Before you can say, “If you build it, they will come,” you actually need to know a lot about ‘they’ before you can expect results. That is the ONLY way you should begin building something with an expectation of success, you better know what ‘they’ want!
This is a common mistake that web marketers sometimes gloss over. Yes, the web has tremendous flexibility and can be updated at the drop of a hat. But there is value in creating a solid marketing message and strategy before you initiate your campaigns and testing. This is extremely important in B2B lead generation efforts.
Unlike the instant gratification that often correlates to consumer e-commerce transactions, B2B buyers have a more methodical evaluation and buying process. This is common, even if they know your brand and products. Staying true to developing solid marketing messaging that appeals to these online researchers/buyers is going to help you generate more leads and demos.
Knowing your target digital audience means you should be able to articulate:
- What are their search habits?
- Where do they hang out online?
- What motivates them?
- How do they make decisions
- What are their pain points?
- What kind of information do they crave?
- How do they like receiving that information – data sheets, videos, whitepapers, case studies, etc.?
Once you have all this information in tow, you can develop marketing messaging that speaks to them and collateral that captivates them! You need to figure out how to draw them in, especially if your company is unknown to them. How does your offering make their life easier/better and how do you differentiate from the competition? You need to be able to hit home with your value proposition so that it aligns with results that matter for them.
Just getting them to your site is only a portion of the battle. Now you are in the Consideration & Evaluation phase. After the prospect feels a connection because you are speaking their language, you need to deliver the right information for them to process and review that will help them move along your sales funnel. Other good companies have mirrored your approach by having good targeted marketing messaging. This is when your offering needs to blow them away during comparisons against the competition.
Having the right collateral will make it easier to convert them into a serious sales prospect from a lead.
One side note, the consumers you target are bright people and know what they want. They can smell companies who are making things up or trying to take short cuts. The prospects can be cynical if they feel you truly do not understand them or never took the time to in the first place. This could be very bad, as now they have a negative impression of your brand that you have to overcome in the future.
As long as you remember to put the effort in to your market research before you launch, you can expect to reap the benefits of successful digital marketing initiatives.