your audience, and where they like to hang out on the web.
Consider factors like their age, gender, hobbies, location and educational achievements. Compile these traits into 3 or 4 ‘buyer personas’.
What is a buyer persona?
Buyer personas are fictional representations of what your ideal buyer looks like. They include demographic features, that allow you to qualitatively segment the market and tailor your marketing efforts towards different types of buyers.
Identify your channels
Depending on the type of product or service you offer, different channels will be better for reaching your target audience.
If you’re a B2B company (and we hope you are if you’re reading this guide!) LinkedIn, Google Ads and Cold email outreach are some of the best channels you can use to generate sales prospects and grow revenue.
Why is this the case? Let’s look at each.
LinkedIn is the professional social network. It consists of a bunch of professionals showcasing their careers, the companies they work for, and the products and services they provide. It’s an absolute goldmine for both paid and organic b2b web marketing.
The LinkedIn ads platform offers a selection of self-serve ad types you can use to effectively market your b2b business. The best ad types to try are using sponsored content to build engagement and retargeting audiences, and Lead-gen ads to capture leads directly from the LinkedIn feed.
Automated InMail is a cool one to experiment with, it allows you to send targeted InMails directly to your prospects. Simple Text ads can be useful too, and are particularly effective for getting cheap clicks to pixel-track audience and retarget down the funnel.
The real beauty of LinkedIn is its targeting; it offers many different demographic and firmographic vectors like company size, job title, seniority and company industry.
If you’re a B2B marketer you should fast-track running some marketing experiments on LinkedIn.
Google Ads are particularly effective because they are an intent-based channel. That means that you can reach potential customers when they are ready to buy.
With Google Ads you only pay for the keywords you have selected, so you can really niche down on the best ones for your business. For example, if you sell an email marketing software, you can bid on a keyword like “Email platforms for small business”, and have your ad appear at the top of search results.
For B2B marketers, ROI on Google Ads is generally very high. If you’re not already using them, you should get started asap.
Cold email outreach
When done right (and it’s all too easy to get it wrong), cold email outreach allows you to land your message right in decision makers’ inboxes. As social channels become more pay-to-play, and the cost per conversion for paid search reaches saturation, cold email is a compelling choice.
Check out our quick guide to get started with cold email outreach.
Craft your message
Once you know your audience and the channels you’re going to reach them with, the next step is to craft your messaging to appeal and drive interest in your company.
There are a bunch of different copywriting techniques. Let’s lean on the Pareto principle by looking at the most important element of your message, regardless of platform; the headline.
Choose a call-to-action
A call-to-action (or CTA) is used in your marketing efforts to prompt your prospects to do something.
CTAs can encourage your prospects to complete tasks such as downloading a white paper, requesting a demo or talking to sales.
When choosing a call to action, firstly think about what resources or content you have to support it. For example, if your team doesn’t have SDRs or product people available to give a live demo, it might be best to offer content. While if you’re just starting out, it might be valuable to have salespeople conduct as much discovery calls as possible, to better learn about what your prospects are looking for.
This is a good time to think about what type of content you’ll need at each stage of the marketing funnel, and why your prospects will find it valuable.
Write a killer headline
Remember that in advertising, effective headlines are crucial. Consider the famed quote from esteemed advertiser David Ogilvy, “If you haven’t done some selling in your headline, you have wasted 80 percent of your client’s money.”
Put as much time and effort as you can into writing a good headline. Test out different variants, such as those including a call-to-action, and those posing a question.
Top tip: If you can use the word ‘free’ in your marketing, e.g. offering a free trial or free sample then do it. Research shows that just using the word free can increase clickthrough rates and engagement with your web marketing – everyone wants to get something for free.
Execute and optimize
A good strategy means nothing without effective execution. And once you’ve started to execute against your strategy, how do you keep things on track, and incrementally improve your efforts?
Consider a project management tool
Once you start using these tools, you can dig into their templates, tutorials and best practices to build out a marketing process that works for you.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” These are the words of management guru Peter Drucker, and you should keep them in mind.
Without objective metrics on which to measure the success of your efforts, it will be very difficult to prove the ROI of your marketing and increase growth.
Make sure you have defined your goals, and as mentioned earlier, have a set of KPIs to tie performance back to.
Successful marketers are laser-focused on running experiments. Try running A/B tests on all of your efforts.
Some things to begin testing:
- Ad headlines,
- Email subject lines,
- Blog titles
- Landing page imagery
- Button colours
- Page layouts
Measure how the A and B variants perform, and try to optimize for better conversion rates. A/B testing significance tools can take care of all the calculations for you. For your website, look at implementing a web optimization tool like Hotjar or Crazy Egg.
Web marketing is an essential practice for any modern company that wishes to thrive. B2B firms are no exception. The above are some jumping-off points and ideas to get started.
As you begin to build out your initial efforts, data will begin to roll in, and you’ll start to get a feel for what channels, messaging and tactics work for your business.