- Posted by Kayla Thomson
- On January 18, 2018
- 0 Comments
Creating a strong business to business marketing plan is integral to your startup or small business. It requires a little bit of research and planning for massive ROI. Here at VA Partners, we adapt our strategy depending on our client’s needs and resources, but have developed a baseline procedure to follow for every new business opportunity.
Outlined as follows, this will get you on track to building improved marketing channels. If you have any questions on business to business marketing plans, or how this relates to your business, tweet us @VAPartners!
Understand your customer and their buyer’s journey
Especially in the startup space, understanding your customer helps to develop your public-facing voice, and also reveals the best platforms to reach your prospects. Research where your potential customers are active online (i.e. what social network do they use the most?) and look for indicators that they may be interested in your product. After this, you should have a general understanding of where your prospects are online, and avenues they may take to find your solution.
What are your competitors doing?
Why go through all the work of testing different types of content and platforms to see what resonates most with prospects, when your competitors have likely already done so!
Check out your competitors’ websites and answer the following questions:
- Is their site mobile friendly?
- What keywords are their content targeting? (Use Google Keyword Planner to have a better understanding of what those keywords are)
- Are they on social media?
- If yes, are they active and what types of content are they posting? Who are they interacting with on social media?
- Do they have a newsletter?
- If yes, how often are they sending it?
After compiling these answers, you’ll have a better idea of what platforms and channels you should focus on, and the types of content you are ‘competing’ with.
Take stock in your current marketing efforts
If you are already actively marketing your business, that’s great! However, make sure that the channels you are using, such as twitter or a newsletter, are returning results that you are hoping for.
Check the analytics of your website and see if any traffic is coming in from your marketing channels. If yes, are they clicking onto other pages? Are they downloading any content or filling out your contact forms? This is ‘good’ traffic that your marketing efforts should yield. If you aren’t seeing what you are hoping for, this is an indication that your strategy needs to be revamped.
Have an effective website (SEO and lead conversion)
An important part of marketing is getting people onto your website. Designing your site for SEO will help you improve your search-engine ranks, and in-turn lead to increased website traffic.
To come up with an SEO strategy, go back to your competitor research and look at the keywords they’re targeting. Select the keywords that are relevant to your business, but have a small enough monthly search volume so it’s easier to rank high. Adjust the content on your site page-by-page to create targeted pages for each keyword. A great tool you can use is Yoast, a WordPress plugin that makes content suggestions for your page based on a selected keyword.
After you’ve created an SEO friendly site, you now need to have a lead conversion strategy. An effective website that promotes lead conversion is one that has an enticing call-to-action (CTA). Come up with an offer for your website visitors, such as a free webinar download, and then track any conversions in your analytics platform and CRM. Make sure this offer is available on any pages that may be relevant (i.e. a new blog post), and promote it across your other marketing channels as well.
Create a content strategy
You should now have a list of keywords that your site content is targeting, but what about the ones that are appropriate for your business, but don’t have content? Now is the time to create it! Put together a content calendar so that you are consistently pushing out fresh content. Don’t forget to promote it across all of your marketing platforms too!
Engage on social media
By now, you will likely have a well-rounded idea of what networks your customers and competitors are active on: make sure you are too!
If you’re just getting started, find the thought leaders in your industry and follow them and any other individuals you come across that are relevant to your business. Engage with them, post your own content, and include relevant hashtags or account names to increase your post’s exposure. Social media is an engagement platform: don’t be afraid to engage with other accounts.
Nurture your leads
As your website traffic and lead conversion rates increase, you’ll need to be on top of where your prospects are in the sales funnel. Tools like Hubspot or Salesforce keep track of all this information for you, so they are integral to any growing business.
A simple rule-of-thumb for nurturing your leads is to continue adding value to their experience. If they downloaded a whitepaper from your website, send then an email with a blog post on the same topic, or even just ask if they have any questions. Creating this personal relationship will keep your business top-of-mind when a prospect is looking for a solution you can provide.
Don’t forget about email marketing
Email marketing is a great way to indicate a prospects engagement level. Have a sign-up form on your website, and send a newsletter at a consistent rate: monthly is useful if you are creating a few pieces of new content each month. If you have a trade show or event coming up, send out a ‘special-edition’ newsletter with targeted content to see which prospects are interested. Don’t forget to follow up after!
If you use a tool like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, you can see who is clicking and on what links. These may be sales triggers for you to follow up with that person and reopen the sales conversation.
Track your results
The difficult thing about marketing is that it’s never complete. New content needs to be created, your SEO strategy must be revisited often, and the nurturing process is constant. The best way to take the guess work out of how you’re doing is to have analytics on your website.
Google Analytics is the most widely used tool for this. Check in on your audience and their behaviour to see how people are getting to your site and what content is most popular. This information can help you tweak your marketing efforts, and again help with your ROI.
If you are struggling with marketing or creating your business to business marketing plan, we are here to help! Contact us and we will schedule some time to chat.