The digital revolution changed the way B2B companies are forced to conduct their business. Adapt or face irrelevancy in this fast-paced, device-driven modern age.
It’s hard to believe that not too long ago, human interaction was a necessary component in the sales process. This is no longer the case, with people doing everything from fact-finding to brand-relationship building through online mediums. In fact, today’s B2B buyers do not contact you directly until 57% of their purchase process is complete. [Think Newsletter, February 2013] Given this, it is no surprise that, in order to stay relevant as a marketer there are a number of digital tools you’ll need under your belt in order to succeed. Keep in mind that this is a holistic tool kit; one element does not succeed without all other components. Let’s find out why:
1. A Top-Notch Website:
It is common knowledge that a website is a necessity for a company. However, many underestimate its importance in today’s age. Consider it your “digital kingdom”. It is here where you are able to share your brand story, connect people directly to your company and often acts as that all-important first impression. Your online presence needs to be first-class; with engaging content and easy navigation so that your prospects enjoy the experience.
2. Cutting Edge Content:
You need to fill your top-notch website with the content to match. Use of more dynamic content has a big impression. Most companies do a great job of explaining what it is that they do but underestimate the impact a blog, video or infographic can have in showing clients how they can help. Relevant and educational content is what clients respond to. In B2B marketing you are selling your promise first and your product/service second. Don’t fall into the trap of undervaluing your story. Tell it often and in various formats. The more consistently you are communicating the more likely you are to be heard.
3. Up Cycled Content:
What happens far too often is that content is created, shared and then quickly forgotten. But here’s how to get the most out of that cutting edge content. Upcycling is a development which enables you to rebuild and reuse previous published information and extend its shelf life, therefore boosting it visibility. Lets take the example of a blog post written several months ago and develop it:
- Republish the article on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter to refresh your audience
- Upload it onto a content sharing community platform such as SlideShare, known as “the world’s largest community for sharing presentations and other professional content.”
- Recap the articles material in a video and post it to YouTube (as well as sharing across all other social media platforms)
- Build an infographic from the contents of the article to appeal to your more visual viewer
- Expand on the information to create a white paper report.
4. Targeted Social Media Presence:
For B2B marketing, Social Media acts as a way to boost your company’s viability online. Now that you have the highly useful content on hand you must focus on targeting that content to the people of interest that you wish to connect with. Utilise the targeting possibilities at your disposal on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. These features enable you to filter by location, gender, age, title, job position and so on, depending what platform you are managing. Remember that getting the right message to the wrong people will do nothing for your business. Now that you have something to say, make sure you’re saying it to the right people to order to reap the benefits.
5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a web site or web page in a search engine in an “organic” or natural, unpaid manner. Make yourself as “findable” as possible! Careful use of key terms and search engine preference of your target could mean the difference between a prospect choosing you or your more visible competition. Promotion of your site to increase the number of backlinks is one tactic which has proven to have a high correlation with better SEO rankings. “Seven of the top eight SEO factors are tied directly to social activity”. This all goes hand-in-hand with a regular stream of high quality and relevant content and the support of social media to boost influence and visibility.
When you put all these tools together you’ll have the most swish, cutting edge B2B tool kit on the market that your competitors will look like their working with pocketknives. Now go forth with your top-notch sites, housing cutting edge content, delivered in a variety of medium to appeal to your varied viewers who can find you through a myriad of platforms! You’re ready to take on the digital world.