For B2B companies it is often difficult to build an online presence because of the lack of clear instructions. We show you how to develop an online marketing concept that fits your B2B business.
An online marketing concept encompasses all your digital activities from your website to ads, to blog posts and posts on social media channels. The range of possibilities is almost infinite. Hence, a clear focus on the most relevant measures is all the more important.
To keep up in times of digitalization in marketing, your B2B company requires a clear online marketing strategy.
Only with clear goals and an understanding of how online marketing works will your business be able to sustain itself in the long run.
Unclear guidance for B2B
The challenge for B2B companies is that best practices from B2C cannot be applied 1:1 to your business. The products are a lot more complex, the decision-making process takes longer and is based on facts rather than emotions. Further, the final decision is often made by more than one person and is shaped by personal contact.
While many B2B companies are willing to dive into the world of online marketing, they don't know where to start for the reasons described above. We share 9 tips for building your online marketing concept.
9 tips for your online marketing concept
Tip #1: Create personas
A persona is a fictional representation of your target audience. With a persona, you create a uniform understanding within your B2B company about who your target group is, what topics move them and on which channels they are active. The persona thus forms the basis for a successful online marketing concept.
Especially in B2B, there is usually a lot of knowledge about your own customers. Use your data and your experience and create meaningful personas.
After clarifying who your target group is and what moves them, the needs of the target group should be matched with your product portfolio. In which areas do you want to be a topic leader? Where does your expertise lie?
Focus on these topic clusters and build your content marketing in selected topic areas.
Tip #2: Create Topic Clusters
By creating topic clusters (so-called pillar pages) on your website, you signal to your users as well as to Google where your expertise lies and in which topics you are the expert.
To do this, compile your most important products and services and think about which topics are suitable to gradually lead a user to a purchase.
In a second step, your topic world should be checked for search volume.
Your content will only be found if your customers search for the content you have written or if it contains the right keywords.
Tip #3: Keyword research
An analysis of your existing keywords as well as a keyword research for additional search terms will help you to find the right keywords for your topic.
With the right keywords, you ensure that you appear at the top of the search results of Google & Co. and bring as many (suitable) users as possible to your website.
Keywords are the foundation of search engine marketing and have a huge impact on the ranking of your website and therefore the click-through rate of each post.
After research, the most important topics should regularly be packaged into articles and published on your website.
Tip #4: Create content
Write content that interests your target audience and creates value. For each piece of content, think about what your persona's need is at that moment in their customer journey and how you can help them.
With a well-thought-out online marketing strategy, you can guide your customers step-by-step through the customer journey and lay the foundation for a long-term, quality customer relationship.
Don't forget that the customer's intention is in the foreground and not your product or service.
The focus should be on creating an initial contact and then moving the user towards a conversion over time.
The created content should now be published and distributed. For this purpose, specific entry pages on your website are suitable, to actively guide the users and not to send them to the start page, where they have to completely reorient themselves.
Source: Customer Journey according to Pedalix
Tips #5: Create landing pages
A landing page is an entry page that is based on the persona's needs at that moment. Does a user want to learn about a topic he is unfamiliar with? Then create orientation and help him to get to know the most important aspects. Product information or specific offers are out of place here.
Test new formats regularly. Not only blog posts with pictures and text, but also videos, multimedia interviews, infographics, checklists and webinars are suitable to get in touch with your customers and create value. It's also a great way to build your thought leadership as a digital B2B company.
Once you have developed and implemented your content plan, one thing is still missing: traffic.
In order for your content to be consumed, you must first be seen by your target group. This point in particular is forgotten in many B2B online marketing strategies.
The selection of the right channels for your content distribution is crucial. If you have analysed your target group in detail in the first step, you now know which touchpoints you have with your customers.
Tip #6: Social Media Channels
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are all social media channels, but they differ very much when it comes to the intent with which they are used. Therefore, check in advance which channels are used by your target audience and how successful social media marketing is performed.
While LinkedIn and Twitter are more related to the professional role of a person, Facebook and Instagram are more private channels that also require a more personal approach.
Not every social media user is an active user, so think carefully about what realistic goals are for your social media posts.
Do you want users to see your brand often? Do you want users to respond to, comment on, and share posts? Or is it your intention to bring users to your website and generate traffic? Depending on the goal, the message is different and a different call-to-action is needed.
Source: Preview of a LinkedIn post with the Pedalix software
Important: With organic social media posts you reach your existing network. To increase your reach, it can therefore make sense to run social media ads in the form of lookalike campaigns or with manual target groups.
Tip #7: Google
There are also several options when it comes to search results on Google. Your long-term goal should be to rank well in organic search.
Such a ranking is the ultimate proof that you have been able to build your topic leadership.
Any SEO measures are therefore aimed at strengthening your organic positioning. However, keep in mind that SEO takes time and results are not visible overnight.
If you want to speed the process up, you can additionally place Google Ads. While this won't affect organic rankings, it will help your business appear at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
There are a lot of options to choose from (Search Ads, Display, Google Shopping, etc.). The more you know what you want to achieve with the ads and what their goals are, the easier it is for your B2B company to decide which form of advertising to use.
Tip #8: Email Marketing
Despite all the pessimistic estimates, one very efficient way to reach your customers and users is via email. While you shouldn't put all your eggs in this basket, as your customers are also inundated with a flood of emails on a daily basis.
Nevertheless, with email marketing you can reach people who are effectively interested in your topics and products in a cost-effective way.
If you offer valuable and exciting content through this channel as well, there is a high likelihood that users will convert to buyers in the longer term.
As mentioned earlier, less is often more when it comes to email marketing. Only communicate with your customers if they gain something from it and not just because you have a new product on offer.
Source: Personalized Newsletter from Pedalix Software
Segment your target groups into small groups to guarantee a targeted approach and to address the needs during the respective customer journey phase.
You have now created your content and actively distribute it across all channels. In order not to lose track of the content and the different channels, a functioning tracking and monitoring tool is required.
Tip #9 Tracking & Monitoring
The advantage of online marketing is the measurability and comparability of content and channels. With tools like Google Analytics or social media monitoring tools, you can see at a glance how many people are visiting your B2B website, where the visitors are coming from and what interactions your posts are generating.
This allows you to compare the performance of different content and channels, set benchmarks, and make data-driven decisions about how to allocate your resources in the future.
Source: Customer Profile from Pedalix Software
Besides the different channels, it is also important to think in terms of devices. Most users today no longer research on their PC at home or in the office, but use their mobile phone to inform themselves and make purchases. How the distribution of your B2B customers looks like, can also be determined with Google Analytics.
Online marketing is a constantly changing field in which B2B companies can quickly lose track. Therefore, focus on your strengths and build your online presence step by step.
This way you can continuously test new formats and generate value for your target group. With a well thought-out online marketing concept, you can build long-term customer relationships.