Welcome to 2011. Everyone seems to be doing their list of resolutions. This is a good time to think about your goals for 2011. For b2b marketers, think about your target audiences, and continue to understand how they research products. Have you done any business resolutions? Perhaps the list below can help:
1. You will embrace social media for what it is, and do a better job engaging with prospects. Yes, I had to start with a social media resolution. Social media is about finding prospects who use social media channels, tactfully engaging with them, and learning to build relationships with them. It’s not about posting content; it’s not about generating ROI from these channels, but it IS about helping prospects solve their problems by contributing relevant dialog and conversation. Don’t rely on social media by itself; but include it as part of an overall marketing strategy.
2. You will think about mobile marketing as a strategy. Smartphones and tablets are growing in household penetration. How does your website look on mobile devices? Let’s think about optimizing your online content for mobile. It’s still about first impression; whether that impression comes from computer or a mobile device. Also keep an eye on QR code technology (those square bar code things) as a compelling tactic to increase engagement.
3. You will improve your website call-to-action tactics. Look at your website. Have you made it simple for prospects to contact you? Do you have convincing content that will encourage me to call you or give you my email address? If there’s no clear way for me to begin an engagement with you, I may leave your site and not come back. So, it’s a good time to look at your website from a content and conversion perspective. Website’s are more than online brochures; they need to be lead generators!
4. You will agree that SEO is crucial for my website’s online visibility. If you have a website, and your prospect looks for your product online, and you’re not there, those leads go to competitors. An investment in a comprehensive SEO strategy will do wonders for your search engine positioning. It’s more than just internal meta tags and page titles. SEO is an art and a science. It takes time, effort, investment, and most-of-all, content that includes keywords your prospects look for to find you.
5. You will invest in content marketing. As alluded above, content affects search engine optimization, content affects social media strategy, and content affects website conversions. An optimal content marketing strategy is the fuel that drives all aspects of internet marketing. Blogs-white papers-case studies-keyword focused website copy-podcasts-webcasts-videos can all be deployed strategically and contribute to generating quality leads to your organization.
6. You will think bottom-line results. Whether you’re using traditional media, digital media, social media, or a combination, there are no optimal models for campaign attribution, meaning how a certain tactic affects the decision to engage with your company. Google Analytics measures “last-click” engagement, and generally avoids all other touch points that leads a prospect to you. Certainly measuring website activity by media source is quite important for decision-making, but top management is looking at the big-picture. Are marketing dollars being spent efficiently? Are sales growing? Are leads being generated with my current mix?
7. Think Customer. All you do- media, creative, content HAS to be focused on your customer. Have you invested in research on your prospect’s pain points and purchase drivers? How long is their buying cycle? You need to understand your target audience personas. Once done, your content marketing strategy will fall into place, as will your media and lead generation strategies.
8. You will include lead nurturing strategies as a key component of your marketing mix. I’ve spoken about this at conferences and speak to prospects everyday on the benefits of lead nurturing. By investing in a marketing automation solution, you’ll not only be able to target relevant content on an ongoing basis to audiences most likely to click, but sales people will see higher win rates, and those leads who aren’t ready to buy now, WILL include your solution when they ARE ready to buy, because you continue to engage prospects with compelling problem-solving content through the marketing automation process. Think about it for 2011.
9. You will increase your understanding of analytics and marketing ROI. From an analytics perspective, you need to really understand your goals, and how audiences engage with your website to achieve those goals. Google Analytics provides a myriad of reports and audience segment analyses. By understand the keywords people use to find you, what pages they visit, and where they come from, you can make real marketing and website decisions. Additionally, if you’re not measuring ROI, and how your tactics affect your revenue stream, you cannot make proper marketing decisions.
10. Relax. And focus. And prioritize. Keep learning about how technology affects your business. Don’t procrastinate, but start thinking about the above. If you need to outsource to specialists, there’s nothing wrong with that. Firms like NuSpark Marketing exist to add value to your department, and make you a star at your firm. You always have to make decisions on how to spend marketing funds. By utilizing specialists, you can spend more time on what you do well, and those specialists will complement you. It’s all about the bottom-line, and having the knowledge and skill-set to implement a proper lead management system, which covers attracting website visitors efficiently, converting those visitors into leads, and transforming those leads into sales. All phases need to be optimized.
There’s much to think about. Let’s make a 2011 the year you finally embrace the importance of a sound marketing/lead generation process, and start growing your marketing ROI utilizing channels and content that your target audiences utilize.