Performance Marketing May 08, 2015
4 Steps to Boost Your B2B Sales via Digital Marketing
Getting more sales out of digital channels is a struggle for most B2B companies. Having a good starting point to optimize your digital channels in order to boost sales is very important. This article contains 4 steps that can help you to increase sales via digital marketing.
Are you a marketeer working in a B2B environment? In this blog article I will provide you with a simple guide to optimize sales on your digital channels. The four steps are:
1. Describe buyer personas
2. Describe the customer journey
3. Create remarkable content
4. Choose the right CMS to manage your content
Below, I will go more in to depth. If you have any questions about one of these steps after reading this article, just leave a comment below and I will contact you.
1. Describe buyer personas
Before investing any more money in your marketing, you should first take a step back and find out who your target audience is. If describing buyer personas is not your starting point, you will waste time and money targeting an audience who will never buy your products.
A Buyer persona is a composite picture of the real people who buy, or might buy, products like the ones you sell. In most businesses there will be several persons involved in buying B2B products or services. This means you should describe more than 1 buyer persona.
2. DESCRIBE THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
A customer journey describes all events and experiences a potential customer goes through to reach a goal and fulfill a need while interacting with a brand. It includes all touch points that a user experiences, starting with the first moment he was aware of a need until the need was fulfilled.
In general a potential customer will go through 4 phases with different touch points in each phase:
The orientation phase:
Your potential customer is aware of a need but does not know how to fulfil that need. He will search for possible solutions on google, will ask friends and colleagues.
The comparison phase:
Your potential customer knows what solutions are available to fulfill his need. In this phase he will dive deeper into the solutions. He probably will read articles and blogs about the possible solutions.
The buying phase:
Now your customer knows which solution fulfills his need best. Is it a solution you offer? He will compare your company with others offering the same solution.
The review phase:
Your customer, yes it is your customer now, reviews the purchase process and customer service. He will decide to come back to you for new purchases or not. The ultimate goal is to satisfy your customer in such a way that he will recommend your company to others.
Please note that a potential customer possibly skips phases. He might already know the solution he wants to buy, and start the buying phase directly. In every phase you should try to get ranked higher than your competitors. Rank high on google, rank high on quality of content, rank high on customer service and so on.
The customer journey is different for every single customer. You can’t optimize it for everyone. Your return on investment would be very low. That’s why I recommend describing a customer journey for groups of similar potential customers, your described buyer personas.
3. Choose the right CMS to manage your content
There is a broad variety of content management systems available in the market. It’s not easy to choose the right CMS. Every business is different and every company is different, that’s why you can’t say one CMS is better than another. But there are some important criteria to keep in mind.
Most content creators are non-technical, so be sure your CMS enables non-techies to update your website(s) in an intuitive way. For example Magnolia CMS is using an intuitive app structure, a structure everyone recognizes these days.
One CMS for all your digital platforms
An average company these days has one or more websites, an intranet, a web shop. Be sure you can maintain the content on all these digital platforms via one central system. It is not said you should not have a separate e-commerce platform, but be sure the e-commerce system can be integrated with your CMS, so maintaining and updating the content will be a piece of cake.
Be sure your CMS is able to scale the content automatically depending on the device a visitor uses. Whether he uses a mobile phone, tablet or a desktop computer, your content should look fabulous.
You can create stunning content, but if it’s not visible in search engines you won’t attract new sales leads. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps you to create content that search engines pick up. But the more interaction on your content page, the higher it ranks in google.
The way google thinks, is that if there is a lot of interaction, your content is popular so people should see it. Be sure your CMS enables interaction on your website. Let people like or rank your content, and enable comments on your content.
If you have described buyer personas and their customer journey it would be awesome to show them tailored content on your digital channels. There are CMS systems, for example Adobe Experience Manager, which allow you to create buyer personas within the CMS. From that point on you can choose to show your content to all visitors, or only to the visitors that fit in to one or more of your buyer persona profiles.
4. Create Remarkable Content
One of the few things your prospects might find of interest about you while they are researching a purchase is your content. But there’s a catch. Your content needs to be remarkable, educational, entertaining or otherwise useful. Your prospects are not that much interested in your company. They are interested in how you solve their problem. Keep that in mind while creating content.
Blogging is the one of the most powerful B2B marketing tactics that a company can adopt. Each blog post is one more ticket in the search engine lottery for getting found by your prospective customers when they are researching a solution to their problem.
According to research by HubSpot, companies that blog get 55% more website traffic and 70% more leads than those that don’t blog.
In addition to blogging, your content marketing efforts should include some premium content (eBooks, whitepapers, recorded webinars, etc.). The content should answer questions related to the buyer’s journey to help educate them on the nature of the problem you solve and how to make a smart purchase in your category.
This content should be placed on your site with a form so that you can capture their email address and name before the download starts.
Congratulations, you have a lead!