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5 steps to building effective digital marketing strategies

The B2B digital marketing space is highly competitive, meaning ad hoc approaches to digital marketing strategies won’t bear much fruit. 

For any business that wants to compete effectively in this space, building evergreen digital strategies is the key to success.

These strategies will require in-depth research, planning, creativity, and measurement. Internally, the strategies must be measurable in terms of lead acquisition, website traffic, and revenue generation.

The first encounter most prospects have with your business is digital. Here are five digital marketing strategies to help make that encounter memorable.

If you want to build effective digital marketing strategies that will keep you ahead of the pack, check out these five steps.

  1. Prospect Segmentation

Unless you’re serving a very specific industry, most B2B sellers have wider audiences, making segmentation foundational. All other digital marketing strategies will be pegged to this first step.

Segmentation involves knowing your target audience, their motivations, differences, deal-value, and pain points.

Doing so allows you to craft meaningful messages that address their unique needs.

There are many segmentation techniques digital marketers use and we will touch on a couple of them.

  • Segmentation by organization type: this type of segmentation is popular in small and medium-size businesses. It involves grouping prospects by their sector, location, number of employees, and approximate revenue.
  • Segmentation by needs and attitudes: this approach is based on subjective factors including values/convictions, business priorities, interests, pricing, pain points, and decision-making criteria.
  • Segmentation by behavior: you can segment prospects by their purchases, spending habits, their social channels, or the content they consume.
  • Segmentation by (potential) profitability: some marketing teams, ‘tier’ prospects based on expected income on conversion. This allows them to allocate resources appropriately.
  1. Understand Your Buyer’s Journey

Research shows that decision-makers use online data to inform up to 80% of the purchase process before engaging a salesperson.

The prospect may interact with your organization’s website or social platform five to six times (or more) before taking that final step.

With each interaction, they look for answers to their immediate questions.

Mapping your prospect’s journey will help you determine the type of message (content) you’ll present them at every stage.

Content that comes in handy throughout the sales funnel, from their first interaction to conversion include:

  • Awareness stage: prospective clients are open to solutions to their problems. They look for educational content such as blog posts, social posts, infographics, checklists, ebooks, videos, and podcasts.
  • Consideration stage: the prospect is sampling potential solutions. They are comparing offerings from different vendors. Share product/service comparison guides, case studies, white papers, expert guides, and product samples.
  • Decision-making stage: the prospect has narrowed down their options and is looking for key differentiators. The best content here is the one that tells them why they should choose you. It includes live demos or free trials, testimonials, product reviews, and case studies.
  • Loyalty stage: the prospect is now a paying customer. They want to get the best out of their purchase. Share how-to-videos, product-focused articles including product updates, surveys, and loyalty programs.
  1. Get On Social Media

Since the B2B buying process is longer and more demanding, decision-makers take time researching and educating themselves.

Where do they look up this information? On a variety of social channels, of course.

Social media platforms aptly meet the challenges of the B2B marketing space by playing the following roles:

  • Building brand awareness.
  • Offering a platform for you to educate customers and prospects on your offerings.
  • Acting as a nurturing tool.
  • Proving information on current industry trends.
  • Giving you useful insights on buyers’ problems as people talk about the issues they are facing on social media.
  • Increasing traffic to your website.
  • Providing valuable feedback about your products or services, including complaints and other observations.
  • Helping organizations gain new business relationships
  • Amplifying promotions, new products/services, and other announcements.

These benefits are cool but the only way you’re going to enjoy them is if your social platforms are visible to your target audience.

Here are ideas to improve visibility:

  • Optimize your social profiles by filing them out entirely. Ensure your physical and virtual contact information is standardized across all platforms. Use a couple of relevant keywords in your bio.
  • Ensure the social media icons on your website are in places that receive the most traffic. These include your homepage, contact page, at the footer, and on blogs.
  • Embed social media posts in blog posts. This creates direct links to your social media page improving visibility.
  • Get employees to include your organization’s social media icons in email signatures.
  • Leverage your employees’ connections by requesting them to share your social posts.
  1. Make Cold Calls

Cold calling always feels like stepping into an unknown realm where your confidence levels and interpersonal selling skills are challenged.

Yet, this strategy is highly effective for B2B marketing. It gives you the opportunity to reach potential leads who would otherwise slip through the cracks.

That doesn’t mean that you should straightaway crank up the phone and dial the first 50 companies on your list.

This strategy isn’t about the number of calls you make, rather the quality of the calls. Let’s look at some qualities that make a good cold calling strategy.

  • Ensure your contact database is updated regularly, eliminating contacts that aren’t interested in your offerings. A shrunk list containing worthy leads is better than a long one full of dead-end ones.
  • Conduct detailed research of your prospects beforehand. Understand common and specific pain points they face and how your solutions can help solve them. You’ll come across as a knowledgeable person and not some annoying telemarketer who’s only interested in pushing out their products.
  • Never start a conversation with “Did I call you at a bad time?” It will elicit a negative response. Say something like, “Hi _____, this is _____ from XYZ company. We provide solutions that help companies minimize _____ expenses while maximizing productivity and revenues. May I tell you more so you can see if it will be valuable to your company? 
  • Use a call guide to keep conversations natural and from veering off in the wrong direction. Your call guide should contain open-ended questions, stats, and data, as well as variable outcomes of the conversation.
  • Be a good listener and student. Jot down what your prospect is saying concerning their problems and existing solutions. It will help you identify gaps and see if you can cater to them.
  • No matter how prepared you are, sometimes the answer will be “No.” Rejection is part of the process, don’t take it personally. The prospect may not have a budget for what you’re offering or are happy with their present solutions. Or they could be dealing with internal issues.
  • Use rejection to your advantage. Where possible, ask the prospect why they didn’t accept your offer. Their responses can provide insights into how you can tweak your next call.
  1. Collect & Analyze Data

Data collection involves gathering qualitative and quantitative information about prospective clients through multiple data collection methods.

These collection methods include conducting surveys or measuring the number of visitors on your website and social platforms. You can also collect data from a reputable paid vendor.

Analyzing this data offers several benefits for both marketing and sales teams including:

  • Providing deeper insights into the personal, behavioral, and demographical dynamics of your leads.
  • Helping you understand your customer’s sentiments towards your products or services. The data allows you to identify gaps and improve your offerings.
  • Testing the effectiveness of past and present marketing campaigns. This will help you strengthen the campaigns to the desired forms.
  • Understanding customer’s expectations in terms of personalization such as preferable product feature combos or the factors that drive their decisions.
  • Creating frameworks that offer better customer experiences and satisfaction.

There are multiple tools on the market that you can use to measure and analyze data including Google Analytics, MOZ, and Hootsuite.

It’s worth looking into which one best meets your needs.

Once you know what’s working and what isn’t, you’ll be better placed to tune your digital marketing strategies efforts for better returns.
source: LAProgressive