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Fine Tune Your Annual Digital Marketing Strategy

By Aaron Gingras

We all know that time of year; the time when marketing leaders are finalizing their digital marketing strategy for the new year and submitting budgets for approval. As you’re gearing up for Q4 and those budget meetings and strategy planning, here are three B2B digital marketing techniques to consider as you begin fine-tuning your marketing approach.

Technique #1: Experiment with Strategic Account-Based Marketing

You’ve probably already heard the acronym ABM by now, but have you considered adding the approach to your digital marketing strategy for this coming year?

Account-based marketing (ABM) is an alternative B2B marketing strategy that allows you to focus your sales and marketing resources on a defined set of key accounts and target them with highly personalized campaigns.

To find out if ABM is a fit for your digital marketing strategy, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you already have a list of target accounts? If you answered yes, then leveraging an account-based marketing strategy could not only help your sales team penetrate those accounts faster, but also improve marketing’s contribution to revenue.
  2. Is your data clean? Do you have the right contacts of decision makers at your target accounts? Is their contact information up-to-date?
  3. Do you have the technology and resources to support ABM marketing? In order for ABM marketing to be effective, you need to be able to see metrics from engagement to revenue at the account level. Research whether your marketing tools have an ABM add-on or whether there is an integrated app that can help you to achieve this view. ABM tools should treat accounts as single entities in the same way traditional marketing treats people as individual entities. This means looking at metrics rolled up to the Account Level. For example, can you score or see metrics at the Account Level to understand which organizations may be planning to purchase? Targeting at the Account level is a great strategy, but is most effective when marketing and sales have access to ABM reporting views.
  4. Are your sales and marketing teams closely aligned? If sales and marketing are not aligned on the campaign strategy, touchpoints and execution plan, then account-based marketing won’t work. If this type of alignment doesn’t seem possible at your organization right now, then you might not be ready for an account-based marketing approach.

Technique #2: Create a Customer Journey Map to Shape Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Customer journey mapping helps you gain a better understanding of your customer and ensure you’re communicating the right message, to the right person, at the right time. If you’re not already using a customer journey map to shape your digital marketing strategy, here are a few questions to ask yourself to know if you should be:

  1. Do you have different buyer personas? If your organization is targeting distinctly different buyer personas, then creating a customer journey map can help you better understand your personas and how they move through the buyer journey. It will also help you identify what channels and touchpoints are most effective for your different personas and allow you to adjust your digital strategy accordingly.
  2. Do you have a clear picture of all the ways your customers are engaging with your brand? Between sales, customers service and marketing, your customers could be interacting with your brand in more ways than you might think. Mapping out all the potential touchpoints that your customers might experience with your brand is a big component of a customer journey mapping exercise, and it can help you identify what’s working and opportunities for improvement.

Technique #3: Develop a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing drives inbound traffic to your website and helps generate marketing qualified leads. According to the content marketing institute, however, only 37% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. If your B2B company is experiencing the following, then you should consider adding content marketing to your digital marketing strategy:

  1. Is your target audience doing more research online before engaging with sales? In today’s B2B landscape, 57% of the buyer’s journey is being completed online before buyers are engaging with sales. If your organization is experiencing this transition, content marketing is a great way to nurture leads through the buyer journey and provide them with the relevant information they need to make their purchasing decisions.
  2. Do you want your website to be a stronger lead generating tool? You could be driving great traffic to your website through your digital inbound marketing efforts, but if you don’t have any strong, specific CTAs or offers on your site, then you won’t see engagement or conversions. Adding content marketing assets such as whitepapers, webinars or e-books to your website can drive leads and engagement. Treat every page that has site entry traffic as a Landing Page. Even your static Services pages should have strong CTAs to convert, and these should be updated as new content is released to stay fresh and relevant. Perform an audit of your top Landing Page traffic via Google Analytics and look not only to see if there is a CTA on each page, but ask yourself whether the offer is strong enough to drive conversions.
  3. Do you need to improve your organic search traffic? Documenting a content marketing strategy can help you evaluate and identify opportunities to rank for keywords organically. It will also help you outline what types of content you need to create and add to your site to improve your organic search rankings for those specific keywords. Additionally, Google rewards you in their search algorithm for adding new content to your website on a consistent basis.

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