What are the essential B2B business development trends for 2018? What do you need to do to get your website right? What are the top-rated tactics to help you engage more prospects and win more work?
For contract manufacturers and job shops, marketing is critical. Margins have contracted, competition is fierce and the web offers immediate access to endless options for manufacturing.
Consider these facts: for B2B companies, SEO (search engine optimization) is the lead source delivering the highest close rate, some 15 percent. And website referral traffic, paid search and social media are the next three best sources for closing new business.
Developing Your Budget
When it comes to developing your marketing budget for 2018, compare your company to others in your industry. From a recent national study, the majority of B2B companies allocate about two percent of annual revenue for marketing. Of that amount, businesses spend:
22% on lead nurturing
13% on product marketing
11% on customer/market research
10% on brand awareness
Making Your Marketing Industrial Strength
So, as you firm up your growth plans for next year and finalize the budgets to support your objectives, we recommend you follow the steps below. These are proven to make your company more discoverable on search engines and strengthen relationships with past and current customers.
Create a plan. Every campaign needs a plan that includes your marketing objectives, your budget, your target audience, and the performance metrics you should track to determine success.
List your company in industrial directories. Directories boost your opportunities to rank on the first page of Google. Consider GlobalSpec, MacRae's, Process Register and others.
Store your customer contacts. Track your customers either in a customer resource management (CRM) system such as SalesForce or an online email solution such as MailChimp or Emma.
Identify your audience. Write down everything you know about your customers - their demographics, buying habits, where they go for information, job titles, decision making process, and objections.
Create a keyword priority list. Identify the top 50 keywords your audience uses to specify your products or services. Focus on long-tail keywords vs. broad, generic keywords.
Brainstorm your content strategy. Start documenting the types of content you plan to publish, where you're going to publish it, and when it should be promoted.
Create an editorial calendar. After brainstorming, you are ready to put your content strategy on paper. Identify who is responsible for content and create a schedule you can realistically follow.
Track the performance of your website. Every webpage, social post, blog post and page on your website should be tracked to determine where your content is succeeding or needs improvement.
With these tactics underway, you will be better prepared to retain your current customers and garner your share of new business opportunities. If you have questions on how to develop or implement any of these initiatives, contact me at MikeSmiley@DecisionAssociates.net or 814-528-9416.