Jimmy McCann, head of digital strategy at international digital marketing agency, Search Laboratory, highlights the main pitfalls that B2B brands face when it comes to marketing strategy, and how to overcome them.
No matter how far through 2019 we find ourselves, it is never an inopportune moment for B2B brands to re-evaluate their marketing strategy and ensure that all potential and current clients are being reached.
The evolution of digital means that the marketing industry is constantly changing, and brands need to constantly revisit and adapt both their business and marketing strategy if they are to maintain a competitive edge.
Long gone are the days when content marketing simply meant posting a few blog posts on the company website each month. Content has evolved to include not only written copy, but everything that goes out on behalf of the business; this includes everything from social media to videos, podcasts and whitepapers.
Creative and informative content can be used to attract and engage with your target audience early on in their buying process, but B2B businesses often fail to have an effective content strategy in place – if they have one at all.
Ensuring that you have a consistent and joined-up content strategy in place is essential if you are to reach existing customers and attract new prospects, as well as establish your brand as an industry leader.
One pitfall that B2B businesses can face when developing a marketing strategy is inaccurate or limited data. The most important step you can take is to ensure your data is as accurate as it can be and that you’re tracking all the right things that tie into your overall objectives. Lots of businesses neglect this and it can result in decision-making from flawed data.
One often overlooked feature of Google Analytics is the ability to enrich site behaviour data with first-party customer data. Including this information allows you to understand the stages users are at in their purchase journey as well as the ability to segment into customer types (as per your unique definitions).
Following on from the previous point - it’s important for B2B businesses to collect and analyse their customer data and use these insights to guide their marketing strategy. Utilising these insights in Google’s advertising platforms allows you to target your specific audience better and spend your marketing budget more efficiently in order to reach new prospects.
Customer data is particularly important when creating effective PPC and programmatic remarketing campaigns, as it can be used to identify where in the customer buying journey someone is and target them accordingly.
Search Engine Optimisation
It is a misconception that SEO is only relevant for B2C brands and should not be considered for a B2B business. Research by Google and Millward Brown Digital shows that 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search online. B2B businesses need to prioritise their company’s SEO in order to improve their online visibility for relevant keywords and search terms.
Ensuring that your brand is consistently at the top of SERPs through SEO best practice will ensure that you are at the forefront of clients’ minds throughout the purchasing process. Of course, this has to be backed up by strong branding, quality work and proven results before securing a new client. However, the consistent exposure and reiteration of your brand at various stages of your customers' journeys will ensure you are a prominent and influential option in the final business decision.
When expanding your B2B business into international markets, it’s important that you get the messaging right in order to compete against local businesses in the SERPS.
Many translation agencies simply translate web content without considering cultural differences. Localising your website and its content using mother-tongue SEO specialists is essential if you are to successfully launch your brand into new markets, as they understand the audience’s culture; from what motivates their purchases, to what they consider to be trustworthy. Mother-tongue speakers are also able to conduct thorough local keyword research, ensuring the words used on the website and in campaigns are reflective of those that are most common in that specific market.
By using mother-tongue SEO experts to localise your website for new markets, you improve your chance of resonating with users internationally, right from the outset.
Jimmy McCann is head of digital strategy at international digital marketing agency, Search Laboratory. With a team of 140 people including in-house mother-tongue linguists who can cover over 35 languages, Search Laboratory has offices in Leeds, London and New York and delivers digital marketing campaigns for clients around the world.
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