You’ve embraced digital marketing – but have your potential clients noticed?
You are digitally connected all the time. So are your clients.
The audience is there, with a huge appetite for interesting content. Marketing campaigns in a B2B context have become a task that you can fulfill – if you are using the entire bandwidth of digital marketing either to narrow down your communication to a very small number of readers or publish content that will go viral in your industry within just a few hours. Through smart use of digital marketing techniques, while still giving it the human touch to build relationships and trust, your campaigns will reach clients where they are and will make a measurable impact. The goals haven’t changed: be effective, stay connected, don’t overspend, generate leads for new business with new and existing customers.
Let’s take one step back: why is digital marketing important? Because it works.
It works because it finds people where they are. But does it work for marketing and branding? Yes. Some used to question that just 20 years ago, but there’s no debate anymore – it’s a recognised fact. Try and send letters to your clients and see what happens. Will they react at all? If the letter is handwritten and personalised, or the content extremely attractive – maybe... And how will the addressees respond? By sending you a letter back? Most probably you’ll receive an email. It also works because it is available where and when it makes most sense to your clients: on their mobile devices.
Not using digital today is not an option. However, some do not give this the right amount of care, and will not be able to extract the richness of this medium. Here you give away the biggest opportunity to build awareness: what’s your first move when you hear about a company you’ve never heard of? You google them. What if you can’t find them at all? Or their site is 'under construction'? There are inconsistencies between their online appearance and their offline presence? That will not leave you with the best impression.
It also works because you can be connected all the time. Digital gives you touchpoints at any time during the process: before the meeting, after the meeting, during the meeting with people not attending the meeting… You hold the intensity, the frequency, the timing of the communication with your client in your own hand.
Because it is fast. You can take action whenever you want (and wherever you are) and react very quickly to what is happening: a typo on your front page? It can be fixed as soon as it’s noticed. A major crisis that you have to deal with? You can immediately launch a campaign to communicate about it. A great article in the newspapers about the latest deal your company has won? Post it to social media within minutes. And don't forget that you can do all of this from your mobile while sitting in a taxi on your way to the next meeting.
Because it is measurable. And this is probably why you want to use digital marketing in the first place. It allows you to examine potential clients, and see how they use the content you make available digitally – or not: you can also measure their preferences and interests by following their journey on your website step by step: how did they find you? Why didn’t anyone register for that live chat with your CEO? Did they click on the link in your newsletter that your colleagues slated as so 2000? And when – during lunchtime on a random day or during the devastating earnings call of your toughest competitor? On which page did they first land? What was their next step? Did they share or like anything you posted? Did they connect via the contact form, or register for the next webinar…?
This makes digital marketing a two-way thing: you can interact with your clients and give them a forum to express their preferences, to react to content you have published. Using this feedback, using measurements of their digital journey, you can take action to increase the number of visitors (or target those five or six you really want to catch), increase their engagement and adjust your content offering so that it becomes really relevant to them and therefore optimise their experience.
All this data will help you improve the way you use the digital marketing tools and increase the ROI of your marketing strategy.
Having asked yourself which picture of you – the ‘right’ perception – you are trying to convey, and what kind of information is interesting and relevant to your target clients, you need to strategically approach the techniques that digital marketing holds available: how can you use the digital medium to drive target clients to your business? Or to upsell to existing clients, introducing other products or services that you offer?
- Your website: you own your website, you say what you want to say, how you want to say it and when you want to. So here’s a tremendous opportunity to position yourself as an expert and to continue building your brand. This is also a fantastic channel to reposition your company. Up-to-date content that is relevant to your target clients and regular updates will persuade visitors to check your website regularly and find out fresh news about products and services that you offer – and they will also revisit to read expert insights into your industry or success stories told by your other clients. It is challenging to do this, but when it’s done well it really makes a difference.
- SEM (search engine marketing) e.g. Paid Search and SEO (search engine optimisation): for your website and its content to actually be read, you need to make it as easy as possible for surfers to find them. Applying sophisticated but easy-to-use techniques can lead people to your site more effectively. You can also choose to push your company to the top of the results list, to maintain your presence on the screen of your visitor beyond their search or their brief visit to your website, buy ads – or the reverse, you can find out which keywords visitors used to find you. All the data you collect will allow an educated guess about relevant versus irrelevant visitors, to fine-tune your strategy.
- Social Media: an ideal tool to build relationships that find your target in a different context, where they may be more interested in updates on a certain industry or product type. On professional networking sites, this is your chance to position yourself as an expert and to convey your story to a group that you wouldn’t reach via traditional means; for example, by participating in online discussions, providing educational-style updates on topics that are relevant to your target clients. On more lifestyle-oriented platforms you can present yourself differently, in a more humane, laid-back way: a picture of your team supporting the organisation of a local marathon, your sponsoring of a sporting event, your new, green company policy, or your CEO meeting with a celebrity.
- Email marketing: and we’re not talking about undesired newsletters that will immediately land in the bin – messages that are interesting, personally targeted and addressed to specific contacts, personalised invitations to events, or digital content such as webinars, videos, launch of new product pages on your website, etc.
- And many more… some yet to be invented in this new, ever-changing digital world.
One last question: what do you do about digital 'refusniks'?: you can also connect and build trust with people who do not wish to dive into the digital age, using content that has already been acclaimed by your digital readers. If this client is important to you, this may even be a clever way to build the relationship and trust by sending a handwritten note to accompany a print-out of an article that is really relevant to them.
Gelst can help you set up a digital marketing strategy that smoothly and consistently articulates your overall marketing strategy using the right channels, at the right time and with the relevant, appropriately tailored content.
Gelst will help you measure the outcome and analyse data to learn the lessons your clients give you along the way with the objective of fine-tuning the next round of content production and publication – ensuring that you keep in touch with your clients in a way that is interesting for them and productive for you.