Whether you are happy with your B2B marketing results or feel they are lacking, here’s five ways to improve your marketing.
1. Get feedback
Not surprisingly, a great way to find out whether your marketing strategy is hitting its mark is to ask it’s intended targets. You should conduct some research amongst prospects, customers and ex-customers, and find out what they think.
Whether that is a simple Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey of existing customers or a full-blown, in-depth survey of the market, the insights you gain from the results will be useful.
As well as ‘bulk’ research, it’s also worth talking in some depth with valued customers on a one-to-one basis. Talk to loyal customers and find out what they find compelling about your offering and talk to new customers about what attracted them to your business.
It’s important to have an objective for your research though – is it to ascertain what your reputation is in the market? Is it to see what the perceived advantages of your product or service are? Is it to ask what prospects are looking for? Or is it to check if a particular marketing message is being communicated effectively? If you feel that you are failing in a particular area, then use the research to find out why.
Whatever the reason – these are just a few examples – make sure your research will answer the question.
Once you find an issue that needs addressing, or a message that needs adding or one that requires greater emphasis, put a plan in place to address that.
2. Review your website
All roads lead to Rome – or rather, all leads end up on your website. You can be running an amazing, highly effective marketing campaign, but if your website and landing pages are lacking, then it will fail.
Look at the conversion rates for your landing pages and check that your calls to action (CTAs) are attractive and getting clicks. Are your offers proving enticing enough for prospects to surrender their email addresses? Make sure the copyrighting is effective and focused on the user – what is in it for them? Sell the clear benefit of clicking on the CTA.
Ensure the site is user, mobile and SEO friendly – getting these three things right is essential for successful sites. Avoid any old technology such as Flash, that isn’t search engine friendly and stick to a simple, logical site structure. When it comes to B2B web sites, keep it simple.
Make sure your site is fast – slow load speeds will not only turn users off, it will also affect your SEO too.
Get the basics right – in your writing check spelling and grammar and on your pages check for broken links and missing images. And don’t forget to include contact information everywhere – try not to forget that you want prospects and customers to talk to you.
3. Review your content
Do you constantly review the results of your content publishing programme? You should have some analytics in place, whether that’s simply Google Analytics or whether it’s part of your content management system – such as those found in HubSpot. This should be able to tell you what levels of engagement you are getting – which topics are attracting interest and which leave your audience cold.
Check the latest research on content length and frequency, is your content long enough? Are you publishing enough to make an impact?
Look at using uncommon tactics – these are proven to be more effective.
Look at paying for social and search advertising. Look to cultivate clients and industry influencers – give them support and helpful content.
4. Review your social media
Look at the resources you have – with both content creation and social media, the limiting factor is usually time more than anything else. So consider those resources and spend them wisely. Take time to evaluate the effectiveness of your social media marketing. What social channels are you using?
Are they effective in terms of return on investment (ROI)? In other words, is the time you spend on them worth it?
Is it better to put all your efforts into LinkedIn for example, rather than a number of social channels? Both Twitter and Facebook have proved less and less effective over the past few years. Facebook, in particular, is really only effective if you are prepared to spend money on promoted posts and advertising. And even when you do, the results may not justify the time and expense.
What posts get engagement and which ones fall flat? Who are your followers? Are you utilising your own experts and employees on social media to spread your reach and add authenticity?
How’s your customer service? Social media is a great way to offer additional support – are you maximising the opportunity to support your clients and be helpful to prospects?
5. Review your team
Marketing has changed drastically over the last decade and is still changing. Skills and abilities that were useful then, are less so now. New skills and abilities are needed in the new digital, content biased, marketing of today.
Generally, marketers need better writing and storytelling skills than ever before, they need a greater understanding of the customer and your offering. But more important than this, they need to have the right attitude, no focussed on longer sales and propaganda broadcasting, but on helpful and relevant content publishing.
In addition, new traits such as emotional intelligence for customer service and social media, and presentation skills for videos, podcasts and speaking at events need to be present in a modern marketing person, or available to the marketing team.
If you have a team, does it have the right mix of skills and abilities to become a high performance marketing team? You may know exactly what you need to do to implement your perfect marketing strategy, but do you have the right people to action it?
I guess this is not rocket science – at its heart is a simple approach. Try and ascertain where you are going wrong, or what you are missing or how you could improve, by surveying prospects and customers, then put into place a plan for addressing any issues you discover.
Periodically reviewing your website, content, social media and marketing team will also ensure you are on top of things and creating the best possible marketing.