In a digitally orientated world, it is important to consider how we can use technology to our businesses advantage. It is highly likely that your best chance to engage with B2B prospects has recently changed from picking up the phone, to utilising marketing tactics implemented throughout a digital strategy. In order to succeed in engaging with these prospects, you need to understand the path your buyers take online, and approach them with an optimal plan (Noel Hooban). Turning prospects into clients is all about timing – most competitive and successful teams have a good understanding of the following: (Your Company Formations)
1. Who should you target? Not only which companies, but who within that company?
2. How can you connect your product or services to their needs? Find out what is meaningful to them.
3. When is the best time to contact your prospects? Knowing when they need what you are offering and their willingness to purchase is essential.
Identifying your Ideal Customer
How can you define your ideal target profile? In order to deliver a personalised buyer journey and connect with prospects who represent the highest chances of converting, it is essential to start with a clear profile of your target audience (Noel Hooban). Ensure that you conduct in-depth research, rather than targeting an audience based on broad demographics – this is a common B2B marketing mistake (Yvonne Deegan). Your Google Analytics account is a great please to start this research; it allows you to identify the common characteristics of your target profile, such as geography, demographics and interests. However, you should use a variety of sources – read reports, press interviews and industry surveys, review competitor customer profiles and talk to current customers (Yvonne Deegan) to gain a deeper understanding.
Delivering Relevant Content
We’re all familiar with the term ‘knowledge is power’ – the more knowledge you hold, the more influence you have and the more you can demonstrate that you are an expert in your industry (Your Company Formations). But how do you get your B2B prospects to read your content and understand that you are knowledgeable?
Irrelevant content is the number one reason for lost engagement between brands and buyers (CMO Council), so it’s no good creating lots of great content if it’s not what your target audience are interested in learning. With this in mind, you should ensure your content is searchable and relevant. ‘Relevance’ not only applies to your reader, but to Google too. Perform keyword research to understand what keywords you should include in your content; you will start to understand the keywords closely related to your business that allow Google to deem your content as relevant; and the keywords related to buyer intent that will ensure your content is shown to those who are interested.
Understanding the Buying Cycle
You should consider the natural path your buyers take in their buying journey – engage with people where it makes sense, don’t force it ( Noel Hooban). Provide prospects with problem solving content that aims to answer the questions they may have at each stage of the purchasing journey. Your content should be in a variety of formats, starting with educational, insightful content. This could mean direct prospects to your website where they can find more in-depth information – whitepapers, infographics, case studies and video demonstrations can all provide an educational message, whilst engaging with the relevant audience. The content then needs to develop into content that entices the users to purchase. In a typical small business (max 500 employees), the number of people involved in a single company buying decision has risen from 1-2 to 7-8 (Gartner). This means that typically, the B2B buying process is longer than the B2C, so keep this in mind when trying to understand the journey.
Showing your company as genuine and trustworthy with expertise in a particular area will allow your prospect to feel comfortable (Noel Hooban). Digital B2B buyers want to investigate thoroughly and take their time to ensure they choose the right solution – it’s your job to respect this and cooperate accordingly with the hope and intention to receive their business. Your digital marketing strategies need to emphasise patience, relevant content, and well-timed engagement (Noel Hooban).