Digital Marketing B2B Strategy

Complete Guide to B2B Digital Marketing for SMEs in 2023

It can be challenging to create an effective marketing strategy. The world of digital marketing is changing rapidly. There are policy changes, new best practices, and an increase in competition. But the fundamentals of digital marketing B2B strategy remain the same. It follows the three stages of a buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

Awareness stage: The prospect knows of a problem and is researching to have a better understanding of the problem.

Consideration stage: Prospect has clearly defined the problem and has researched some possible solutions.

Decision stage: Prospect has chosen a solution strategy and is ready to buy from the right vendor.

Let’s take a look at how to craft your digital marketing B2B strategy around your buyer’s journey.

Conduct in-depth market research

Before you can plan an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to have a deep understanding of your audience and the current market landscape. 

Who is taking the buyer’s journey to ultimately purchase your solutions? 

For B2B companies, it can help to determine some of the following information about your target businesses: 

  • Company size
  • Company location
  • Number of employees
  • Industry
  • Revenue

From there, you’ll want to identify the decision-makers and individual parties who will be involved in purchasing your solution. That list of demographics should include: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Title
  • Education level 
  • Level of industry experience
  • Behaviors, habits, and beliefs

Using this information, create buyer personas to help you understand who you are marketing to. This will help drive your entire B2B digital marketing strategy. 

Leverage the power of your website

Your website is a critical part of any digital marketing strategy. In the digital era, it would be weird to operate without a website. Would you treat a business seriously if it doesn’t have a professional-looking website? Surveys show that over 80% of buyers visit a website before making a purchase.

Moreover, there are many parties involved in the B2B buying process. There are the decision-makers, the gatekeepers, and other stakeholders in that project.

Your website needs to have the right message to show to these buyers. Think of your website like a salesperson who is silently selling for you 24/7.

For it to do its job well, it must load fast and be easy to navigate. And the best part is it doesn’t complain about working overtime, going on holiday, or getting stressed.

Tips to leverage your website for your digital marketing strategy: 

Engage in SEO best practices

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing technique that helps your website show up organically in search engine results. To show up higher in the search engines when the right audiences are searching for your offerings, follow some of these B2B SEO best practices: 

  • Always keep your website up to date (current contact and “about us” information, current product/services information, etc.)
  • Utilize white-hat link-building practices (if you don’t know what this means, ask a professional agency for help)
  • Have a continuous content marketing plan to add new content to your website
  • Manage your online reputation by getting and responding to reviews

Create helpful content

Create content on your website that is useful for the people reading it. It’s important to add content for SEO, but make sure that it will be interesting and engage your website visitors – driving them further down the sales funnel. 

Optimize the user experience

Make sure your website has a positive user experience. Eliminate annoying pop-ups and make sure it’s easy to navigate. Create a simple flow that guides users where they need to go to find the information they’re looking for. 

Get short-term leads with a B2B PPC Campaign

“If you build it, they will come.” That may work in baseball, but sadly people aren’t going to find your website on their own. You have to bring in traffic.

SEO is a good long-term strategy for continuous, organic traffic, but the quickest way to bring in targeted traffic is by paying for advertising. This is commonly known as pay-per-click (PPC). PPC allows you to show your ads only to your most ideal clients.

When setting up your campaign, think about the buyer journey we mentioned at the beginning of this article. A person would type different keywords in Google depending on their buying stage.

For instance, in the initial research phase, they search for keywords related to their problems. But as they move along the buyer’s journey, they may be looking for product comparisons to help them decide. Or they may be looking for a solution provider in their local area.

Important tips for an effective PPC campaign: 

Choose your keywords wisely

It’s important to choose keywords for your PPC campaign the generate the right intent from your potential customers. The keywords most likely to convert into a sale are those that show the buyer further along in their buyer’s journey — like when they are searching for a solution near them. 

Another helpful keyword tip: Don’t add keywords just to have more keywords. Google Ads will encourage you to add as many related keywords as possible, but some just won’t perform well. Pick your keywords strategically, use “phrase match” or “exact match” for your keyword match type, and test out a variety of keywords to see what works best. 

Identify a clear target

PPC ads should be targeted to reach the buyer persona you identified during your research. You can target your PPC ads through the keywords you choose, location targets, and even some limited demographic targets. 

Continue to test and adjust

Don’t just set your ads and leave them. PPC ads require consistent adjustment until you find that sweet spot where you’re happy with your ROI. Continue to test and adjust your ads as needed.  

Position yourself as a thought leader through content

Content marketing is valuable because it positions you as an expert. Instead of pushing people to buy your product, you’re attracting them to your brand.

When executed correctly with good search engine optimization (SEO), your content can rank on the search engines. That’s when you have inbound leads coming into your website for free.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. You can think of content marketing like dating. On the first date, you won’t be asking your partner to marry you immediately. For most people, you want to know more about the other person to decide if it’s worth continuing.

It’s the same with content marketing. You add value to prospects by providing helpful insights, content, and resources. They will be attracted to it and want to come back to your website to learn more.

As they dive deeper into more of your content, they’ll get to know you. Eventually, they’ll submit their details to download your lead magnet. Or they may contact you for more information.

Consider these tips for content marketing: 

Look at your competitors

If you’re not sure where to start with content marketing, look at what your competitors are doing. What kind of content do they have on their website? What do their internal landing pages look like? What are they doing on their blog?

Come up with a list of the things that you think they are doing well and replicate those efforts in your own, unique way. 

Identify unique angles

Don’t just spin up the same content that everyone else is writing. Sure, that may help you a little in the SERPs, but will it be helpful for your audience? Identify unique angles of interest that you can take on strategically important topics in your industry. 

Create a content plan

Having ongoing content on your website is immensely helpful for SEO, but you shouldn’t post content just to have it. You need to come up with a strategy to make your content purposeful – whether that’s providing helpful content to answer customer questions, creating content maps to help improve the rankings for other important pages, or creating more in-depth landing pages for your offerings. 

Build your brand with B2B Social Media Marketing

It’s a common misconception that social media marketing is only for B2C. But the truth is, your buyers are human too. And they are spending time on social media.

For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is the number one platform to reach professional audiences. You’ll be able to find potential customers and decision-makers there. The best part is you have direct access to them. There are no gatekeepers to deal with.

But don’t neglect the other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Even though these are typically for B2C, your buyers are also spending time there outside of work settings. For example, big brands like General Electric have leveraged these platforms to share stories of their team members and how their projects are impacting the world.

When it comes to social media marketing, the strategy isn’t to sell directly. Instead, it’s to build awareness of your brand and stay top of mind with the right audiences.

Remember that the B2B sales cycle is longer. So you need to stay in touch with them at multiple points throughout the buyer’s journey.

Helpful tips for B2B social media marketing: 

Optimize your social profiles

When you start advertising on social media, it’s important to keep your profiles up to date. The last thing you want is for someone to click on your profile and find outdated information, logos, and pictures of your business. 

Social media profiles also act as important citations for local SEO. Citations are business listings or references that search engines crawl online to verify your business information – so it’s important to keep your info consistent across all of your profiles. 

Know where your target market spends their time

A successful B2B social media plan is one that is intentional. Don’t just post on every social account you can think of because that’s what the internet tells you to do. Determine where your buyer personas are spending their time and focus on those social media channels. 

Stay active on your social accounts

If you plan on using social media as one prong of your digital marketing strategy, then you need to stay active on the platforms you are using. Outside of pushing advertisements on these platforms, you should be posting regularly to provide additional touchpoints for your audience to engage with your brand. 

Nurture existing relationships through B2B Email Marketing

Email is the number one choice for business communication. It’s an excellent tool to follow up with your prospects as well as existing clients. The key to email marketing strategy is to build and nurture the relationship with your list by sharing helpful tips and resources.

Here are some tips for a successful email campaign:

Craft a subject line that gets opened

This is very important. You can write the best email message, but if it doesn’t get opened, no one is going to read it. A good way is to highlight a benefit the reader will get from opening and reading your email.

Responsive email design

Today, many people check their emails (even work email accounts) on their mobile phones. So your email must be responsive. It has to look good and readable on both desktop and mobile devices.

One call to action

After reading your email, what is the one thing you want your readers to do? One call to action ensures they don’t get confused. For instance, it can be to book a call, schedule a demo, or simply to read the latest article you posted.

Segment the list

This is the key to better email engagements. Segment your list based on what solutions your prospect is looking for. And tailor your messages to address that specific need. Better engagements mean better results from your emails.

Developing Your Digital Marketing B2B Strategy

Now it’s time to form your digital marketing B2B strategy. Keep the buyer’s journey in mind and implement these 6 critical elements. To recap, they are:

  1. Market Research
  2. Professional Website
  3. PPC Campaign
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Social Media Marketing
  6. Email marketing

Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for a professional agency like Asset Digital Communications to develop your strategy. It will be one of your best business investments.