B2B Marketing Strategy 2019:1st March 2019
B2B is Catching On
It quite amazing how many B2B businesses still don’t understand the power of the Internet.
For sure the most successful B2B brands have embraced the digital revolution, but still there is a lot scepticism in the B2B community.
But what a lot of B2B companies are forgetting is that phones have given buyers the ability to react instantly to a purchase requirement and it’s this portable facility has completely changed the dynamic. Very often buyers focus on buying requirements when they are away from the office. Maybe its on a train, maybe it’s in Starbucks, the new smartphones enable potential purchases to engage immediately with their suppliers.
It’s true that B2B buying is more complex than a straightforward retail purchase, but with smart web design these complexities can be overcome. In a recent report Gartner found that 77% of B2B buyers feel that making a purchase is very complicated or difficult, calling it “time consuming” and even “painful.”
Gone are the days when a single buyer controlled the purchase. Very often now there are a number of staff involved. These stakeholders in some cases overlap each other during the information gathering process, therefore B2B content, advice and assistance is vital is a B2B website is to work.
So, what are the key elements that B2B companies need to consider, to become successful online?
The Buyers Pathway (The old way)
Above the fold (That’s the element of the page the visitor sees before having to scroll down) needs to deliver a clear but simple message of your capability.
Having attracted the visitor, he or she needs to be guided clearly to points of interest
Present an incentivised proposition with added detail
Instruct the prospect to confirm their interest
The Buyer pathway (The New Way)
Whilst the old way (The Marketing funnel) still applies, the new generation of buyers who are in many cases millennials, like to use the Internet to research purchases before contact is made. They will tell you when they wish to discuss your products/services. Therefore, successful B2B websites need to make sure that prospects are given as much supporting information as is appropriate to encourage contact.
As previously mentioned in a B2B scenario, in many cases we are dealing with a committee of buyers, perhaps group members responsible for differing elements of the purchasing process. In many
- The prospect understands who they are dealing with
- The prospect is introduced to key contacts who can help them
- The prospect understands who you have dealt with
- The prospect will be over halfway through the selection process before they contact you, therefore the depth of your content is critical
- Over 90% of B2B buyers tend to re-visit a web site an average of twelve times before making a decision
- Speed: 40 percent of users will abandon a webpage if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
- Trust: 85% of consumers won’t browse an unsecured site. Make your website HTTPS instead of HTTP by purchasing an SSL certificate.
- Mobiles: Over 60 percent of online traffic comes from a mobile device. Not only that, but 80 percent of B2B buyers use a mobile device at work, and more than 90 percent of buyers say they’re likely to buy again from a vendor that had a superior mobile experience, compared to 50 percent of those who report a poor experience. Not enough? Mobile drives or influences an average of more than 40 percent of revenue in leading B2B
organisations, and 50 percent of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones (and this percentage will grow to 70 percent by 2020).
- Actionable – Your website is not a brochure, it’s a 24-hour sales rep. Approximately 44 percent of B2B marketers say the main reason they abandon websites is that there’s no contact info immediately visible. Your website needs clear calls-to-action, engaging contact forms, and authority builders like testimonials, awards, and affiliations.
- Professionally designed – 37 percent of buyers will leave a website because of poor design or navigation, and 46 percent will leave a website because of a lack of message (it’s
not clearwhat the company does).
Finally take some advice from Avinash Kaushik a Google co-founder.
Don’t ignore the fact that a picture tells a thousand words. Many website owners seem to forget this, being more concerned with beautiful graphics rather than functional impact advertising.
Use a powerful visual on the opening fold of your landing page. That means a traditional Display ad, Video and text ads, with an immediate call to action.
B2B Content Marketing- Squaring the Circle
A website alone will not optimise your market opportunity. Google loves content and it is a sure-fire way to increase your visibility.
Therefore, you need to consider blogs (social media), videos, press releases, email newsletters and white papers (Great for case studies)
A full 75 percent of buyers say content significantly impacts their buying decision, and 62 percent say they can finalize their purchase selection criteria based on digital content alone.
These are the types of content marketing pieces that work at the top of the funnel:
- Blog posts – We recommend all our websites include a blog post. Apart from the fact blogs generate Google friendly fresh content, buyers often use Blog content as part of their presentation to other members of the buying committee.
- Social media posts –. Bear in mind that Social media will not work for all businesses and as it is time-consuming you need to ask people with experience (like us) whether its right for your company. One area of social media we do recommend is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of all social media platforms at 2.74%, compared to Facebook at .77% and Twitter at .69% (BeBusinessed, 2017).
- Infographics – Our minds are drawn to images—they’re easier for our brains to understand. We can process a visual scene in a fraction of a second.
- Video Marketing
- We hear many businesses say producing corporate videos is too expensive. They couldn’t be more wrong. Many of the most successful videos that go viral on YouTube are filmed on handheld cameras with no pre-production. 70 percent of B2B buyers and researchers watch videos on their way to purchase. Viewer retention for video is massively higher than the written word. 95% of a message compared to 10% viewing text.