B2B marketing is challenging. Unlike B2C marketing where there is typically only one person making the decision whether to buy the product or not, there is often more than one individual within a business or organization that weighs in to decide if the B2B product or service is the right fit. This typically extends the sales cycle and the B2B marketer needs to continue to work hard to remain top of mind once initial contact has been made.
Before making a decision, B2Bs will conduct thorough research since the decision affects the business as a whole. B2B products and services are typically also more expensive than a parity product that caters to the B2C sector. An organization isn’t going to spend $20K for a product without doing research to make sure that it’s the right fit and has all of the functionality that is needed. Today, the first place that decision makers often look for information is online which is why B2Bs need to implement a strong SEO campaign to improve a search engine presence for targeted keywords.
However, SEO isn’t a “do it all” solution. B2Bs can’t rely only on SEO to find success online. SEO is really only one part of a robust online marketing campaign. B2Bs need to take advantage of all of the many outlets that are available to promote a product or a service online. Every online touchpoint that exists works together and feeds into the next to achieve that final conversion since target audience members choose to consume information in different formats.
In addition to traditional on site SEO and link building methods, B2Bs also need to execute strong content marketing, social media marketing, and online advertising strategies. By only focusing on one or two of these tactics, you are essentially missing the bigger picture. It’s difficult to measure everything that contributed to that final conversion. It may take finding an organic listing, reading an article, and following a company in social media for an extended period of time before a B2B decision maker decides to proceed.
B2Bs can’t over emphasize where the actual conversion came from because the story is much more complex. Just because there isn’t hard evidence that there is a correlation between sales and social media activity, it doesn’t mean that social media isn’t worth the investment. At some point in the decision process, social accounts were probably viewed. If you didn’t have any kind of social media presence it might actually raise a red flag that you aren’t “with the times”.
SEO is a necessary component of an online marketing strategy, but it’s really just one tactic. It needs to be a part of a well rounded and integrated strategy. Building a strong presence in many online outlets improves success rates.
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