As you work on perfecting your digital marketing tactics, you have many options available to you.
Your goal is to select the tactics that are going to be the most effective for your business and then employ those digital marketing tactics in ways that eventually result in conversions. In order to help you accomplish this, we have created a list of the nine most popular digital marketing strategies, and come up with some best practices that you can use as you implement your content marketing efforts.
If you only plan to use a couple of digital marketing tactics, blogging should be one of them. It is inexpensive to set up and run a blog, and it takes very little technical know how to get started. However, this does not mean that you can simply jump in with both feet and get the results that you want. If you want a blog that results in subscribers, shares, and engagement, you have to do a lot of planning, and follow a few guidelines.
- Never Write a Blog Post Without a Plan
Before you begin generating blog post ideas, know what you want to tell people and what you want them to do with that information. For example, are you writing a blog post in support of a current marketing campaign? If so, you want the tone and message that you use to match the other content that is being created for that marketing campaign. You’ll probably also want to add a CTA button that leads to the appropriate landing page. On the other hand, if you are simply looking for shares and engagement, you might want to write about a trending topic in your niche, and then encourage social shares.
- Know Who You Are Targeting on a Macro and Micro Level
If you do not have clearly defined customer personas already, you will need them before you begin blogging. Then, figure out which of them will be interested in reading your blog (not all will – you will have to reach them in other ways). In addition to this, you should also know which of your persona(s) you are targeting with each individual blog post.
- Brand Consistency is Huge
When it comes to both content and aesthetics, never use sight of your brand. This means using the same fonts and color schemes when you set up your blog as you did on the remainder of your website. It also means that the same values you adhere to on your website, on social media, in your advertising, etc., should be carried over into the content of your blog posts. The last thing you want to do is publish blog posts that contradict your overall messaging.
- Put Thought Into Your Publishing Strategy
It may help to think of your blog as an industry trade magazine. If you read a trade magazine, you will see a variety of articles. Some of these will be geared towards experts and decision makers, others will be geared towards entry level consumers. In addition to this, there will be opinion pieces, sponsored content that plugs specific products and services, instructional posts, and even a bit of fluff. A trade magazine publisher would never put out a copy of a monthly publication that contained only one or two types of content. Treat your blog the same way by ensuring that you release a variety of posts each month.
- Vary Your Content Type
In order to ensure that you are always producing engaging content, make an effort to publish various types of content. This is not to be confused with publishing content targeting different personas, or content addressing different topics. This means that you should produce a combination of video content, infographics, text based content, and image heavy content on a regular basis.
- Be Authoritative and Opinionated
Thought leadership is extremely important in B2B. Don’t be afraid to take a stand and give your opinion. Make predictions. Tell your readers what you think is up and coming in your industry, and what you think is a dud. If you are afraid to risk giving your opinion, how are your potential customers supposed to view you as an authority figure?
Many marketing strategists have realized the potential for using a social media presence to drive leads. This is why more businesses than ever are becoming active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms. An active social media presence leads to brand familiarity, and that makes it easier to close deals when the time comes. In addition to this, social media can be used as a platform to establish industry expertise, developing relationships, and then ultimately as opening of a sales funnel. Unfortunately, many social media marketing strategies for B2b don’t get the results people want, because not enough time is spent strategizing how to use the various social media platforms. A good social media strategy must include:
- A plan for using targeting keywords
- Optimizing for social media searches as well as search engines
- Determining which groups and chats to join
- Creating a list of companies to specifically target for relationship building
- Marrying social media strategy with existing marketing campaigns
- Determining which tools will be used to create and promote posts
- Establishing the importance of knowing the purpose of each post (e.g.: establishing expertise, generating conversation, relationship building)
When used effectively, email newsletters are a great vehicle to establish thought leadership, to keep readers interested and informed, and to drive people to your website. Here are a few best practices for E-newsletters:
- Include an Easy to find Unsubscribe Link in Each Email – Hopefully most recipients won’t use it, but you want to make the process easy for those who do.
- Open With a Brief Disclaimer That The Recipient is Receiving the Email Because They Subscribed
- For Lengthy Articles Include The Intro in The Email Then Link to Your Website For The Remainder of The Post
- Each letter should contain between three and six articles on a variety of topics
- Include some visual or video content in each newsletter
- Provide a link to view the newsletter online for those who are not fans of HTML email
The use of video content in B2B marketing is becoming more and more popular as people realize it’s potential to generate leads, boost SEO, and create engagement. However, in order to get the most benefit from video marketing there are a few guidelines you should follow:
- Each video should have a single purpose, it should be short, and it should get right to the point. Here are a few examples.
- To introduce or demonstrate a new product
- To give a brief history of your company
- To introduce key people in your organization
- To market directly to a specific organization or demographic
- Know who each video is going to target – your goals will be different depending on who will be watching your video
- If the video is part of a larger campaign – coordination is key
- Remember that the sweet spot for video length is between three and five minutes
- Invest in good production quality
Images and Photos
Trust increases significantly when people are able to associate faces to names. This is as true in B2B as it is in B2C. This is why one of the wisest use of photographs in B2B content marketing is to simply include photographs of yourself and your team on your website, social media, and blogs. In addition to this, blog posts and articles that contain visuals are attractive to visual learners, and they can help you to illustrate a point in a picture that might take you several paragraphs of text to make. This is why graphs, infographics, pictures, and illustrations get lots of shares and result in a lot of engagement. Of course, one of the best ways to use images to ensure that all of your products are present on your website with a high resolution photograph and a great description. A final note about images in your content; give your files meaningful names. For example, use chrome_tailpipe_harleydavison.jpg instead of chtphd_123.jpg. You’ll get better SEO results.
A microsite is a smaller website that you create for a specific purpose. For example, some companies create microsites for different countries if they are selling products and services on an international scale. You can also create microsites to go with various marketing campaigns, to tell the story of an important project, or to highlight a particular product or service that you really want to push. If a customer really wants to learn more about a campaign or product, routing them to a microsite gives them a highly focused experience without a lot of distractions. You will also find that it is more cost effective to quickly construct a microsite than it is to add a new page to your existing website. Finally, there are proven SEO benefits to creating microsites as your content will be highly relevant to users perform keyword searches.
Yes, infographics were included in the blurb about images and photos. However, this visual means of conveying information warrants its own section as well. Infographics are a great tool for present readers with a lot of information in an easily digestible way. Infographics also make it easy to explain complex ideas and topics. Learning to create good infographics takes a bit of time and effort, so it is important to be sure that you get the most benefit out of them as you can.
- Be sure that creating an infographic is a good idea
- Your audience should understand and be receptive to infographics
- The infographic should add value to your blog post or web page
- The infographic should meet a specific need such as
- Target your infographic towards people who are likely to share it on social media
- Remember your branding when creating your infographic
- Be prepared to go through several iterations before your infographic is ready for public consumption
As you and your team become more skilled at creating infographics, you can consider using more advanced techniques such as creating interactive infographics. With interactive infographics, various elements of the infographic are clickable, and will take readers to more in depth content or even landing pages.
If you create a mobile app or purchase one from a developer, you can provide existing customers with a convenient and portable way to make purchases, review orders, research products and services, and consume mobile friendly content that you make available through the app. However, the creation, testing, deployment, and maintenance of a standalone app takes a lot of man hours and almost always involves a significant cash investment. When everything works well, both you and your customers (potential and existing) will be glad you made the effort. If it doesn’t work well, you will have a costly and embarrassing mistake on your hands. Here are a few tips for ensuring that your mobile app will be a success.
- Test thoroughly through every step of the development process and do not put anything into production without Beta testing it with a select group of consumers
- Have a maintenance plan in place before deployment
- Seek user feedback on the look and functionality of the app
- Develop for a true interactive experience
- Provide users with offline functionality
- Don’t limit your app to mobile users
- Use analytics to track downloads and the ways that users are using your app
Branded Content Tools
Branded content tools are tools that you provide to users, usually via your website or a downloadable app that provides them with a solution to problem or some type of useful functionality. For example, if you visit the website of your local grocery store, they might have an online tool that allows you to search recipes. Then, when you select a recipe you want, a shopping list and cooking instructions are made available to you. That is a branded content tool. One way that you can implement branded content tools in your B2B marketing strategy is to provide your visitors with a simple set of calculators that they can use to determine cost, money savings, and time savings if they elect to use your products.
Too many B2B content marketers assume that their marketing efforts are limited compared to those in B2C niches. This couldn’t be further from the truth. People are still as attracted to elements such as images, video, interactive tools, and mobile friendly options when making purchasing decisions for companies as they are when making purchasing decisions to themselves. As long as you know your customer and your brand, you can use almost every one of the digital marketing tactics here to expand knowledge or your brand, build relationships, and generate leads.