Is your company one of the many investing more marketing dollars in digital channels these days? If so, your organization is following the trend to sagely engage customers where they “live,” i.e., the spaces they frequent when looking for information on products and services. In fact, 82 percent of marketers responding to a Regalix survey say they plan to spend more than 50 percent of their 2015 budgets on digital.
This is all well and good as long as digital channels are leveraged to deploy strategies and programs that will lead to positive differentiation for brands.
How can you be assured that you’re truly on the right path—to increased revenue—with your B2B digital marketing strategy?
Website, search, email and social continue to dominate—but are they best for your business? The answer will follow from a thorough understanding of the buying journey for your particular audience. Once you deploy technologies—in your contact center—and elsewhere in your company (think sales and marketing) to capture and analyze customer data, e.g., behaviors, preferences and the like, you will have the insights you need to deliver the right content across the right channels.
Be assured, first of all, that employing a multichannel strategy that speaks to individual preferences is a necessity in this day and age where consumers wield the power in B2B—and B2C—interactions. So, you’ve got that right. Second, support for the old standby offline channels, e.g., events, phone and direct mail, will keep you in good stead with a majority of customers as well. Third, if you’re integrating old and new channels to meet your marketing objectives, you’ve hit the trifecta for marketing wins.
See how your digital marketing strategy aligns with the market: The Regalix report confirmed that company websites are the top digital channel for B2B marketers, with 81 percent of the CXOs and senior marketers surveyed rating their sites effective in helping to accomplish marketing goals. Email ranks second, with 71 percent of respondents calling it effective. Search engine optimization came in third with 54 percent verifying its effectiveness. Social, in fourth place at 41 percent, was slated for increased spend in 2015 by 54 percent of respondents.
Of course, channel selection becomes a moot point if the messages being delivered are of little value or relevance to your key targets. With websites identified as the most effective marketing channel, website content naturally comes in first as the most effective content asset; 76 percent of marketers call it “indispensable.”
To strengthen this marketing asset to attract and convert more buyers, try some of these ideas:
- Connect to consumers in a deeply human way. A unique, personalized story will help to diminish the Web barrier between you and your audience. Perhaps surprisingly, this calls for you to step back and think of your brand in terms of moments in your customers’ lives. Think about times when your brand may have made a special appearance in their homes or communities and use them as touch points.
- Use customer testimonials to invoke your brand story. Identify the consumer need that inspired your client to reach out to your business, and how your products and services were used to address the need. Be sure to root your story in reality—and that the message is consistent with your brand voice across content assets and channels.
- Interview subject matter experts to gather shareable material that will add precision, depth and expertise to your content. Craft the interview to address your customers’ needs. For example, consider whether your audience wants greater objectivity regarding your offerings or wants to put a face to your story, i.e., get to know you better.
Webcasts and online videos can also borrow from these tips to great effect, especially now that 65 percent of marketers say they plan to increase spend on these content assets.
Stay abreast of where your competitors are focusing their marketing efforts so you can quickly counter them with your own initiatives—to ensure that customers beat a path to your door. Your enhanced digital strategy will guarantee that they receive a warm welcome when they arrive, ready to do business with your brand.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.