It’s 2018 and many small and mid-sized B2B IT companies are still struggling with the same problems – they have a good product, have raised some investment, but still have very few clients. Their target market is mostly not aware of their company, product, service or the benefits it offers. They are aware they need to market their product to become visible to their target audience. So, where to start? Many small companies, startups in particular, will decide that digital marketing is the way to go.
The main reason why many B2B IT businesses choose digital marketing is cost. Digital marketing offers flexibility, promises to be more cost- effective and to allow better budget control.
If you are serious about digital marketing for your company and want to effectively market your product to your ideal client, you need to take the time to plan. Carefully planned initial steps will focus your efforts on the right audience and the most profitable marketing channels.
1. Define your target audience
Every successful marketing strategy starts with the ability to define your audience. After all, how can you begin creating content and marketing channel strategy before you know who your audience is? Start by determining who your leads are and where they hang out online.
Talk to your existing clients – Ask your existing clients how they typically use online channels to get business information. Try to find out which websites they find relevant, which newsletters they are receiving, LinkedIn groups they are joining. In what ways are digital channels likely to serve and influence them? This can be time consuming, but it will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of which online areas to focus on.
Google Analytics/Facebook/LinkedIn audience insights – The audience/demographics sections on these platforms provide a lot of information about the people who visit your website or have clicked on your ads. You can check anonymized information on your audience age, gender, location, interests, browsers, job titles, company, industry etc. Be sure to monitor it, spot changes in patterns and percentages, and understand what may have caused them.
Research your competitors – always check up on what your competitors are doing. Which websites are linking to your competitors? What kinds of digital partnerships they have and why? They may have found an important online channel that you are not aware of yet.
Once you've determined who your marketing will be geared at, you can start creating content that will connect you to them in a most effective way. High quality content will be the best liaison with your leads.
2. Develop content to build trust
Good content marketing takes time. You can’t afford to waste time with content that isn’t well focused on your target market. Bear in mind that if your company and product are completely new to your target audience. The first and the most important objective of content is to build trust.
By addressing a particular challenge, pain point, or topic of interest, you are showing your audience you understand them, and you care about their needs. Communicating this well builds trust with your audience, which is absolutely essential for converting website visitors into new clients. Trust can be built through:
Now that you have a target audience and content in place, it’s time to find the best ways to distribute it. Where to start?
Post content on your company page
Join discussions related to your content topics
Post 80% of article on your personal profile with the link to the blog post
Account-based targeting; Custom Email targeting; Group targeting –if you have a list of emails/companies/LinkedIn groups target them with your content that could be of interest for them. PRO TIP – look at events related to your business. Usually there is a list of participating companies; use the list to build your account list for targeting.
Partner with niche websites
If you know your potential clients are visiting a particular niche website, find out if there is an opportunity for a partnership or buying promotion packages. The main advantage of these websites is the fact that people there come knowing what they are looking for, so they are rather well positioned in a buyer funnel. Websites like Capterra or Mobile Payments Today offer various packages that include everything from featuring company profiles on those websites, including your content in their newsletters, publishing your articles etc.
Start posting on Quora/Reddit
Find topics related to your content and contribute in discussions.
Retarget your website visitors that haven’t converted with your clients' testimonials, e-books or blog posts to move them through sales funnel by gaining their trust.
Carefully planned online strategy will help you narrow down your marketing options and discover where your biggest marketing opportunity lies. This will allow you to start testing the areas that need the most attention, so you can start marketing the right way.