Social marketing, content mapping and search marketing topped the list of B2B marketing trends over the past few years. These key strategies are important to understand because they can be integrated with your demand-generation initiatives. Let’s explore how.
1. Social Marketing
When coupled with other integrated marketing tactics, social marketing can be a key driver of inbound interest and inquiries. In many cases, social media can be a tool for you to directly engage with potential customers early in the sales consideration cycle before they become a prospect in your database. The more they engage with your brand and content, the more likely they are to return and eventually share information with you—thus building the foundation for trust and loyalty in an ongoing relationship. You have to offer people relevant content that aligns with your goals. This can be created from insights gained by listening to the online conversations already taking place about your brand and products. To generate organic traffic to your website, drive people there through that content on your blogs, e-newsletters, RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other tool you’re using—then encourage (and make it easy for) others to share.
2. Content Mapping
How many times have you developed a marketing plan, outlined the tactics for the campaign and then said, “‘DOH! What’s our offer?” Content should not be an afterthought; it should drive the strategy. You need to develop valuable information to entice prospects to learn more about your brand and to position your company as a trusted resource to help them solve their business challenges. Take the time to map your content to your audience’s needs and stage in the buying cycle. Last year’s product-focused webinar is likely not relevant content for your entire database of prospects. To help ensure the right messages reach prospective buyers at the right time and in the best format, answer these questions: Who is your target audience? How do they like to receive information? Where are they in the sales consideration cycle? Ultimately, this will help to build loyalty and potentially drive revenue.
3. Search Marketing
If it isn’t already, search should be a key piece of your strategy that is continually refined to improve traffic and generate more qualified leads. Prospects are actively searching for your product or service, so make sure you are using the right mix of keywords so they find you first in organic searches. People at different levels within an organization probably use different search terms, so consider each prospect’s perspective. You can use tools like Google AdWords to determine which keyword searches are most popular. Use these keywords in <title> tags, URLs and anchor text; in digital assets like videos, images, blogs and RSS feeds; and in social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Building a volume of inbound links can also help improve your natural search rankings.
But these aren’t just trends; marketers are realizing the value in each of these strategies. When implemented correctly as part of your overall marketing initiatives, they can help you generate traffic and drive demand.
When planning your next demand gen campaign, consider these strategies. You’ll find that by engaging with your potential customers through social media, providing them with the information they want through a content mapping strategy and helping them find you through a solid search program, you will be rewarded.