What do you need to develop a killer B2B marketing plan -- or scale it to support new business growth? In this guide, we review 9 critical elements that every B2B marketing plan needs in order to generate, nurture and retain qualified leads.
Some B2B organizations may find that over time, they end up with scattered subscriptions to a variety of marketing tools and services. These may include an email marketing service, a social media scheduler, a site hosting program, a CRM, and more. A comprehensive marketing platform can bring your B2B strategy to the next level by connecting systems and enabling true insight into the success of your marketing programs.
Here are some of the top marketing solutions for B2B businesses:
If you’re still building toward a more robust solution, or don’t yet have the budget for an all-in-one platform, that’s okay. As a helpful starting point, we suggest the following:
PRO TIP: We’ve worked with just about every platform out there and believe HubSpot is the best solution for B2B marketers looking to build a solid, measurable B2B marketing strategy without all of the hassle of multiple systems. HubSpot gives you everything you need in one place: email marketing, social media performance, an easy-to-use CMS, a fully-integrated CRM, and a suite of analytics and performance tools for all aspects of your marketing. It’s both affordable and scalable for businesses looking to start small and grow better. Best of all? Many of HubSpot’s tools start with a freemium version, so you can try before you buy.
What is the goal of your marketing for the next 90 days? Is it...
A good first step is identifying tangible SMART goals; meaning goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. While such goals should be made every quarter, the tactics, materials, and strategies you use to achieve them should be bucketed under a strategic campaign.
PRO TIP: Your campaign will not only outline the goals of your marketing but will include every asset you’ll create or leverage to get there. Keeping your materials logged and tracked in one area is key to seeing what works and what doesn’t -- so you can adjust your approach for the next 90-day push.
Not sure what to include in your 90-day B2B marketing plan? Read on -- the following ideas will help!
A solid content marketing plan is at the core of your online success. Keep in mind, a few blogs are not enough to see real results!
Once you have a solid lead database it’s time to set up marketing automation and lead nurturing. Remember, only send emails if they are targeted, helpful, thoughtful, and well-written. Your email sending score is critical to making sure your emails make it into someone’s inbox. Never send emails just to send emails. Always ask: What is the goal of this email? Am I being helpful or salesy? For more tips, check out this guide to email marketing.
In general, there are three types of email marketing you may want to consider adding to your B2B marketing plan:
Every time you create content, you should look to your social channels as a way to amplify that content and broaden your reach. Just be careful not to talk too much about yourself -- the 80/20 rule we referenced earlier applies here as well. Make sure you’re publishing and promoting helpful, relevant third-party content about your product, service, or industry -- this will help you further engage and build trust with your audience.
For more strategies on building out your social media plan, read 7 Social Media Questions You Must Answer.
PRO TIP: A social media calendar is a great way to ensure you have content scheduled at regular intervals. When you write a blog post, don’t just schedule the corresponding social for the week in which the post is published. Schedule it for repeated promotion three, six even 12 months from its publish date. This keeps your calendar full and ensures older content gets the attention it deserves over time.
Did you know that as many as 70% of all online searches are done through Google? That means your Google strategy -- in other words, optimizing your content for this particular search engine -- is incredibly valuable to your online marketing success. In fact, 64.4% of Google searches will result in an ad click when the customer is specifically looking for a targeted service or product.
While a larger paid strategy can be enormously beneficial for B2B marketers, you can start by ensuring your buying-intent keywords include optimized content to display in your paid campaigns.
Starting from scratch with paid ads? Be sure you consult PMG’s 10 key questions to ask a consultant before getting started to ensure you get the most ROI from your investment in paid ads.
One of the most valuable investments for B2B marketing AND sales is a strong lead scoring model. Lead scoring allows you to assign a value metric to your leads so you can determine which are more qualified than others. Your scoring model should be two-fold to include the following questions:
Your lead scoring model should be regularly evaluated and updated to ensure your metrics align closely with the ideal buyer so both sales and marketing can identify ‘hot’ leads in your database at a glance.
Someone comes to your website. How can they get in touch with you right now?
Chat is now the fourth most common way for people to get in touch with businesses. That’s just behind emails (65%), phone calls (55%), and website contact forms (42%). However, chat is higher on the list than other common channels including social media, mobile apps, and face-to-face communication. If you don’t have a solid chat or chatbot strategy, now is the time to reconsider. Read more stats about chat here.
It’s not enough to keep an eye on one particular marketing metric -- for example, traffic to your website. It’s the whole picture that matters. Marketing success should be defined by a variety of metrics -- and for that, you’ll need a fairly robust suite of reports to make sure your marketing is driving the leads and revenue your business truly needs.
Here are some standard reports we recommend:
No one can manage an entire marketing strategy on their own. The good news? You don’t have to. An outsourced marketing team can help.
Whether it’s strategy development, content development, campaign execution, implementation of a new software solution, or general marketing guidance on best practices, the right outsourced agency can help you define and see real results over the next 90-day period. (Bonus points if they’re fun people who will come to love your business as much as you do!)
Now, here comes a CTA for you to learn more about what it’s like to work with us.
We would truly love to help! Just let us know if you have questions about your B2B marketing strategy. We respond to every comment, so drop us a line below.
Kate Moore is a Content Strategist by day, HubSpot expert by night. When she’s not getting distracted by her many fans (ahem – work emails and phone calls), she’s hunkered down, plugged into Spotify and writing about stuff that will make your work with HubSpot smooth and simple.
Tags: B2B Marketing