It’s very clear in today business to business marketing arena that digital marketing, sometimes called online marketing, must be top of mind for your marketing and sales team. It compliments the efforts of traditional advertising efforts and helps make effective use of social media marketing, marketing automation tools, and other digital marketing tactics to increase website traffic.
Why is this such an important part of your b2b marketing strategy? Because the first thing potential customers are going to do when starting their buyers journey at the awareness stage is go online to learn about the products or services you offer, understand your brand’s story, and seek out helpful content that helps them decide of your company should be part of their supply chain.
Statistics from IBIS World show that there are currently more than 638,000 manufacturers in the U.S. It is vital that you stand out from the competition and own your unique niche in the industry.
Technology is driving everything in today’s business-to-business digital marketing scene, and the clutter is overwhelming. As suppliers evolve and adapt to new business opportunities and a shifting landscape, they’re looking for manufacturers with evidence of being problem solvers, innovators, and go-to company in their given space.
Whether you’re a robotics company providing industrial automation solutions or a chip manufacturer integrating core control systems, you need to be at an expert level when attacking your B2B digital marketing goals. This will attract partners and customers who are seeking innovative solutions to emerging business opportunities and challenges.
Here are 10 actions you can take to help achieve that expert level and demonstrate the value of your company’s offerings, while maximizing the impact of your digital marketing efforts.
1. Build a website as advanced as your solutions
It’s easy to assume that when it comes to building company websites, website design belongs more with arts and crafts than in business discussions, but the research is clear that your company websites design has a legitimate use case for B2B companies:
- Roughly 94% of first impressions are related to design (Association for Computing Machinery).
- 75% of consumers determine a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design (Stanford).
- Good UX design can boost website conversion rates up to 400% (Forrester).
2. Understand website design impact on inbound marketing strategy
Like every industry, web design trends change and evolve. As big companies evolve their websites to fit these design patterns, people adopt these patterns and trends as the standard for “modern” and expect companies to have it. If you aren’t conforming, you’re viewed as outdated. Here is how to avoid that:
- Build a great first impression with a modern B2B website design and incorporate a consistent brand identity.
- Help b2b users find information faster and increase search engine crawl ability by organizing your website structure based on topical categories and user intent.
- Optimize your web design for mobile devices. As of the second quarter of 2022, 51.42 percent of web traffic in the United States originated from mobile devices. As we all use our mobile devices
- Integrate social media channels into your website design. Effective use of social media platforms is key when it comes to providing useful content and should be on every social media managers and digital marketers radar.
3. Make content king and create based on b2b buyer journey
Creating an effective b2b content marketing strategy is a long established Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practice for appearing in the top spots in search engines. But search engine marketing methods and strategies have changed since EEAT, Helpful Content update, and other Core Algorithm updates.
Here are content suggestions for each stage of the modern B2B buyer journey that should be incorporated into your inbound marketing strategies:
- Top of Funnel (TOFU): At this stage, people are feeling a problem or have a question andlooking for a solution or answer. You can educate them using blog posts, 101 eBooks, industry research, factory tour videos, and social media posts. For example, you can use blog posts to target keywords and educate users about your products and services. The Rodon Group explains the injection molding press process in an article and ranks #2 in search results when this article was published.
- Middle of Funnel (MOFU): Once they understand their problem’s cause or have a concise answer, they will begin to Google for solutions. To guide them toward purchasing from you, help them compare solutions with comparison pages, case studies, and buyer guides and highlight your differences from other solutions. As an example, you can use graphic design to create shareable information assets. Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable explains how coaxial cable connector types can be useful in different settings.
- Bottom of Funnel (BOFU): After evaluating all possible solutions, buyers will be ready to make a final decision and purchase. If your content marketing has performed well, they’ll be ready to buy from you. You can make the buying process easier for ready-to-buy leads with product videos, spec sheets and brochures, and custom calculators relevant to their purchase path. For example, Test Devices Inc. uses an ebook to dive deep into their processes in “Spin Testing For Manufacturing 101.”
4. Sell solutions, not features
People don’t buy your service or product, they buy the outcome it provides to them. In your website content, frame your features and product specifications in a way that positions the benefits for the customer.
For example, CGR Products’ tagline on its website homepage states their “custom cutting and fabricating capabilities transform materials into high-quality, precision components.” Rather than just saying what it does, CGR Products adds how it turns materials into high-quality precision components, which is the true goal for engineers and other buyers.
An article from Forrester showed that 68% of modern B2B buyers prefer to research on their own before purchasing or talking to a salesperson. Rather than training salespeople to “train buyers how to buy,” you must adopt an “educate first, sell second” approach to sales and marketing efforts. Most of your customers will want to do one or more of the following:
- Drive revenues
- Reduce expenses
- Improve efficiency
- Mitigate risk
The job of content marketing is to clearly explain how your products and services help your target audience achieve one or more of those goals.
5. Be clever yet clear in proving your value
Companies are increasingly interested in partnering with problem-solving companies who can help them seize opportunities or turn obstacles into stepping stones. As a manufacturer, the goal of your digital marketing is to convince your customers that you can help them cut costs or waste, increase their revenue, achieve superior quality, or otherwise improve their ROI.
Here are some clever ways to convey your value as a partner:
- Let people estimate cost reduction or potential savings from your product with an interactive calculator on your website. This is an effective digital marketing tactic as it subconsciously increases their affinity with your company and helps them attach a monetary benefit to choosing your company.
- Promote your product in unique ways. For example, Tinkercard offered free 3D modeling software to educators to support the future of 3D modeling while also building awareness and credibility as a company. Experiment with promoting your product or services in unique ways that generate buzz, build brand awareness, and attract the attention of your target customers.
- Show your product in action. Blendtec’s Will It Blend? series fed our curiosity about whether it was possible to blend iPhones, glow sticks, and dozens of other blendable and unblendable items. But it also showcased the strength of Blendtec’s product, which was undoubtedly the whole point behind the series.
- Know when to partner and when to outsource to bolster your value as a company. Remember, you want to be part of an overall solution, not merely a cog in the wheel. Consider partnering with other companies to share resources or reduce shared costs and work toward a mutually beneficial goal, like Mobileye, Wejo, and Qualcomm. Or, outsource less vital functions to free up resources for research and development and improve marketing, scalability, and operational delivery.
6. Use clever conversion tools to support lead generation
Not every person that visits your website will turn into a lead, but there are lead generation and conversion tactics you can use to turn the odds in your favor.
- Use the AIDA copywriting format: Grab people’s attention (A) with a strong hook, then pique their interest (I) by highlighting the benefits of your product or service features. Increase their desire by explaining the benefits of your product or service features and the cost or risks of not choosing it. Finally, urge them to action (A) with a clear, compelling call-to-action.
- Use gated content forms to gather information from interested leads. You can turn blog posts, webinars, or document templates into gated content by requiring leads to fill out a brief form before accessing it. This increases your follow-up success since they’ve already expressed interest in your product or service.
- Create targeted landing pages that speak to a specific audience that falls within a certain criterion, whether that’s a location, industry, or keyword. On targeted landing pages, you can speak directly to the pain points of your target audience and highlight how your product or service benefits them specifically.
- Implement smart email marketing practices like creating an opt-in strategy, sharing offers, incentivizing shares via email with “forward to a friend” and social media sharing buttons.
7. Dominate SEO and become the go-to expert in your industry
Google’s Consumer Insights show that 53% of buyers use a search engine to research before making a purchase decision. As you look for ways to increase your online visibility and connect with new business clients, create and implement a smart SEO strategy.
Here are some starting points:
- Research keywords that are relevant to your services and products and sort them by relevancy and monthly search volume. Manage your keyword lists, focus them on your targeted business clients, and update them regularly based on trends and fluctuations in search volume. Don’t avoid zero-volume keywords since these allow you to catch missed rank opportunities overlooked by your competitors.
- Use schema markup to describe your website elements so search engines can understand your content and feature it in knowledge panels, also known as “answer boxes.” There are dozens of schema types but the effort is worth it.
- Increase each page’s authority by building backlinks and linking from relevant pages throughout your website. For example, in places where you discuss the results or benefits of your product or service, link to case studies or testimonials that demonstrate your claim.
- Get the basics right. Don’t forget the importance of nailing technical SEO, using power web pages, incorporating strong meta tags, and building out high value citations. They should be a part of every digital marketing checklist and are a critical component of the search engine optimization strategy
8. Take a balanced approach when it comes to paid campaigns
Pay Per Click (PPC) is a great way to get your message in front of potential buyers, but don’t get caught in the trap of executing ppc ads or ppc campaigns without a specific objective in mind.
Google ads and digital ads can be very effective, especially when combined with strong marketing automation tactics, but they shouldn’t consume 100% of your monthly digital marketing spend. PPC works best when accompanied by a strong SEO strategy that is driving organic traffic to your website.
B2B marketers need to clearly understand their target audiences, understand where they are consuming their online content, research and anticipate their buyers journey, anticipate and understand the challenges they are facing or the problems they need to solve – and then attack them with smart and efficient marketing campaigns that direct your potential customers back to the power pages on your website.
All b2b marketing digital marketing strategies should at least consider the use of influencer marketing and earned media. This can be especially effective in the world of advanced technology. This article from ZENMEDIA does an outstanding job discussing the benefits of earned media and provides tips on how to secure amazing brand coverage.
9. Play the long game for lasting success
There are more companies marketing online than ever before. Still, you can position yourself for success by thinking long-term and consistently showing up with great marketing. Commit to staying informed about digital marketing tactics and trends in SEO, social media marketing, online marketing, and content marketing.
Use social listening tools to inform your digital marketing strategy and enable your marketing team to respond to brand mentions on social media platforms or be the first to comment on breaking industry news.
10. Choose the right digital marketing partner
And finally, partner with digital marketing experts like Seota who are invested in the continued success of your business and marketing efforts. If you need help with SEO or web design services, contact us!