B2B Online Marketing
Want to take your B2B organization to the next level? Do you want to use the internet as an efficient sales channel? If so, a B2B online marketing strategy is critical. Through a structured plan, based purely on verified data, your B2B organization can make a mark in the online world.
Gain valuable insights into your B2B customer’s DMU
In B2B online marketing, you will be dealing with DMUs (Decision Making Units) and not individuals. There are various roles under the DMU, namely: Gatekeeper, Initiator, Decision-maker, Purchaser, User, and Advisor. The person searching for product/service info to buy them is the most important to reach. As a B2B marketer, that person is the most essential one to get in touch with. You should be able to respond to the needs of your buyer group with the right channel and the right message. It is therefore necessary to have insight into what the needs of your DMU are.
Within the DMU, it is often the purchaser and advisor who collect information and communicate it to the others in the DMU. Online visibility is required for this. To make a DMU transparent, take the following steps:
- Determine the roles within the DMU for your most important customer group.
- Indicate the roles that are most likely to be responsible for gathering information.
- Use data from ERP, CRM, or other systems to describe the needs, motivations, behavior, and wishes of the responsible roles (previous step).
- Visualize the results of the research (Buyer Persona) if necessary.
Set B2B Online Marketing Goals and KPIs
Now that you know what your buyer group looks like, it’s time to set goals. Without setting goals, you have no overview and structure. Thus, you cannot measure results. An advantage for a B2B organization is that it is also clear internally which course it wants to take. A goal should always be SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. A goal for B2B online marketing can be: to increase the turnover through the organic channel by 10% within one year.
You set goals based on one of the phases of the Customer Journey. The Customer Journey is a certain pattern that the buyer group goes through. This applies to B2B online marketing as well. You have different theoretical models of the Customer Journey. We take the simplest model and that is the See-Think-Do-Care phase. The stages are simply described below:
- See: The phase in which the latent need is perceived by the B2B customer.
- Think: The phase in which the customer develops the need and searches for the product/service.
- Do: The phase in which the customer places an order or signs a contract.
- Care: The phase in which you try to bind customers to your brand or company and motivate them to make repeat purchases.
Determining the right KPIs
Once the goals have been set, you formulate the KPIs. A KPI is a core performance indicator and provides insight into our progress towards the goal. If you look at your previous goal, you could formulate the KPIs below. Each KPI can be linked to a phase of the Customer Journey:
- The traffic to the page/website.
- The position increases on relevant keywords.
- The click-through rate on top keywords.
- The conversion rate on the page/website.
- The number of applications from new dealers.
- The number of downloaded white papers.
- The number of contact requests following an email campaign.
- The number of people who click through to a location in the dealer locator.
Measuring = Knowing
Everything is usually measurable online. You naturally want to make the goals discussed above measurable. Making goals measurable in b2b online marketing is possible with Google Tag Manager. Implementing and structuring Google Tag Manager for your website and campaigns is a time-consuming affair and requires a lot of technical knowledge.
The most important things within Google are the ‘Tags’ and ‘Triggers’. A tag is an event or conversion goal that you set for your website. Think of the conversion rate in lead requests on one specific page. The target is performed with certain actions on the page. Think of a click on the request button. They call this a trigger.
Drafting & Dashboarding
Good and automated dashboarding helps to monitor results and KPIs in B2B online marketing. You can do dashboarding for your website with the free tool called Google Data Studio. Data from Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, and other solutions can be integrated into the system. The data you want to use is essential when drawing up a good dashboard in Google Data studio. The data that you put in the dashboarding must correspond to the KPIs drawn up earlier. The dashboard must also remain precise and free from clutter. Because too much data affects the overview.
Channel choices to implement your B2B online marketing strategy
In B2B online marketing, there are countless channels through which you can reach your customers. Each channel has its advantages. The channels are deployed within different phases of the Customer Journey. The channels should follow your B2B online marketing strategy, after assessing your Buyer Persona.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the organic increase in search positions for keywords in Google or other search engines. Everyone searches in Google these days, including your B2B customers. Search engine optimization for B2B online marketing is mainly used in the orientation phase of the Customer Journey. SEO is a long-term affair. The strategy differs based on the website, and the results take some time to show up. Analyzing the important SEO factors is the foundation for improving the findability of your website and achieving business goals. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll cover some important points.
Analysis with an SEO technical audit
Many defects of a website cannot be detected at the outer visual layer. It is important to perform a technical SEO audit for the baseline analysis of the website. You do this with the necessary tools such as Screaming Frog. Based on the SEO audit, you can get actionable insights to improve indexing and speed issues with the website. We usually include the following in an SEO audit:
- Load speed (Including image optimization).
- Broken links.
- Redirect loops.
- Robots & Sitemap file.
- URL and Menu structure.
- Mobile-friendliness of the website.
Conducting keyword research
The art of B2B online marketing is in finding out the search intent of the keyword with keyword research. Is the person entering the search query a potential B2B customer? Does he belong to your target group? Conducting thorough keyword research is crucial for all further SEO processes. If you bet on keywords with a dubious search intent or too large a search volume for a website with low authority, then you are wasting your resources on the wrong leads. In keyword research, you pay attention to various things, such as:
- Search intent of the query.
- Search volumes.
- Search positions for keywords.
- Current authority of the website.
- Competition for content and authority.
Drawing up a content strategy
You draw up a content strategy based on the results of keyword research. When you know with which keywords you want to build a page and with what intention your B2B target group is searching, you can create appropriate content for the same. The appeal of the content and the correct implementation of attractive CTAs within the content is important. Within the content, we pay attention to the following things:
- Readability of text.
- Images & White papers.
- Keywords in meta title, headers, and body text.
- The keyword density is correct, and the text reads naturally.
Building a natural link profile is the most important when it comes to link building, or gaining authority. This means that you want to get backlinks from relevant high-authority websites. Both quantity and quality are important here. So you want to get backlinks from the bottom layer and very reputable websites.
- The number of referring domains.
- Relevance of referring domains.
A natural flow in link profile, in do-follow links, and an anchor text ratio.
Quantitative link building
A layer of backlinks indicates permanent relevant links to external websites. It forms a strong foundation of a link profile. These types of backlinks can be included in home page links, directories, and SEO blogs. Quantitative links are obtained through link exchanges and link buying. Many B2B organizations that want to be found in Google, do not have the network to obtain these backlinks. If that’s the case, help from an external agency is unavoidable.
Qualitative blog postings
Another method to obtain quality backlinks is to approach, for a fee, quality websites with high authority and relevance to your business. The advantage of this tactic is that it creates awareness of your company/brand and gives you a high-quality backlink. To get off to a solid start, the following step-by-step plan is a good starting point:
- Search Google for informational searches related to your industry. Think of ‘best b2b software’.
- Only select blog sites from the search engine results page. Don’t look for websites that sell products or provide services. These websites often don’t post your content. Deze websites plaatsen vaak je content niet;
- Write strong content that is relevant to the visitor group on the website.
- Include an external backlink in the content. Make sure this backlink goes to an informative page for the reader.
- Send the content to the website owner.
We are happy to help you get quality backlinks on relevant websites with high authority. We have a network of 3,000 websites. Guaranteed that websites from our network are relevant to your target group and that website owners place a backlink on your website.
The use of digital PR is a good move in B2B online marketing. The greatest merits of online PR are the news value it generates in the media and a backlink placement on a very high authority domain, such as a business radio channel. A thorough and well-thought-out strategy is indispensable if you want to have success using this method. So start at the beginning and follow the step-by-step plan below.
- Collaborate with colleagues to come up with unique, creative, newsworthy, and informative news items. Items that people like to read. This can be about seasonal influences on products or other remarkable things such as current events in the industry and the influence of current events on the sector.
- Obtain data to develop the idea down to the last detail. You do this with existing online data from stock or CRM systems. If the data is not available, survey your customers.
- Analyze the data and prepare a research report.
- Create good substantive content. The content should be captivating, interesting, and remarkable. You can do this in the form of white paper.
- Turn off the content among journalists. This is a difficult point when you don’t have the right network.
We use a database with more than 10,000 journalists, who are listed by name (not just editorial@ or info@). We use this tool to reach all relevant journalists, the most relevant of which we can also send a ‘personal’ e-mail. This often works effectively. With press releases, it is possible to get articles on general news websites as well as on industry-related websites.
SEA (Search Engine Advertising)
SEA is committed to getting high ranks in Google with Ads. A high CPC (Cost Per Click) bid and quality score (how relevant and optimized your page is for the search) is important for Google. Here too, the keyword research forms the foundation for the Google Ads campaigns to be used. SEA is used to achieve short-term goals. When you stop the ad campaigns, Google will no longer show the ad(s). This is the biggest drawback of paid advertisements. So via SEA, you don’t build anything except short-lived popularity.
An advantage of SEA over SEO is the ability to re-reach your target audience. This is called retargeting. Searchers who have previously interacted with your website can be reached again with this method. Examples of retargeting options on the Google Display Network are Dumpert.nl, YouTube.com, Nu.nl, and many more. For B2B online marketing of a news site client, Nu.nl can be a good site for retargeting.
To properly implement Google Ads campaigns in your B2B organization, we recommend that you go through the step-by-step plan below.
- Discuss with your team the budget to spend and max. CPC for ads. Prioritize the objective of your Ads and the product/service you want to promote.
- Determine which pages on your website best match the user’s search query. In case there are no pages yet, create new pages.
- Adjust the menu structure. Pay attention to the user-friendliness of the viewfinder. Clarity plays an important role in this.
- Set up the Google Ads account correctly.
- Create ad groups for your product group or services.
- Add ads to an ad group. Ensure that the ads in one ad group are related to each other.
- Write the ads and make sure the Quality Score is as high as possible. An ad must trigger a specific action. Use one of Cialdini’s influencing principles for this purpose.
- Match the right keywords to the ads. Obtain the right keywords from keyword research.
- Link the site to the campaigns. This improves the Quality Score of an Ad.
- Determine the most relevant regions for your target audience.
- Launch the ads and monitor the results in terms of CTA, impressions, and CTR on the page.
Social Advertising is a very nice tool in B2B online marketing to get new lead requests and to get in touch with potential customers. Target groups of B2B organizations, in particular, can be reached via LinkedIn. It is a platform where you can directly target B2B clients. LinkedIn marketing makes it possible to reach specific groups with interests and functions. In addition to LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram also remain interesting social media channels to advertise in, depending on the target group. Other benefits of Social Advertising are:
- You can use videos and images in an ad. Typically, the conversion rates of these kinds of ads are higher than text ads.
- You can retarget people who have previously interacted with your ad (retargeting).
Email marketing is mainly used to bind customers to you. The advantage of email marketing is that nowadays you can easily send out mail to your customers via (free) tools such as Mailchimp. A common mistake is that one message is sent to all B2B customers of the company. As a result, you often make mistakes because a message does not have to be interesting for everyone. In the worst case, a B2B customer unsubscribes. It is therefore important to have a good insight into who your customer is (Buyer Persona).
Control, Adjustment & Evaluation
Control and adjustment are possible based on the goals, KPIs, and dashboards drawn up for this purpose. If data shows that an advertising campaign in Google Ads is not running well, it is advisable to implement the changes. Think of changing the title of the ad, call-to-actions on the page, or adding site links to the ad. You logically make a change to campaigns that do not deliver the desired result.