It’s easy to waste money on digital marketing, fail to engage your target audience and end up with a woeful return on investment. So how can you connect with the right people in the right way with the right tools — and get results?
Who am I targeting?
In my last blog article – Marketing: Are You Keeping Pace With Change?, we looked at the importance of keeping pace with change and how to use content marketing to reach prospects long before they want to buy.
The profile of B2B consumers is changing. Around two-thirds of the C-suite will have final sign-off on purchases (1). But they won’t necessarily be the ones who champion your offerings within their companies. Today, almost half of those doing the B2B research online are aged 18-34 (2) — so you need to engage with this group.
How can I get people to see my content?
The Internet is awash with content. But it’s possible to stand out by creating content of real value. Share those industry insights that only you know — tips and tricks that your prospects could find useful, ideas that save them time, money and hassle. Come up with compelling titles too, such as “Your essential guide to…” or “8 killer questions you must ask before you choose…”. This arouses curiosity. And it’s a great way to position yourself as a trusted adviser.
What medium should I use?
Concisely written e-books are ideal for those hungry for content. However, video often works better than writing. According to YouTube data from the US, hundreds of thousands of hours of B2B videos are viewed each year (3). In fact, almost half of B2B researchers watch at least 30 minutes of video during the purchasing process (4). In short, your audience expects it.
So do you have any videos worth watching? If not, make some and use them to explore people’s challenges rather than simply showcasing your products. If you offer genuine value then something magical will happen … people will tell others.
Where will people find my content?
Video content isn’t just easy to consume, it’s easy to share with colleagues and contacts — especially on social media, whether that’s your LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter feed.
For 84% of B2B buyers, word-of-mouth is the primary influence on their purchasing decisions (5). It may be arguable whether a ‘like’ is equivalent to a strong recommendation. But a ‘share’ or a thumbs-up from an influential contact can easily convince someone else to watch — and it all helps keep your content in the spotlight.
If you want to boost your audience, then consider a programmatic approach for sophisticated targeting. This software-driven way to optimise online advertising is ideal for reaching specific customers in a specific context. Programmatic spend is projected to grow by 61% over the next 3 years. (6)
What about my website?
If your content marketing does its work, then more prospects will land on your home page over time. Align your website with the same style and vibrancy as all the content you’ve been sharing in order to build trust and authority.
Crucially, your website must be mobile friendly. B2B buyers shift screens constantly. In fact, 42% of prospects use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process.
Ultimately, make sure your content is bursting with relevant information and able to be enjoyed via every kind of device and across multiple platforms. Doing so will increase your ROI on marketing.
In my next blog article, we’ll examine how digital marketing is changing the very structure of businesses.
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(1), (2), (3), (4) and (7) Source: Google/Millward Brown Digital, B2B Path to Purchase Study, 2014.
(5) Source: http://www.thedrum.com
(6) Source: Magna Global Report –41 Markets Worldwide
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