Six B2B Digital Marketing Concepts to Keep in Mind for 2017
November 11, 20163 min read
Ah, the holidays! When we visit with crazy relatives, eat one too many holiday cookies, ring in the New Year and, if you’re a marketer, plan for 2017.
Did you know that Santa lives at Northwoods, not the North Pole? And you’ve been such a good marketer all year, that he’s asked us to pass along a special gift: Six tips, tricks and trends for B2B marketing strategies for a happy, healthy ROI all year long.
- Digital first. B2C companies have focused almost solely on digital marketing for years. B2B companies have been slower to embrace it. If your company still markets through separate traditional and digital silos, 2017 is the year to make them tumble down the same chimney. Incorporate and thoroughly integrate digital marketing into your overall B2B marketing plan, so all your marketing efforts complement one another. This will enlarge your overall audience and appeal to younger, digitally savvy decision makers. (Need help convincing your boss digital marketing is worthwhile? Check out our blog on the topic.)
- Figure out who you’re talking to. Most B2B marketers have at least a rough idea of their customers and potential customers. Digital-first marketing gets you way beyond a rough idea. Developing clear marketing personas will help you and your sales team zero in on precisely the messages that resonate with customers and prospects. Often, you develop personas through interviews and surveys. They take time and resources, but yield actionable knowledge and give you another point of contact with customers and prospects.
- Content is still really, really important. I know, I know, if you’re a B2B digital marketer with a pulse, you’ve heard this before. But it’s worth saying again. Developing quality content within a coherent strategy will likely lead to the greatest SEO and lead-generation success. If you’re among the more than 50% of B2B marketers without a documented content strategy, change that in 2017. This is known territory: Develop clear goals, establish an editorial calendar, use data to drive your work, and measure your success.
- Mobile websites are really, really, important. Most B2B companies migrated to responsive websites when “mobilegeddon” struck during the spring of 2015. If that revolution passed you by, catch up. Move to a mobile-friendly site this year, especially because Google continues to use the “mobile-friendliness” of a website as a ranking signal.
- Personalization with a B2B spin. We’ve all seen ads pop up on our Facebook feeds for, say, items we recently browsed on Amazon. Although B2B companies rarely engage in this level of personalization and generally need not do so, buyers have come to expect some level of personalization throughout the marketing and sales process. Most B2B companies can attain the appropriate level of personalization through persona development (see item two, above) and marketing automation. These programs automatically send personalized content to users based on their actions on your site. (New to B2B marketing automation? Check out these tips for developing a strategy.)
- Data, data, data. Track your data. Know what succeeds and what fails. Measurement is the key advantage of any B2B digital marketing strategy, so use the measurement tools that digital offers. Implement Google Analytics Tag Manager to ensure tracking of all the events on your website. GA Dashboards can help you organize your data by displaying all the most important information in one spot. Remember, tracking your success (especially your content marketing success), will help you demonstrate value to your bosses and will guide your strategic and tactical decisions through 2017 and beyond.
Happy New Year!