As technology has taken over almost every aspect of our daily lives, the B2B digital marketing landscape has changed significantly. Among B2B buyers, 67% have switched to purchasing from vendors that offer more consumer-like experiences. This means that B2B buyers are looking for more convenience and personalization when shopping with vendors.
It's no longer enough to have a web presence alone. Technology advancements have provided consumers with new ways to search for solutions. As a result, businesses have quickly learned to adapt to these new technological changes to maintain a competitive edge and reach their target customers.
Businesses that fail to pivot their digital marketing strategy to meet the needs of their audience in 2023 will be more likely to lose customers to their competitors. Even more, businesses that fail to take advantage of new opportunities and technologies will lag behind in innovation. However, adapting to new consumer behaviors and expectations can keep your company ahead of the curve.
Today, over 70% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote or digital interactions, according to a study conducted by Mckinsey. Additionally, over 70% of B2B buyers spend over half of their research time online.
Business marketers need to prioritize inbound marketing, where businesses can form connections by solving problems for their audience. To do this, companies must have more than just a quality website to reach their customers. It's essential to be present at all online touchpoints to ensure that your potential customers have a well-rounded opinion of your products and services.
One essential touchpoint to prioritize is your content. B2B buyers consume an average of 13 content pieces before making a decision. Quality content doesn't just help you attract the right audience to your website but is also influential in the decision-making process.
The marketing gap between B2B and B2C businesses is closing. Previously, there was a clear distinction between marketing tactics used between B2B and B2C companies. But as corporate buyers are looking for a more consumer-like experience, B2B companies must adapt accordingly.
Just because your B2B business model has not adopted a consumer-focus approach in the past doesn't mean your customers don't want it and that you shouldn't pay attention to new trends. Even if you're not paying attention to them, you can be certain your competition will be.
Ultimately, what consumers experience in retail brands is slowly becoming what's expected of corporate vendors and partners. This means:
B2B companies can adapt by taking on a Digital-First approach to their marketing strategies. Companies need to make scalable content that is evergreen and compounds over time. Here is an explanation of what this means:
Evergreen content is SEO-optimized content that continuously stays relevant over a long period of time and gradually increases ROI. Evergreen content isn't time-sensitive and can continue to drive traffic to your website due to its relevance. Common evergreen content formats include:
These formats don't automatically make your content evergreen, but they often lend themselves to more evergreen writing. Regardless of what format you use, businesses should be intentional about creating evergreen content for more effectiveness. Here are a few ways to make your content more evergreen:
Compounding content is able to serve multiple audiences at the same time. This enables businesses to simplify their marketing efforts while receiving optimal results. Compounding content also increases visibility over time and gradually increases ROI.
According to a study conducted by HubSpot, a compounding post had 2.5x as many visits compared to a decaying post (content that has lost organic traffic over the previous 12 months) six months later. After 12 months, that same post received 3.3x as many visits.
Not only does compounding content build and maximize your visits, but it also creates an omnipresence for your brand. Having omnipresence is beneficial because it means you're meeting your customers where they are.
But how can businesses create compounding content? They can do it by having a consistent message, creating content with a relevant benefit to their audience, and having interactive engagement every time their audience reaches a piece of content from their company.
Evergreen content is a powerful marketing strategy that can maximize your company's return on investment in the long run. When done correctly, evergreen content compounds in value over time and continues to increase in ROI.
For instance, one evergreen post may receive 100 visitors initially and generate 2-10 leads. In the future, this same post can receive 10,000 visitors and generate 200-1000 leads, creating exponential growth.
Many businesses have this same sentiment, but it doesn't mean that digital marketing isn't practical for business success. On the contrary, the marketing landscape has changed tremendously and there's no better time than now to implement a new strategy that wins.
There are several reasons why a previous strategy might not have worked, including:
It's time to reset your expectations and change your relationship with your customers. By abandoning most of your preconceived notions, you can create a digital marketing strategy that wins.
A marketing strategy is a plan of action to promote your product or service. Even more than this, your marketing game plan must include essential steps to successfully reach prospects and turn them into customers.
An effective marketing strategy will enable you to stay at the top of your prospective customers' minds when the time comes. It also puts your business in a position to win at all times.
To do this, companies must understand their competitive landscape and their target market. It's also important to understand your company's resources and constraints, set actional goals, and prioritize the best short and long-term ROI for your business.
Are you ready to create a digital marketing strategy that will help you consistently land customers? This starts with creating a strategy that enables businesses to reach their target customers and successfully move them along the marketing funnel.
Before getting started, businesses must determine what their focus area is. This means thinking about what you would like to accomplish. Here are a few things to consider:
Your focus area is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Here are four steps to creating a winning digital marketing strategy in 2023:
Understanding your target audience is the first step in creating the best strategy for your business. But how can companies better understand their target audience? There are several tactics you can use, including:
Let's take a further look at how B2B businesses can discover their target audience.
A marketing funnel describes your customer's journey with you. There are several stages, including awareness, consideration, and decision. In the awareness stage, the prospect recognizes that there is a problem and potential solutions. In the consideration stage, the prospect begins to show interest in a group of products or services. They then begin to evaluate a certain brand. In the decision stage, the prospect decides whether to make a purchase.
Marketing funnels are essential because they simplify the customer journey and make it easier for companies to follow along. But perhaps the greatest advantage of marketing funnels is measurability. The funnels show at what stage you're losing customers, enabling you to pivot your strategy.
Customer journey maps help you tell the story of your customer's experience with your company across all touchpoints. A customer journey map ensures that you reach all customers, whether they interact with you on social media, email, or another channel.
A customer journey map is important because it is a strategic approach to better understanding your customers' expectations. It also optimizes the customer experience.
Additionally, it enables businesses to take a personalized approach to their digital marketing strategy and ensures there is a personalized experience across all touchpoints or each individual across all channels.
A marketing audit is an assessment performed to analyze your current marketing strategy. The purpose of a marketing audit is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing efforts. A marketing audit has several steps, including:
Conducting an audit is vital because an honest audit of your performance from the previous year enables you to determine areas of improvement and allows you to explore new strategies, and potential strategies to abandon. It also allows businesses to meet their customers where they are for better marketing results.
There is power in creating high-quality content because it improves discoverability and plays a vital role in developing a successful digital marketing strategy. By simply creating content, businesses can effectively give their audience a better sense of who they are, what they stand for, and their offerings. Regardless of who sees the content, making it accessible for easy digestion and distribution makes it easier for the reader.
When content is created with the purpose of authority and relevance, it makes it easier for:
Additionally, high-quality content creates an opportunity for a more natural follow-up and moves users through the market funnel.
After businesses evaluate their performance and update their research, it's time to think about developing a strategy for the new year. High-quality content is a primary driver of attracting new leads and successfully moving your audience along the marketing funnel.
But companies first need to perform a Content Gap Analysis, which identifies the strongest pieces of content, weakest pieces, and which pieces should be developed in 2023. With a Content Gap Analysis, marketers want to identify the content needed for each phase of the funnel, which is broken down using customer personas.
The first thing to do when creating a content strategy is to identify what is already performing well. If some content is outdated, give it a quick refresh to ensure that it maintains its relevance. The next thing you'll want to do is take a look at your content that exists but isn't online or customer-facing. See what areas of this content could use improvement.
Once you've completed those two steps, the next thing you'll want to do is take a look at your Content Gap Analysis chart and evaluate and prioritize your content based on how difficult it is to create and how much value it adds to users.
It's not enough to just revamp your existing content, businesses must establish clear goals for 2023. To help you identify your goals, follow the SMART framework. This includes:
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators. It is a quantifiable measure of performance over time for a specific objective. For each phase of your marketing funnel and any other related tactics within your marketing channels, KPIs help businesses determine what good and bad outcomes look like for their companies. Here is a general guideline of how you can evaluate your efforts:
Companies must also know how they will measure success. The more time spent compiling data, the less time is available to review and execute. For this reason, companies should think about their Marketing Technology Stack and see what they can do to simplify the reporting process.
Additionally, businesses should be sure to create a reporting workflow before collecting data—not after. Think about how you can automatically generate reports amongst your team to achieve routine and collective reviews.
Once your content strategy is in place, it's time to put your plan in motion and work on consistently publishing high-quality content. To do this, it's imperative that you create a workflow and approval process. When starting out, it's common for your workflow to only have 10 steps. By the third time you go through the process, it's likely you'll double or even triple your steps.
Creating high-quality content can be challenging, which means there will always be some degree of failure. The goal is to be in relentless pursuit of incremental gains.
Successfully creating high-quality content requires the right contributors outside of the marketing department. There are several departments that may have their hands on deck, including:
Involving multiple departments in your content plan, getting feedback, and soliciting participation will improve the quality of your content and boost your ROI. Ultimately, the better your potential customers understand your brand, what you do and how you do it, the fewer questions they will have along the way.
Don't be afraid to move outside the office as well when looking for insight for your content creation. You can reach out to partners, influencers, or someone else to see in what ways you can improve your content success.
As your ideas transform into action and you begin to generate data, it's time to revisit your initial goals to see how well you are meeting them and using your KPIs to analyze success. This will show whether you are moving in the right direction or whether changes need to be made.
If you automate your data and establish regular check-ins, there shouldn't be too many surprises when analyzing it. Ultimately, businesses should be tracking their efforts more than they are reviewing them.
Some marketing efforts should be tracked weekly, while other efforts may require a larger sample size of data for effective evaluation. When businesses require a larger sample size, tracking monthly or quarterly is common.
Regardless of your tracking methods, avoid allowing your biases to take over and cause you to either double down on one marketing initiative or omit one altogether. Evaluating success takes a lot of work and time. Understanding this early will improve your commitment to the evaluation process.
Developing a successful digital marketing strategy isn't easy, but it can be done. At Steel Croissant, we have spent years learning how to build an effective strategy for brands by relying on multiple tools to gain team alignment and progress tracking, which has allowed us to consistently output high-quality work.
We also rely on the best innovative tools, like Slack, Monday, Loom, Webflow, Google Search Console, Grammarly, and more to simplify content creation and ensure that brands have a winning content strategy that helps them achieve their goals.
The pace of change is rapidly accelerating. While we don't believe that it's necessary to hop on every trend, it's vital that we know what they are and think about how we can utilize them.
We want to help your brand create a durable growth strategy that paves the way for long-term stability. Contact us to learn how we can empower your digital marketing strategy for 2023.
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