Based on my digital marketing efforts and experience to date, I have identified eight areas where you need to focus your efforts to optimise the effectiveness and return on investment from the business-to-business online marketing process within your organisation.
Adequate production of suitable thought ware across your relevant service lines and industries is an absolutely essential. The content you create must “showcase” the products, solutions and services your organisation provides. The content you produce should be suited for the different channels you manage. For an email introducing an article, the article in question should be quite detailed, content for a blog post should be shorter and to the point. If you are using YouTube, arrange to have a short video clip produced where the thought leader discusses the specific content.
Constantly review your processes to optimise the digital channels you are utilising. Remember that you are dependent on the channels your prospective clients choose to use. Monitor the market on a regular basis. Try new things. Poll your prospects and clients and ask them what they prefer. Marketers who anticipated Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube as future channels of choice for their prospects and clients will have benefitted from this foresight.
3. Change Management
You cannot manage B2B digital marketing in isolation. It has to be owned by the entire business. Develop a change management strategy to educate the relevant persons within your business on the positive effects they will experience by utilising the digital channels effectively. Showing them how to create a Twitter account and how to tweet is not enough. Take them through the full process from cradle to grave and show some examples of business meetings being created, proposals being requested and business deals won. Make B2B Digital marketing part of your organisation’s DNA!
The products, services and solutions you provide will determine how your market will prefer to interact with you. Figure this out and build your communities accordingly. Once you have acquired a Like, Follow, Connection, subscription, make sure you nurture this audience appropriately. If you are targeting a finite, known market, do the research and identify who you are connecting with and devise a strategy to develop an online relationship with the rest. Don’t worry about quantities but rather on the quality of the conversations you are having. Identify social media influencers, relevant people in the media and brand advocates and look after them.
If you are using digital effectively, it is a good idea to create online resumes for all your thought leaders. If you share a thought piece and include the name of the thought leader, you should also provide a link to the person’s LinkedIn profile. Their LinkedIn profile should contain a decent photograph, a good summary explaining their personal value proposition and adequate connections, endorsements and recommendations.
6. Call back
Successful B2B digital marketing models have a golden thread from start to finish. At a specific point in the B2B marketing process, you may have to pass leads onto your sales team or someone responsible for taking the process to the next step. As a follow up to all B2B digital marketing campaigns, the relevant persons need to follow up timeously and ask for appointments, set up meetings, ask if the person requires additional information, etc.
7. Closing the loop
Obtaining adequate feedback from the business in terms of meetings, requests for proposals and business won is very important. Make of point of asking the “business” on a regular basis on what happened with the leads you sent them. File this information away so that you can report back to the business on a later stage on all the successes as a result of your B2B didgital marketing activities.
There are all kinds of legislation already out there and proposed amendments that may be passed soon. Consult with a digital communication legal specialist, get them to assess your existing environment and to provide you with feedback in terms of where you do not comply with existing legislation, what you need to do in order to comply and what plans you should be putting in place now in order to comply with legislation that is coming soon. This can be a big differentiator for you if your competitors are not doing anything about it.
I hope these eight points will be of assistance to you. Do you have any comments? Have I left something out? Do you agree or disagree with some of the points? I would love to hear from you.