The ever-changing landscape of digital marketing can make staying current difficult. It seems there is always a new trend, or a different channel that needs to be explored. This can take a deep bite out of your marketing budget. And, it’s not always clear what you are getting in return.
Casting a wider net is not the answer. Especially when wider nets are becoming expensive. The sure bet is to simply produce better results. Increase your B2B digital marketing ROI and get more bang for your buck.
Here are seven ways to hit more of your goals, service more of your KPIs, and promote growth in your organization by taking a smart approach to digital marketing.
THE SEVEN WONDERS OF SMART B2B INBOUND MARKETING
1 SMART Goals
Goal setting is fundamental to business success. Without direction, growth is hard to achieve.
But what kind of goals are you setting? Anyone can say they want more sales. That’s not a goal. It’s a desire. A far more actionable goal would be to generate 10% more sales revenue in Q4. That’s a smart goal. Everyone who hears it knows exactly what you expect and when. With a clearly defined target, your entire team can contribute and everyone will understand the plan. Every SMART goal has five characteristics.
- Specific: Goals must be detailed and unambiguous. Every goal should include who is expected to perform, what results are being sought, why the goal is important, and where the work will take place.
- Measurable: Only goals which can be definitively measured should be pursued. And, metrics should be determined in advance so everyone is weighing the results by the same standards.
- Attainable: Goals are not dreams. They should be reasonable to achieve based on real data and historic performance.
- Relevant: Goals should always serve to further your strategic plan and align with your current growth objectives.
- Timely: Goals must have deadlines for completion. Accountability and productivity will improve when a time frame is adhered to.
By utilizing a SMART framework, goals can become tools which optimize performance and push your organization over the top.
2 Develop Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your best customers. They represent the businesses you are selling to and which business is most likely to buy. Increasing your B2B marketing ROI requires creating highly targeted campaigns. The best way to accomplish this is through the creation of buyer personas.
Fortunately, this is not hard to do. You already have most of the information you need. Market research will define your ideal customer and this profile will be enhanced by interaction you have with existing buyers through information gathering such as surveys and interviews. Taking this data and creating a profile enables your marketing team to experience who they are targeting and fine tune your approach.
The best personas explore every relevant trait your customers share. From special interests to specific needs, everything that makes your customers who they are will be represented in a buyer persona. Depending on your business, you may require several different profiles to capture the full range of potential businesses you service.
A well-developed persona will allow you to specifically target your buyers utilizing content and messaging your customers will respond to. And, you will be able to personalize outreach, like lead nurturing, to ensure positive results.
3 Marketing Intelligence (a.k.a. iNBOUND iNTELLIGENCE)
In today’s marketplace information is available everywhere. Marketers who are able to use data and analytics to strengthen their campaigns are coming out on top. By combining inbound with math marketing, information becomes a weapon.
This iNBOUND iNTELLIGENCE is what sets forward thinking companies apart from their competitors.
- Big Data Mining: Big data is the driving force behind artificial intelligence models but you don’t have to wait for that technology to mature before reaping the benefits. Mining big data means consolidating vast amounts of relevant information and using it to recognize trends and patterns that are representative of your customer’s behavior to be used in predictive marketing and other advanced tools.
- Predictive Marketing: Simply put, predictive marketing allows you to use data science to forecast whether a campaign, or any marketing action, will most likely succeed or fail. To accomplish this, information is collected from appropriate sources, combined with your own customer data, and is used to build a customized model tailored to your business.
- Attribution Models: Marketing would be easy if customers always took the most direct path to your products. Unfortunately, that isn’t usually the case. Understanding which channels produced conversions and where in your funnel decisions were made is critical to planning and allocating resources. Attribution modelling does exactly that. By identifying touch points across channels that led to conversion and then assigning a value to the channel based on these findings, an attribution model can show you real ROI for all your platforms.
4 Lead Nurturing
As competition increases, so do your customers’ expectations. Longer sales cycles and more elaborate funnels make ongoing contact vital to the process unless you want your potential buyer getting bored or feeling neglected. Lead nurturing is now more important than ever to drive conversions.
Lead nurturing is all about developing relationships with your customers along every point of your funnel and throughout a prospect’s buying journey. It is more about listening than selling. Once you fully understand your prospect’s needs and concerns, you can deliver content that answers questions and solves problems.
Quality lead nurturing demands alignment between your marketing and sales teams in order to deliver as promised. With input from both groups, content can be strengthened and reflect real time input from buyers and bottom of the funnel leads.
5 B2B Marketing Automation
Except in the rarest of industries, the days of sending a single letter and expecting a sale are over. Today, customers expect a series of contacts and they want their content spread across multiple channels in varying formats. And, the distribution needs to be timed to maximize conversion rates.
Quality marketing automation, like HubSpot CRM, makes all this possible. It will understand where your prospect is in the sales cycle and let you know which premium content to send. Data is collected about your content’s performance, allowing you to make changes mid-stream. Automation allows you to send the right content to the right leads, personalizing the experience and driving conversions. Every stage of your funnel can be automated to optimize results.
High converting e-mail templates, workflows and sequences, personalized messages, internal notifications for customer actions, smart and reactive landing pages, and A/B tests are just a few of the powerful tools a CRM brings to the table to take the load off your teams and increase conversions.
6 Premium Content and Contextual Content
In a world where content has indeed become king, it is important to understand the types of content available to your prospects and how to best utilize your content to move leads through the funnel.
- Premium Content: Content serves many purposes. For a first-time visitor, general content is used to attract and engage, keeping a lead on the page long enough to entice them to take the next step. Premium content is the lure. The reward for clicking the button or giving personal information on a form. As a lead progresses through the funnel, premium content must represent more value and be of more immediate service. An overview white paper may suffice at the top of the funnel, but a sales-ready lead will expect something better. Increasing the value and the personalization of your content throughout the journey is an excellent way to keep a lead moving toward the sale. To keep all chances on your side, follow the Dynamic Smart Content framework and reap the revenue rewards.
- Contextual Content: Through better data collection, content has become smart. So smart, in fact, that contextual content can anticipate a viewer’s needs and adapt to their specific circumstances by leveraging data and delivering a tailormade piece of content based on the lead’s location, buying history, or even when they open the e-mail. Contextual content is creating a new user experience and is disrupting content marketing. With sophisticated personalization, engagement has never been higher. And, with higher engagement come more sales.
7 Caring for Your Existing Clients
So much time, energy, and resources are spent on securing new business that companies often forget about their existing customers. You know, the ones who have already paid their money and have been loyal to your brand. After all the nurturing and premium offers while in the funnel, it is easy for a client to feel left out in the cold once the sale is made and contact becomes less frequent.
Neglecting existing clients is a critical mistake. They are your best ambassadors. You solved their problem and they should be walking billboards for your brand. Keeping existing clients in the fold requires customer-centric communication. This means accepting that every communication with your organization is an opportunity for you to express appreciation for their business and to cement your relationship. Customers who receive exceptional customer care stay loyal, so go on and delight them!
Developing ongoing customer care means using information you have about existing clients to further personalize their experience. Send offers tailored specifically to their purchasing history. Reference their preferences in communications. Make them feel special and unique.
Are You on Your Way?
Marketing is too expensive to continue not getting what you are paying for. If you are not sure if your investment is panning out, make some changes. From SMART goal setting to nurturing existing clients, these seven strategies will take your B2B digital marketing to the next level. Data driven and customer-centric, each has the potential to drive your business to better conversions, higher sales, and less waste.