There is plenty of room for optimism about our post-COVID 19 reality, it doesn’t negate some of the fundamental changes we’ve seen in B2B marketing. In a new blog post, I’d like to share three critical components of an integrative digital marketing approach:
- Organic or earned media
- Paid media
- Email marketing
Take a moment to learn more about developing B2B marketing strategies that are well-suited for a post-pandemic world.
Practical B2B Marketing Strategies for a Post COVID World
Across the country, there is a growing sense of optimism. Many of us have either had the vaccine or anticipate getting it soon. Businesses are reopening, teams are heading back to the office, and people are spending more time out and about. Following a grim year of COVID closure, things seem like they are looking up.
And yet, even as we yearn for a return to a pre-pandemic “normal,” most of us know that’s not really in the cards; there are certain changes and disruptions that are going to be with us for a long time to come. Indeed, our brush with COVID has probably changed the world forever, and that certainly extends to the world of sales and marketing.
Consider: In the past, a lot of B2B marketing took place at trade shows, conventions, and other in-person events. COVID restrictions have largely forced us to replace these events with digital outreach, which is frankly more flexible, convenient, and cost-effective anyway. This is just one example of a COVID pivot that’s likely to be permanent.
The bottom line: B2B marketing strategies need to shift 100 percent into the digital realm if they haven’t already. In this post, we’ll share some reflections on developing B2B marketing strategies for a post-pandemic world.
Digital Marketing B2B Strategy: An Overview
Before we get into specifics, let’s take an overview. Basically, it is our belief at Sefati & Co that a successful B2B marketing strategy will integrate three unique strands:
- Organic or earned media
- Paid media
- Email marketing
It’s only by holistically uniting these three strands that a B2B marketing strategy will prove fruitful over the long haul. With that said, let’s take a closer look at each of these three areas.
Organic or Earned Media
The first component in effective B2B marketing strategies is organic, or earned, media. This encompasses organic SEO reach as well as things like blogging, social media, and content marketing.
In 2020, our team wrote a quick strategy guide for B2B SEO, and if anything, these suggestions are only more relevant today. Specifically, we recommend that B2B marketing strategies encompass the following organic SEO activities.
- Make sure you fully understand and define your target audience. In B2B marketing, it’s always important to keep in mind that you are not reaching out to a lay audience; instead, you are reaching out to a team of knowledgeable professionals. Always start with some careful considerations of what kinds of businesses you’re trying to reach, what their values are, and which pain points you can address.
- Based on your target audience, provide comprehensive keyword and topic research. What kind of keywords and search queries are your target audience members most likely to use? Ensure you research keywords that encompass all phases of the customer journey, and use those keywords to sketch out content topics.
- Invest in content that addresses pain points. Once you know who your audience is and what pain points they are dealing with, you are ready to develop content that acknowledges those pain points and potentially posits your brand as the solution. As an example, if you are selling cybersecurity software, don’t just write blog posts that extol the features and benefits of your technology. Also write about cybersecurity risks, the costs associated with data breaches, etc.
- Develop a diversified content portfolio. Effective B2B marketing strategies require not just thoughtful and carefully targeted content, but diverse content, as well. Short-form and long-form content both matter, as do video and infographics.
- Don’t neglect technical SEO! There are a number of technical SEO elements that will determine the efficacy of your organic search activities. Examples include page speed, responsive design, schema markups, and overall user experience. Consulting with a B2B marketing agency can really be helpful here.
These are some of the most basic elements of organic and earned media and should be carefully considered within any B2B marketing strategy.
Organic media matters, but for the best results, your B2B marketing strategy must combine it with paid media. This includes things like paid search and social media advertising.
In a previous blog post, we offered a few basic tips for effective lead generation, all of which are relevant to B2B paid media endeavors. To summarize:
- Fully understand what you are selling. To be really effective in paid search, you’ll need to know the product or service you’re selling inside and out. Through a careful understanding of what you’re selling, you’ll be able to hone in on the exact kinds of leads you’re trying to generate.
- Know your audience. Paid media, as with organic and earned media, depends on you knowing your audience well. Detailed buyer personas and demographic research can both help you to develop a more thorough understanding of the audience you’re trying to reach, and thus how your paid ads should be targeted.
- Develop your understanding of the customer journey. Once you know your customer, you can start creating a basic road map of their decision-making process. Ask yourself, what would it take for this customer to fill out a form providing some basic contact information? And from there, what would it take to turn them into a paying client?
- Have a sales team in place. The leads you generate through paid media really won’t mean anything if you don’t have a sales team in place to nurture those leads. Prompt and professional follow-ups are crucial here, as they will allow you to take the leads you generate and turn them into sales.
- Keep building your brand. Even if you don’t see immediate leads generated by your paid media efforts, you should always be building your brand. There is plenty of data revealing that stronger brands lead to higher rates of conversion.
These are just a few pointers to help you get started with paid media. With any specific questions, we would invite you to reach out to our B2B marketing agency. We’re always happy to discuss the details of paid media, whether that means PPC, social media ads, or something else.
The third strand for any effective B2B marketing strategy is email marketing.
Email marketing can be underrated sometimes, but the reality is that it’s one of the most cost-effective channels in all of B2B marketing. To use B2B email marketing as effectively as possible, consider a few quick tips.
- Send a welcome email to new subscribers. Make sure you have an automated welcome email that goes out to new subscribers. This shouldn’t be used to give a “hard sell,” but rather should be a way for you to say hi, express your gratitude for the subscription, and let them know a bit more about your brand. Be quick, friendly, and personable. Also, provide a word or two about what kinds of content the subscriber can expect from future emails.
- Curate content. Naturally, one of the ways you will use your email list is to send out content. However, keep in mind that not all leads are going to care about the same kinds of content. Try to maintain different lists, segment by interest level, and curate content accordingly.
- Consider a loyalty program. Keep in mind that your customers are going to expect a two-way street. That is, if they are going to keep up with your brand via marketing emails, they will want to know what’s in it for them. Display a clear value proposition from the get-go. Provide incentives for people to download your content, review your business, share social media posts, etc.
These are just a few examples of how email marketing can be effective within the context of B2B marketing strategies. And as we mentioned at the outset, these digital channels and touchpoints are all the more important in the post-pandemic age, where in-person meet-ups, trade shows, and networking events are still very much in question.
Chat with a B2B Marketing Agency Today
As you consider developing a strong digital marketing B2B strategy, we welcome you to reach out to Sefati & Co. We have ample expertise in helping enterprise clients develop effective strategies for outreach, branding, and lead generation, seamlessly integrating the three strands we have written about here. We would love to listen to your needs and expectations, and to advise you on finding marketing success in a post-pandemic world.
To schedule a consultation with our B2B marketing agency, we invite you to contact us at any time for 15 minutes discovery call.