B2B buyers are consuming content in many forms online and it is becoming more apparent that B2B marketers need to distribute content wherever their potential customers are looking. With the B2B market being a highly competitive one distributing quality content online is crucial, doing so will give brands a greater reach and enable users to engage with brands in an environment of their choice. Amit Kotecha, senior project executive, IAB, offers some tips on getting the most out of B2B marketing online.
“Think about the house you want to build before the tools you want to use” – Greg Satell.
1 – Focus on Search Engine Marketing.
This may sound like a basic tip but there are many companies who oversee this. With search being one of the most effective marketing channels there is out there it’s vital to get your search strategy and objectives in place before embarking on your next campaign. Recent research by Tech Target 2009, Forbes C-suite study, June 2009 states that 85% of B2B buyers’ research online with 70% of these businesses starting this process on a search engine and if you want to get in front of your customers during the research process search is the most effective tool to enable you to do this. As mentioned search is the first port of call for B2B buyers. Ask yourself what people search for. Research on what people are searching for and use this information to create a strategy that will fit into your wider marketing and communication strategy. Above all – make sure you have the right tracking links and reporting capabilities in place, use this date to track the success.
2 – Search may be important but once you have got traffic directed to your site it is important this reflects your business in the right way.
B2B companies have been guilty of making their sites too complicated. Successful B2B website keep is simple and provide the right content instead of too much. It is important not to be too salesly, B2B buyers spend a lot of time researching and are looking for what they want in a short space of time. Don’t make them work too hard to get what they want.
3 – The growing trends of social media demands that content is sharable.
B2B marketers should leverage the power of social media communities and the value of peer to peer interaction online to participate in and initiate conversations about their brand online. The B2B online community is substantial and very active on networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and BrightTalk. It is important to invest in people that understand how it works, create a strategy and test it on different platforms. Above all – stay on top of your online reputation. Monitor what people are saying about you and be pro-active not re-active.
4 – Lead generation is becoming the largest asset generator online.
If you are creating campaigns to generate leads – make sure you have the systems and reporting in place to measure the results of your lead gen campaigns. This should include the ability to measure performance over different time periods. Once you have your leads ensure your database is cultivated and managed through a CRM system. Finally make sure you use the data wisely, every lead should be considered as a hot prospect don’t let them go cold.
By Amit Kotecha
Senior project executive
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