This is the second part of a 2-part series on the 7 steps to brilliant B2B marketing. The first part was posted last week, and can be found here. This week’s infographic created by Smart Insights is a great primer on how to build up a holistic B2B marketing strategy. Today, I’m going to look at the final 4 steps – let’s check them out:
Step 4: Content and Inbound Marketing.
Nearly half (49%) of companies are looking to increase their content marketing budget this year, and with good reason. Inbound marketing gives you more bang for your buck compared to traditional marketing. But what makes for effective content marketing?
- Make your business case.
- Define your nuclear (higher production cost, lasting impact) and primary (free or low-cost content that meets audience needs) fuel.
- Make your blog a content hub.
- Reach out to and target relevant key influencers.
Step 5: Social Media for B2B Marketing
57% of inbound marketers report obtaining leads from LinkedIn, while 52% earned leads from Facebook and 44% from Twitter. What steps can you follow to echo their successes?
- Create and curate useful, shareable content: You don’t want to turn off your audience by posting only about your product or service. Give them useful, relevant, entertaining information that provides value to them.
- Use the social media platform that makes sense for your company: Some companies may be better off using Pinterest than LinkedIn. For others, the opposite may be true. It depends on your market and target audience. See what others in your industry are doing, and evaluate your performance on different platforms.
- Use all the relevant features in LinkedIn: they are there for a reason, so take advantage!
- Use assisted conversion in Google Analytics to show what works: Refining your marketing strategy on an ongoing basis is very important.
Step 6: Lead Generation and eCRM.
Just as with traditional marketing, lead nurturing is essential to digital marketing. Only 27% of B2B leads are ready to buy at first contact, but only 35% of B2B marketers have a lead-nurturing campaign in place to nudge these leads to conversion – and of these, only 45% are effective. How can you effectively engage with your audience and nurture those leads?
- Use prominent calls-to-action throughout your website.
- Make use of landing pages to boost your inbound marketing campaigns.
- Build relationships through welcome emails and profiles
- Use “sense and respond” tactics to qualify and follow-up with potential customers
Some of 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 or sales calls (20% each)
- Free trials or demo offers (21%)
Step 7: Analytics and improvement.
This may be the most important step as it helps to shape all other aspects of your marketing strategy. Unfortunately, less than 50% of B2B marketers make effective use of analytic technologies. So what should you be doing?
- Set up goals and funnels and assign values.
- Use forward and reverse path analysis to highlight your most effective marketing content.
- Set up event tracking to find out how effective your calls-to-action really are.
- Use content experiments (like A/B testing) to increase your conversion rates.
While B2C marketers are using marketing analytics to help boost the sales of their products (45.6%) and services (34.5%), B2B marketers are falling behind the technological curve – only 22.8% of B2B product marketers and 29.6% of B2B service marketers are fully using analytics. Contact forms, call-back requests, event tracking for PDF downloads and videos, webinar landing pages, site registration forms, and trial/demo requests are all helpful tools that you can use to track audience engagement.
Do you have feedback on any of the strategies discussed in the 7 steps to brilliant B2B marketing? Which analytics tools does your company swear by? Let me know in the comments!