Digital marketing is changing faster than B2B marketers can keep up. In fact, in a 2013 Digital Distress survey by Adobe, 76% of the respondents stated that marketing had changed more in the past two years than in the past fifty years.
All marketers have felt the effect of this fast-paced change. B2B marketers are the most affected because their work involves a smaller audience market, longer sales cycles, and a higher price of tickets. Besides, they have to market to a large number of decision-makers, which is unlike their B2C counterparts who sell their products directly.
As a result, B2B digital marketers face several challenges. In this article, we look at three common obstacles in B2B digital marketing and provide a few of our tips to help you work your way around them.
Producing and Distributing Content
Content is crucial in B2B digital marketing. Unfortunately, in this age, everyone is a publisher. The target audience, therefore, is always having lots of marketing stuff to read. Beating the competition is consequently a hurdle to most digital marketers.
The other content-related obstacle is finding the audience. While social media is the best starting point, some leads do not use these platforms.
The third obstacle is managing your online reputation. An active online presence is essential for successful B2B digital marketing. Unfortunately, most B2B companies do not invest sufficiently in audience engagement. 97% of business owners agree that this negligence works against the B2B business.
Good content should be engaging, have a unique perspective, and relevant to the needs of the target audience. Unlike common marketing approaches, B2B content should not address the general market. Grammatical mistakes are inexcusable in digital marketing.
Optimising your content for search engines makes it easy for Google, Bing, Ask.com, and the other engines to figure out the relevance of your content. The better your SEO strategy, the higher your content will rank on search queries for the specific keyword. Therefore, conduct keyword research on the terms relevant to your product or service and write quality content.
Studies indicate that content written about a keyword perform better than the ones in which the keyword is only an insertion into the content.
Use Different Tactics
A website is the starting point for a digital marketing strategy. However, it is not sufficient, especially if used alone. Add other options such as emails, webinars, social media posts, blogs, tweets, videos, infographics, and press releases, among others.
Use Different Platforms
The best practice is to be present on as many platforms as possible. It is because people spend a different amount of time on various platforms. Reaching out to them on their “places of residence” increases your chance of getting them interested in your content or service.
Don't Bombard the Target
While engaging the target account on all platforms is beneficial, do not overdo it. Ensure you do not send the same content repeatedly on different platforms. If possible, share different content on every platform.
Create a purpose
Finally, ensure you have a properly defined objective for your content. Have key performance indicators to help you monitor your efforts. You can create content to entertain, inform, encourage conversions, or respond to trends or concerns. Having a goal will make it easy to create and distribute your content.
Measuring Return on Investment (ROI)
Only a third of the B2B marketers believe ROI is measurable. However, they still have challenges tying their results to the efforts. The leading cause for this is because of the large amount of data that marketers have to deal with when measuring return on investment.
Apart from massive data, some B2B marketers limit their ROI measurement to less crucial evidence such as traffic volumes open email rates, time on site, likes, and retweets. While these are essential, they cloud out essential and better statistics.
Additionally, some use the same metrics irrespective of the marketing tactics. For example, using the number of shares to rate videos on YouTube and Pinterest posts is misleading as the platforms have a different number of users and operate differently.
Multichannel Attribution Models
We encourage our clients to adopt a multi-faceted attribution model that takes into consideration all the essential metrics. Marketers that use this approach in measuring their ROI have a better idea of how their efforts perform.
Understand The Metrics
Creating a multichannel ROI measuring model requires that you understand your parameters. Common ones are conversion rates, traffic volumes, click rates, and bounce rates. Other vital ones for B2B marketers are; cost per lead, return on ad spend, lead-to-close ratio, and customer lifetime value. Brand awareness and search engine ranking are other essential KPIs.
It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to compare ROIs every month. It is inaccurate, as it does not consider seasonal changes. For a proper understanding of your performance, analyse your return on investment on a yearly cycle.
Measuring Digital Impact
Initially, measuring the impact of digital marketing was as simple as counting the number of likes on content or email open rates. However, this is not the primary concern of business stakeholders. To them, conversion rates and actual revenue are essential. As a result, B2B marketers have to find metrics that help them measure these two while still depending on the old-school parameters.
Refocus the Storyline
First, as a B2B digital marketer, refrain from making click rates, bounce rates, likes, and shares the centre of your conversation with the stakeholders. Nonetheless, do not get to the extreme of aiming for a complete revenue attribution. While the former is no better than an empty calorie, the latter is a wild goose chase.
Redefine Conversion Metrics
Instead of focusing on the number of clicks and shares on your content, measure the resulting number of leads, or quality leads. Other worthwhile digital impact indicators include the number of comments from the target audience.
Digital marketing is here to stay, which should make handling the challenges your top priority. Besides, with every obstacle, there is always a way out. We hope that overcoming these three hurdles will encourage you to face the rest.