Unless you’re living under a rock, you have a digital presence. B2B companies today too have fallen for the wide universe that the internet has opened up. Social Media is no longer a tool just for shiny and bright B2C companies. As we move deeper into an information-hungry age, the B2B sales landscape becomes even more complex. With new and disruptive technologies changing the way businesses operate and make business decisions, B2B marketers today have to give their marketing strategies a bump to survive in this digital age.
Having realized the changing landscape of B2B sales, most companies are taking their digital initiatives seriously and are making a social presence. 89% of marketers are using content marketing as a strategy. With the rise of the millennials, almost 71% of B2B researches are starting with generic Google searches. Forrester states that 82% of customers view five or more pieces of content from a winning vendor. Clearly having a digital strategy is essential to navigate today’s challenging B2B landscape. However, it is even more essential to think about digital impact.
A digital marketing strategy is more than a Twitter and Facebook presence. It is more than publishing two blogs and one whitepaper a month. It is more than Google AdWords and PPC campaigns. You can have a digital marketing strategy with all this but will it be a good strategy…one that will create your voice in the cold world of the internet? But what does “creating a digital impact” mean?
- More people from your target customers will know about you, your skills
- You will be perceived as experts or thought-leaders
- Your target customers will respond more warmly to your sales outreach efforts
So, if creating a digital impact is a valid business goal -then how do you go about achieving that goal?
Value v/s Entropy
Organizations who jump on the digital bandwagon without preparation are often the ones who do not realize the ‘value’ in these initiatives. This is primarily because digital marketing just becomes one of the tick boxes on your checklist, something you do just because others are doing it. Submerged in entropy, B2B organizations end up imitating what competition is doing and as a result, have to be content with average outcomes.
What is your purpose?
Today’s constantly evolving market demands context. Unless you are contextual you cannot be relevant. Organizations thus have to identify the purpose behind their digital initiatives. What is the objective of their social presence? What do you stand to establish? What do you stand to achieve? Are your objectives relevant to your target audience? Have you assessed what the audience wants? Asking these questions become imperative to create a strong digital strategy as this helps in setting the right narrative to your digital journey.
What are you talking about?
Organizations often complain that they do not see enough engagement on their social channels. This often occurs because creating a strong digital presence is also about understanding that it is not always about talking about your products and services but to establish your expertise. This can only be done by understanding the problems that your audience experiences and then being generous with information that can help them address their problem.
Content is kind, but context remains God
When it comes to curating content, the objective is not to just curate content that is great to read. It is about creating content that is contextual, readable, relatable and understandable. The purpose of content marketing is not to boast, “see, my blog is so great”, but to create content that is helpful, organic and in line with what the user needs to read. Why create a complicated whitepaper when that same information will be disseminated better in a blog series? That being said, understanding the nuances of content types becomes essential here. There are some topics that have to be covered as whitepapers because the purpose behind creating them is different.
Measure – The right engagement metrics matter
Engaging with the community on the right social channels is also essential for creating a digital impact. Understanding how to leverage social channels to talk to the target audience, paying a close attention to what concerns are affecting this demographic, the kind issues they need resolutions for, etc. are great starting points to start a conversation. Don’t hoard your knowledge, share it…because only when you become generous with sharing knowledge will you be perceived as knowledge experts and thought leaders. Your content and social strategy has to consider all these points and then some, in order to create blogs and other associated collaterals that will create engagement.
If this blog has answered some of your questions, watch this space for more to learn how you can create a digital impact.