In the B2B marketing space? Then you know how messy the digital revolution has been!
Remember the time when a sale actually needed some kind of human interaction — even online. Now, even if its simply finding facts or building brand relationship, your customers, no, scratch that, WE ALL rely on the Internet to do it all.
So, you ask your self, how can a small B2B-focused company get back into the discussion in this age of digital selling?
We’ve put together a quick guide to help you hack the digital revolution.
Your Website = Your digital shop front
Recognize just how critical your website it is. Your website is your shop window, a place where you can make that super important first impression, where you can share your brand story and connect people directly to your company. Make sure you online presence is up to scratch by having an engaging customer experience, mobile optimization and easy navigation.
Content = Storytelling
Using more dynamic content (blogs, videos, infographics etc) is key, but make sure they add value! Consumers respond first to relevant information and education, products and services will come later. If you haven’t already, begin telling your story in various formats. The more often you tell, the more likely your story will be heard.
SEO – What do you really need to know?
Being found through search — via search engine optimization (SEO) — requires a regular stream of high-quality and relevant content, as well as social media to boost authority and visibility. Social media often gets pushed to the side but according to this study (http://www.searchmetrics.com/en/knowledge-base/ranking-factors-us-2013/), seven of the top eight SEO factors are tied directly to social activity. So, get social! But keep in mind, you need to be on these social-media channels on a regular basis, otherwise, you will lose your customers’ interest.
Listen, Socially! – Be proactive.
Strategic social media use starts by listening to your competitors as much as your audience, so you have a complete view of what’s going on in your industry. Watch what industry players and influencers say and do online, and pay attention to the tactics that engage thought leaders, competitors and consumers. A great place to keep tabs on your competition is their blog. See what they are talking about, what their customers are saying and what pain points are occurring.
Use social media to broadcast your ideas and connect
There may be no better way to connect your ideas with the world than through social media. It can be a terrific way to boost your company’s visibility online. One of our strongest recommendations is to focus on sharing highly useful and targeted content that’s of interest to the people you want to connect with.
Using paid display ads is great! But make sure they’re in the right place
For potentially just a few dollars a day, paid advertising on platforms like AdWords along with social-media ads can have their place. If you narrow your focus to a very specific keyword or phrase that your typical client is looking for, an ad that sends them to a strategic landing page can be well worth the investment. If you have no clue what keywords your target demographic is searching for, Google provides information on this through its AdWords platform.
Re-use, Re-cycle, Re-vamp!
Content is often written, shared and quickly forgotten. Upcycling is a trend to reuse and rebuild previously published information to extend shelf life and boost visibility. For example, you can take a blog post you wrote six months ago and expand it in these ways:
- Create a Slideshare from an old blog post
- Recap the article in a video and post it to YouTube
- Republish the article on LinkedIn
- Build an infographic for more visual viewers
- Expand it into a white paper or guide
- Syndicate the content to industry trade publications or thought leaders/influencer bloggers
Build a community – Like, follow, subscribe..
The path doesn’t end when someone finds your company online — your efforts are wasted if someone shows up then leaves. Build commitment by making it easy to stay in touch.
Make social links easy to spot, so people can Like, Follow or share your content.
Create a simple email subscription form for newsletter or blog post distribution.
Don’t forget to link to your RSS feed — some people prefer it.
For rich content like white papers or eBooks, consider gated content — a tactic that exchanges basic information for a download. It can help you generate leads and measure your investment, but use it sparingly.
Online engagement: A one-to-one conversation.
Digital marketing is about driving a better customer experience, earning sales and retention by focusing on the importance of one-to-one marketing. Your end goal is to start and continue discussions that lead to new brand advocates, new customers and long-term clients that ultimately become referral generators.
Competing in the digital economy can seem overwhelming, but in many ways the web levels the playing field. After all, the best content doesn’t cost the most, rather it makes the most effective connection with the reader. By focusing on the essentials of being found, seen and heard online, it’s possible to not only succeed in the digital economy, but to relish in growth and visibility.