The importance of using digital marketing strategy in organisational or business-to-business (B2B) is vital for business success.
Many B2B sectors like financial and professional services, IT and software, manufacturing, engineering and sciences have gained good traction using digital marketing. However majority do not have a planned approach and therefore fail to make the most of their communications. They miss opportunities to understand customers, build two way communications and fail to highlight the services they offer, the value they add, or the expertise they have.
Companies need to understand the best use of digital media B2B marketing. The challenge is to ensure the right message, right creative and medium across channels ranging from exposure on websites, web searches, emails, online events and social media.
The route to effective B2B digital marketing unquestionably lies in engaging customers and prospects and providing them with useful, relevant content that improves their own business’ revenue and performance and positions yours as an expert to rely upon.
Companies need to first uncover customers. Routinely creating and disseminating excellent content lies at the heart of a digital strategy that can then draw upon the benefits that search, social media, digital PR and landing page strategies can provide to maximise impact.
A critical part of this is creating an enduring website presence that meets the needs of visitors while also achieving standout, leads and favorability for the business. Making their site more effective for visitors and the business should be a primary concern, but it often hasn’t got sufficient attention in the past.
Why content marketing is at the core of B2B digital strategy?
Here are five reasons why all B2B organisations need a content marketing strategy to support B2B digital marketing:
1. Quality regular content builds trust
There are undeniable SEO benefits of persistently talking about the same topics. But it’s at the human interaction level, rather than technical level, where the benefits of content marketing are most interesting. Talking frequently and in detail about particular topics creates credibility which leads to you being trusted. Trust is the first step on the path to transaction.
2. Companies need to use people to tell stories that resonate
People do business with people they trust and like. Shared and personal experiences can underpin relationships and can be effectively used to build engagement. Advertising in the 1960′s looked to profile particular people and sell them solutions to their problems and this has largely remained the same in marketing today.
3. Broadcast PR is dead
All communication needs to be two-way. It’s not enough to tell all the time, you need to listen, react and respond. Social has spread right through all facets of modern business and modern marketing. In CRM, companies like Salesforce.com have bought into social media with outfits like Radian6, whilst the latest version of Google throws back recommendations from your contacts in amongst your search results.
4. The web finds liars out, quickly
Social media has balanced the playing field and created an outlet for disaffected customers. Whilst great viral commentary can make a business, one bad experience can destroy it as let-down customers realise they are not alone. Best to be open and transparent from the start.
5. Content converts
Most business to business products and services are conceived to solve a problem for a particular type of customer. Addressing the problems and offering ways to solve them, minimise their impact and disruption and actually remove them from the equation is a powerful way to drive trust and transaction. In B2B, there isn’t a transaction as such, but white papers, downloadable content and subscriptions emails are great ways to obtain data which can be followed up later.
The relevance of social media for B2B
The stats back us up that Facebook is for family and friends. Nothing annoys people/me more than seeing an ad where I’m posting up or reading a piece from a friend. Blogging outreach in this space has great impact but we need to think of for what audience? and why? what do we want them to do? It all depends upon your market and brand.
So unless your business has a compelling reason to be on facebook, maybe it is to facilitate a place for your customers to share there experience- don’t bother.
Twitter is great for celebrities but for B2B it’s a tough task to see a great ROI. Linkedin is a favourite but focused on talent acquisition and background checking.
The role of data
Marketers understand the importance of data and businesses understand how data drives growth. The research by Mediasense, in association with Ipsos MORI and ISBA, asked respondents what factors they thought would be critical to business success in 2020. Almost 8 in 10 (78%) answered data, analytics, and insight were the most critical factor.
Content marketing was down compared with 2015 results, whilst SEO was found to be one of the least critical factors, but scores for SEO were not as low as Pay per click and community management.
In summary, we all know that data, analytics, and insight are critical to business success. Digital marketing requires strategy and insight. Insight and data are empowering growth. Digital marketing B2B is not “just start to test” content in new mediums without understanding why? who? and what we need them to think and or do.
Angela Mellak MCIM is the Founder of Digital White Space and co-founder of the Digital Women’s Network. As a strong leader and natural networker, she has been focused on seeing women at the forefront of this digital era hence co-founding the Digital Women’s Network. With a career that spans over two decades in senior marketing roles, media, board and creative agency experience, across verticals such as; Retail, Financial Services, Real estate/Property, Technology/Mobile/Media, Creative/design, Automotive/Manufacturing and FMCG.