Thanks to platforms such as LinkedIn, a company’s website, and its own social media channels, more and more business-to-business (B2B) technology companies are turning to digital marketing to promote their services and solutions to potential customers.
Because digital platforms are so accessible, many may consider digital marketing a quick and easy win, but this can be a costly mistake. When we consult with clients, they quickly realise the extent of the behind-the-scenes work that needs to happen before we can even consider launching a campaign. We also understand the time it takes to get their digital assets campaign-ready.
Getting the fundamentals right
Yes, once the legwork is done the campaign can run its course, and what is left are monitoring, adjustment and reporting. However, the key is getting the fundamentals right.
Several of our clients assist customers on their cloud journey, and they will be quick to warn that the planning usually takes longer than the actual migration. This analogy also applies to B2B digital marketing. Getting the fundamentals right can make or break a campaign.
The fundamentals are extremely important, but what do they entail? The first step is to conduct an audit of all your digital assets, most importantly your website. Your website is your online shop front where you affirm with future customers who you are, what you do and why they need you. Your social media channels are next as well as your other owned, earned and paid channels.
A website audit looks at aspects such as your content, tags and meta descriptions, forms, goals and analytics. In our experiences businesses often want to launch a campaign but are unaware that their website may have very little to no information on that specific service or product. This happens when a business extends its services, establishes a new business unit or division, or acquires a new competency. At the very least its website will initially have a page dedicated to this new service, but the depth of information and spill over to its blog and other owned channels are often lacking.
In the customer’s shoes
Here is where putting yourself in your future customer’s shoes is a crucial exercise to ensure you tick all the boxes. Ask yourself – if I am a future customer will I a) understand what this company is about? In other words, is your business value proposition clear? b) will I find more information about the service or solution being marketed on its website? What about other channels such as its blog, social media channels and articles in the media or third-party endorsements? c) Will I be able to find out more information, enquire about their service, obtain a quote or book a demo with a click of a button?
Now for the behind-the-scenes fundamentals. Digital marketing allows for rich analytics, but for a business to reap the benefits of these insights, it must ensure that the analytics and goals are set up correctly and tested. It can be an eye opener to look underneath the bonnet, so to speak, when it comes to the backend of websites.
In our experience goals are often left forgotten, the analytics need to be updated and forms do not pull through. We interrogate everything under the bonnet, we prod, and we adjust, until we’re satisfied that the engine works optimally.
These are some of the crucial fundamentals we look at during the planning stages of a digital marketing campaign. Of course, there are other aspects to consider too. We apply our knowledge, but also our experience and best practice of having delivered various campaigns over the years within the tech industry. We have a deep understanding of what works and what doesn’t work, and the activities we can drive in tandem to optimise our time and your budget.
It is during the planning stages that a trusted partner who understands the B2B technology landscape as well as digital marketing can ensure that the fundamentals are in place. Such a partner will also make sure that the campaign is well-planned, optimally executed and thoroughly monitored and adjusted so that it delivers the agreed ROI.
Judith Middleton is head of advisory services at DUO Marketing + Communications.
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