B2B buyers almost always make decisions in consultation with colleagues, and often spend hours seeking reliable, informative content about their purchase before reaching out to a sales person. When the pressure is on, buyers prefer to make a decision based on justifiable logic rather than emotion or persuasion.
SEO will help your prospects find you, but what you do once they get there is just as important. Your website needs to be easy to use and optimised, and you need to be harnessing the power of social media, content marketing, and video content to get the best results.
Read on for an easy guide to the 5 most important components of b2b marketing.
Search engine optimisation
Gone are the days when you’d get the majority of your business from passers-by on foot. Nowadays, your prospects can find you online, so it’s crucial that you do everything you can to help prospects come across your site. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the digital equivalent of getting a prime corner location for your shop, decorating it beautifully, and hanging posters in flashing lights all around your neighbourhood.
SEO is a multifaceted beast, with both on-page and off-page aspects. If you’re not ready to hire someone to help you, here are a few easy ways you can get started yourself:
Regularly publishing relevant, informative, useful content can improve your rankings in search. You can use blogs to directly address commonly asked questions and include plenty of keywords while you do it. Plus, blogs will help position you as an industry expert and give your prospects the information they need to buy – LinkedIn surveys found around 50% of buyers said they compared thought leadership content from several providers before making a decision.
SEO isn’t just about keywords though. Google prioritises sites with faster loading times: if your images are too large, they’ll load slowly. Even if someone does land on your site, if it takes more than a few seconds to load, they’ll probably leave. Compress images as much as possible without making them blurry before you upload them to your site. There are plenty of plugins available that do this automatically (WPSmush and EWWW, to name a couple available for WordPress), or you can use a website like TinyPNG.
When including hyperlinks on your website, avoid using generic anchor text like ‘click here’ or ‘learn more’. Instead, make your anchor text a strategic keyword and link it to a relevant page.
Use SEO tools like SEMrush and Keywords Everywhere to check your own content’s performance, which keywords are driving results to your site, and select SEO keywords to include in your web copy and blog posts.
SEO will help bring prospects to your site, but at that point you’re not even halfway there. As we become increasingly tech savvy, consumers expect higher and higher digital standards. There’s a lot of work to be done to optimise your website for convenience and conversion.
Put simply, website optimisation is the process of experimenting to improve a website’s ability to drive your business’s goals (usually sales or enquiries). It’s a great idea to start with the basics like shortening load time, editing your landing page copy, and optimising for mobile. If you want some more guidance on website optimisation, check out our blog post on how to optimise your website for conversion.
Once you’ve taken care of the first steps, the most effective way to fine-tune your site is usually A/B testing – the process of making and measuring two changes to see which one shows better results.
The buyers journey is becoming increasingly complex – even more so when it comes to B2B buyers. Consumers need more information so sift through the countless options available.
With 50% of people using content to inform their purchases, and over 75% of B2B buyers choosing vendors based on their content, you need to be producing informative, useful, searchable content to help move people towards purchasing. The tone is important, as most buyers also reported being turned off by sales-focused or pushy B2B content marketing, preferring informative content that genuinely helps them to decide.
Key questions to answer with your content include:
- What problems does this product or service solve?
- What features should I look for in this product or service?
- How does this product or service work?
Almost 3.2 billion people, or 43 percent of the world’s population, actively use social media channels. If your business isn’t using at least one to reach out to potential buyers (or if you’re not using it effectively) you could be missing out on countless opportunities every day.
Building an effective B2B social presence is about acknowledging that B2B buyers are people too. While the decision-making journey is usually longer and more complex, the process is still similar to B2C consumers. With that in mind, your B2B social presence should focus on building a consistent and relatable brand, and a community that offers insights and knowledge that buyers can actually use.
LinkedIn is the preferred platform for most B2B buyers, so it’s a great place to start. However, more and more buyers are looking to connect with brands on Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram to inform their purchase decisions.
Consumer brands have been telling stories and explaining their products and services via video for decades, and B2B marketers are finally starting to catch on. In fact, 38 percent of LinkedIn users shared video in 2018, and over half plan to use it as part of their strategy in 2019.
Video is a great way to cut through the jargon and explain your product or service, inform and educate your prospects, and boost engagement. It’s extremely effective because, let’s be honest, if you’re faced with a wall of text or a video – you’ll choose the video every time.
Despite those compelling numbers, video is often neglected by B2B marketers – usually because they don’t fully understand its potential. To get you started, here are a few quick tips on effective video marketing:
Cut to the chase.
Be short, sharp and direct with your videos. Make your clips as value-packed, visually interesting, and dynamic as possible.
The majority of B2B buyers watch video with the sound off. Make sure you communicate your message as visually as possible so that it’s effective regardless, and don’t forget to include accurate subtitles.
Call to action.
Urge your viewers to take action at the end of your videos. Whether it’s to check out your blog, watch more of your videos, or buy one of your products that solves their problem.
B2B marketing is often misunderstood. By breaking these essential elements down and devising a simple strategy that works, you’ll see results that quickly boost your business.
If you’re ready to take a detailed, strategic approach to your marketing, get in touch with the experts at Pounce Marketing.