As part of our education blog series that we call our own “School of Marketing” we would like to cover “B2B Digital Marketing Strategies” that you can use to market your Small & Medium B2B business effectively in this digital world.
These are tips that are right for the 21st century in which you are catering to people who look at “Google” as the new “Yellow Pages” to research who provides the specific product or service that they are looking to buy. They also read through “Reviews” left by other customers on “Google”, & social media like “Facebook”.They use “Google Maps” to find the service provider’s location before they walk out the door.
This generation is correctly called as the “Millennial Generation” & is keen on “Curated Content” & loves to first be accommodated with the “Brand” before they buy. This is the generation that likes to “Invest in Experiences” which add value to their life rather than “Own stuff which increases their status”.
We will talk about the “Millennial Generation”, their characteristics & also how to market to this new generation in our next blog. In this blog, we will cover “B2B Digital Marketing Strategies 2018”.
B2B Digital Marketing Strategies 2018
1. Make Your Website User-Friendly
Your Website is your Brand/Your Store Front/ Your Identity in the online world. So make your website user-friendly to people who visit it.
Let’s look at an example from the real world & then compare it with your website design, shall we?
A customer walks into your store & wants to buy a particular product which he thinks you sell. You or your sales staff just ignores him when he asks a question regarding the product that he wants to buy. The customer might linger a little bit more in the store if he thinks you can still help him with the sale & if you ignore him again would he stay and buy from you?
The answer, of course, is “NO” & Yes, nobody does that in a physical store. In a physical store as soon as a potential customer walks in you smile at them, make them comfortable & attend to them immediately providing them with all the details that they need.
But in the online world, you cant physically attend the prospective customer that is where your “Website” plays a very important role. Make your website as “User-Friendly” as you can by making it easy to search through your catalogue of products if you sell products or by showcasing your customer success stories & features of your services if you are a service provided. Make it easier to find content on your website that they want rather than make them go through pages of unnecessary information that will bore them & ultimately make them leave the website.
Give them a flow that they can easily follow to navigate to the needed page on your website. It pains us till date to see beautiful coded websites on which the B2B owner might have spent thousands of rupees which are so confusing that they don’t convey what product or service they sell.
2. Have a Mobile Friendly Website
In the late 90’s it was great to have a Mobile Friendly Website it is no longer the case. Given that 70% of people browse the internet on their Mobile devices like Phone, Tablet etc. without logging into a desktop or a laptop nowadays it is imperative that your website be “Mobile Friendly”.
But even today not many B2B owners agree to this fact & make their websites responsive. One reason for this could be that creating a website which is “Mobile Responsive” is costly but you don’t have to worry now given that you have access to “CMS (Content Management Systems)” on which you don’t need any coding & their templates are by default Mobile Responsive.
You can check out these CMS at WordPress, Wix, Squarespace & Shopify for commerce
These CMS platforms have:
1. Beautiful Templates that range in the thousands that can be chosen from.
2. Are great for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). If any Digital Marketer ever tells you that a website on these platforms is not good for SEO then run a mile away from them as they don’t know anything about how SEO works.
3. Can always be shifted from 1 platform to another if the need arises in the future as they provide you with project files.
4. Are by default “Mobile Responsive” with some options for changing appropriate content on Mobile platforms.
5. Can easily integrate with “Landing Pages forms” or “Email Service Providers like Mailchimp” & “Payment Gateways” if needed.
We ourselves created this beautiful website for Dr.Prateek Bhatnagar for his Personal Branding on Wix Platform & we have had no issues with Mobile responsiveness or SEO functionality.
So go ahead and explore these options!
3. Have a clear CALL TO ACTION or CTA
When Building your Website make sure you know what the goal is for the website. A website as explained above is just like a physical store in the real world. In the real world, you fill your store with items that you want to sell & you know how to help the customer buy the best product that fits their requirement & their budget.
In the online world though you need to navigate your website visitor to take a clear action or CTA. You need to have buttons on your website which when clicked take your website visitors to their needed sections of information.
Define what you want as a B2B owner for the website visitor to do. Do you want him to “Subscribe to your Blog”, do you want him to “Buy your Products”, do you want him to “Read your Case Studies”. Make sure you understand these CTA’s before you get your website designed. As you are getting your website done also communicate clearly to the website designer team regarding your goals.
Example: We visited a laundromat owner who was in a crisis & wanted to use Digital Marketing to get more leads as his competitor was expanding by investing in a large number of retail outlets. He had a beautiful website which was coded in HTML, Flash & he spent around 70K rupees to make it go-live.
When we researched on his website as we mostly do before attending any prospect meeting we found that though the website was very appealing there was not even one CTA on the website & no Flow to the website.
If a prospective customer did visit the website he would not know what the process was to avail their services. There was no clear action item regarding “How to place an order”, “What the pickup process was”, “Their Customer stories”, & “What Guarantee was there that the laundromat would not shrink their clothes?”.
You might think it is common sense to create these flows but as a B2B business owner you know the in & out of the business so you might not even think of these parameters so make sure you hire a competent Website Designer with a bent of Digital Marketing mindset “Like Branding by Pixels” before going live with your website.
4. Going Social
Time & Again we have reiterated the fact that Social Media is HUGE but just to bark up on the tree once again these are the latest stats on Social Media:
• 2 A billion users are on Facebook and are growing. 76% of them visit the site daily.1 of 5 minutes that people spend on mobile is either on Facebook or Instagram.
• >600 Million users use Instagram with 51% using it daily and logging on multiple times a day.
• >150 Million users are on Pinterest 93% of these users use it to plan or buy products.
• >450 Million users are on LinkedIn and spend more than 15 minutes per day browsing it.
• 330 Million active users on Twitter.
Now that you have seen the stats which are super prominent can you still ignore these platforms?
If you think “Yes”, then you would have to think again. Social Media is doing what TV has done to Radio & what Netflix is doing to TV now. It is outdating our original communication means & updating them to newer forms.
As a B2B business owner, “LinkedIn” is the perfect platform to be on. LinkedIn as most of us already know is a professional platform where people connect with:
1. Appropriate Vendors,
2. Search for Qualified Employees &
3. Generate New Leads for Business
4. Build PR in the market
92% of B2b marketers use LinkedIn networking power to distribute content and get noticed in the industry.
80% of US social network users prefer Facebook to connect with brands.
There a couple of ways you can engage on LinkedIn like:
1. Being part of a LinkedIn group that has your product or service as the core of its discussion.
2. Sharing your Blog posts or success stories directly from your website
3. Running LinkedIn lead ads targeted specifically at the ideal customer profile that you want. LinkedIn ads are costlier when compared with other social media platforms but you can specifically target the best professional titles that you want to view your business information so they are deemed to be more effective.
5. Integrate a Pop-up
Pop-ups are a small code that is inserted on your website to trigger at certain time intervals to remind website visitors to take a specific call to action on your website pages.
You can insert these on all pages of your website or choose to insert these on specific pages only like: “Blog” or “Contact” pages.
Our Pop up on our website looks like the above & only has 1 CTA which is “Subscribe Now” as our Goal is to increase our Email List subscribers. You can have other CTAs like “Contact Us”, “Like Us on social media” etc. using your Popups.
You can set the timer accordingly before the Popup shows up on the website. Also have different types of pop-ups like:
1. Entry Pop up – Popup that opens up as soon as a visitor enters the website
2. Exit Popup – These remind visitors to take a appropriate action before leaving the website altogether
3. Timely Popup – They pop up at regular sets of intervals until the visitor either exit the website or takes the appropriate action on the website
Some businesses overdo & they use Huge Popups which block the screen until the visitor either takes the appropriate action or click on the “X” to close it. Also always have only 1 Pop up on the website, don’t try to be over smart & use pop Entry & Exit pop-ups as your visitors may not like the distraction very much.
You can also customise your Pop up to make them more interesting & appealing as customised for our Client, Dr.Prateek Bhatnagar’s website on Wix who is one of India’s leading Top Cardiologists.
Hope you found this interesting we will continue “B2B Digital Marketing Strategies 2018” in our next week’s Blog too.
So Stay Tuned & reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your Digital Strategy crafted TODAY.
Have a great week ahead.
Founder, Head – Marketing,