Does your company need digital marketing? Yes. The use of digital marketing is appropriate for all industries and could be successful for any business. However, the type and approach to digital marketing that you select will significantly impact how successful your efforts and investment will be.
Whether boosting traffic to your website, generating leads, or assisting your sales staff, attaining results requires a specific strategy for success. Your approach and objectives will determine whether you’re aiming for B2B or B2C customers. Let’s start with a comparison of business-to-business and business-to-consumer strategies.
B2B digital marketing versus B2C Digital Marketing
What is B2B Digital Marketing?
If your business sells to other businesses, often known as business-to-business (B2B), then the focus of your digital marketing campaigns will most likely be on the production of leads, with the ultimate aim being to get someone to talk to a sales consultant. Because of this, the purpose of your promotional campaign is to drive traffic to your website and other relevant online platforms to generate the greatest possible quality lead for your sales team, who will then convert these leads into sales.
In addition to your website, you will likely focus most of your efforts on business-oriented platforms and marketing channels such as LinkedIn, where people who fit your demographic are spending their time online.
What is B2C Digital Marketing?
If your company is business-to-consumer (B2C), depending on the price point of your products, it’s likely that the goal of your digital marketing efforts is to attract people to your website and have them become customers without ever needing to speak to a salesperson.
For that reason, you’re probably less likely to focus on ‘leads’ in their traditional sense, and more likely to focus on building an accelerated buyer’s journey, from the moment someone lands on your website, to the moment that they make a purchase. This will often mean your product features in your content higher up in the marketing funnel than it might for a B2B business, and you might need to use stronger calls-to-action (CTAs).
For B2C companies, channels like Instagram and Pinterest can often be more valuable than business-focused platforms like LinkedIn.
How to generate leads from marketing
We will discss the below in greater detail but here is a summary of how to get leads and results from your marketing campaigns
- Define your goals
- Identify your target audience
- Establish a budget for each digital channel
- Strike a good balance between paid and free digital strategies
- Create engaging content
- Optimize your digital assets for mobile
- Conduct keyword research
- Iterate based on the analytics you measure
1. Define your goals
When you’re first getting started with digital marketing, it’s critical you start by identifying and defining your goals, since you’ll craft your strategy differently depending on those goals. For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you might want to pay more attention to reaching new audiences via social media.
Alternatively, perhaps you want to increase sales on a specific product — if that’s the case, it’s more important you focus on SEO and optimising content to get potential buyers on your website in the first place. Additionally, if sales is your goal, you might test out PPC campaigns to drive traffic through paid ads
Whatever the case, it’s easiest to shape a digital marketing strategy after you’ve determined your company’s biggest goals.
2. Identify your target audience.
We’ve mentioned this before, but one of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is the opportunity to target specific audiences – however, you can’t take advantage of that benefit if you haven’t first identified your target audience.
Of course, it’s important to note, your target audience might vary depending on the channel or goal(s) you have for a specific product or campaign.
For instance, perhaps you’ve noticed most of your Instagram audience is younger and prefers funny memes and quick videos — but your LinkedIn audience tends to be older professionals who are looking for more tactical advice. You’ll want to vary your content to appeal to these different target audiences.
3. Establish a budget for each digital channel
As with anything, the budget you determine really depends on what elements of digital marketing you’re looking to add to your strategy.
If you’re focusing on inbound techniques like SEO, social media, and content creation for a preexisting website, the good news is you don’t need very much budget at all. With inbound marketing, the main focus is on creating high quality content that your audience will want to consume, which unless you’re planning to outsource the work, the only investment you’ll need is your time.
With outbound techniques like online advertising and purchasing email lists, there is undoubtedly some expense. What it costs comes down to what kind of visibility you want to receive as a result of the advertising.
4. Strike a good balance between paid and free digital strategies.
For instance, if you spend time building comprehensive buyer personas to identify the needs of your audience, and you focus on creating quality online content to attract and convert them, then you’re likely to see strong results within the first six months despite minimal ad spend.
However, if paid advertising is part of your digital strategy, then the results might come even quicker.
Ultimately, it’s recommended to focus on building your organic (or ‘free’) reach using content, SEO, and social media for more long-term, sustainable success.
When in doubt, try both, and iterate on your process as you learn which channels — paid or free – perform best for your brand.
5. Create engaging content.
Once you know your audience and you have a budget, it’s time to start creating content for the various channels you’re going to use. This content can be social media posts, blog posts, PPC ads, sponsored content, email marketing newsletters, and more.
Of course, any content you create should be interesting and engaging to your audience because the point of marketing content is to increase brand awareness and improve lead generation.
6. Optimise your content for mobile
Another key component of digital marketing is mobile marketing.
This means it’s essential to optimise your digital ads, web pages, social media images, and other digital assets for mobile devices. If your company has a mobile app that enables users to engage with your brand or shop your products, your app falls under the digital marketing umbrella, too.
Those engaging with your company online via mobile devices need to have the same positive experience as they would on desktop. This means implementing a mobile-friendly or responsive web design to make browsing user-friendly for those on mobile devices. It might also mean reducing the length of your lead generation forms to create a hassle-free experience for people downloading your content on-the-go. As for your social media images, it’s important to always have a mobile user in mind when creating them, as image dimensions are smaller on mobile devices and text can be cut-off.
There are lots of ways you can optimise your digital marketing assets for mobile users, and when implementing any digital marketing strategy, it’s hugely important to consider how the experience will translate on mobile devices. By ensuring this is always front-of-mind, you’ll be creating digital experiences that work for your audience, and consequently achieve the results you’re hoping for.
7. Conduct keyword research.
Digital marketing is all about reaching targeted audiences through personalised content — all of which can’t happen without effective keyword research.
Conducting keyword research is critical for optimising your website and content for SEO and ensuring people can find your business through search engines.
Even if you don’t have a full-time SEO strategist, you’ll still want to conduct keyword research. Try creating a list of high-performing keywords that relate to your products or services, and consider long-tail variations for added opportunities.
A great marketing campaign should have great creative assets to match. Whether it’s a sleek website design, a video commercial, or an interactive infographic, make sure your design is professional and fitting for the purpose of the campaign.
While planning, it is important to decide on a timeframe for the marketing campaign. How long should it run on various channels and how much will that cost? The aim is to ensure the campaign should reach the largest amount of people in the target demographic. The marketing team can then determine appropriate metrics to assess the success of the campaign.
Measure your results and iterate
Finally, to create an effective digital marketing strategy for the long-term, it’s vital your team learn how to pivot based on analytics.
For instance, perhaps after a couple of months you find your audience isn’t as interested in your content on LinkedIn anymore — but they love what you’re creating on Instagram. Sure, this might be an opportunity to re-examine your LinkedIn strategy as a whole, but it might also be a sign that your audience prefers a different channel to consume branded content.
Alternatively, perhaps you find an older web page isn’t getting the traffic it used to. You might consider updating the page or getting rid of it entirely to ensure visitors are finding the freshest, most relevant content for their needs.
Digital marketing provides businesses with incredibly flexible opportunities for continuous growth — but it’s up to you to take advantage of them.