The latest IPA Bellwether Report published in April 2017, reveals a significant growth in the investement in internet marketing as part of the overall marketing budget, while a report conducted by Yahoo and Enders Analysis forecasts that the UK's content marketing spent is set to rise 179.2% to £349 million in 2020.
This shift is due not only to the fact that internet-based marketing techniques can offer measurable and predictable B2B lead generation results, but also because they can help marketers cut the cost of lead acquisition by an amazing 62%
If you’re reading this article you’re probably keen to get started, so here are the seven things that you can do to set the beginning of your digital marketing strategy:
1. Start a blog
B2B companies that blog get 67% more leads than companies that don’t; and those that blog 16+ blog posts per month got more than 4.5 times as many leads than those that blog 4-5 times per month. Write about your customers challenges and give them hepful advice based upon your experience. Leave comments on other people’s blogs. It draws attention to you and can lead to relevant traffic visiting your website.
2. Be social
Set up accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn first. Distributing your content, other people's content and having conversations will lead to rewarding engagement and new blog readers. This will give you a better understanding of your customers as well as help identify potential prospects and generate more relevant site traffic.
3. Work on your SEO
Your blog is your SEO's best friend. We all know that the more pages there are to support your top keywords, the bigger chance there is for you to rank higher on search engines. While creating a website consisting of hundreds of pages may not be very user friendly, you blog can certainly step up to the challenge. Blogs offer a great opportunity not only for the creation of more pages and establishing you as an industry expert, but also for backlinking, guest blogging, social media promotion and much more.
4. Write a guide, top tips or a cheat sheet
As you get used to writing blog posts, putting together a piece of advanced content, such as a downloadable eBook, guide or checklist that others might find valuable is the logical next step that will also enable you to increase your leads conversion rate. Offer this content through a series of blogs reflecting the subject matter and invite readers to give you their contact information in return for the download through a form, so that you can convert your readers into prospects.
5. Build an email list
Using the data that you are gathering from your blogs and nurture your leads through email marketing. Use your advanced content to guide your readers through their buying process with content that helps them understand their problems, identify a solution and ultimately become sales-ready leads for your sales team to close.
6. Measure your results
Measuring and analysing your results is crucial if you are to understand which content works best. Measure traffic, traffic-to-lead and leads-to-sales conversions, so that you can see what kind of content is working best for you.
By taking this approach you can build up your online marketing, increase the number and quality of generated leads and keep your sales team happy, but beware: this isn’t a ‘spare-time’ activity. Your company will no doubt have the knowledge to provide the kind of great content that will attract the attention of your marketplace, but you’ll either need to set aside more and more time as you start to see the benefits of inbound marketing, or work with a marketing agency that understands your industry and has the skills to develop online lead generation strategy.
Turn your website into a B2B lead generation machine with our free 'B2B lead generation website checklist'.
This blog was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated where possible for accuracy and comprehensiveness in June 2017.