As more and more consumers gravitate to the internet to conduct their daily business, a successful internet marketing strategy can be an important feature to facilitating a business’ success both on and offline. Here are 6 easy steps that can help put you on the path to creating a great B2B internet marketing strategy.
B2B Internet Marketing: 101
Research the Best Keywords for Your Niche
Keyword research is the first step in establishing a working and successful internet marketing plan. These keywords will rotate throughout a business’ social media, paid- and organic-search properties. While researching keywords, it is best to understand how they can affect your bottom line.
- You should ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is my target audience and do these keywords relate to them?
- Will these keywords bring in the right traffic?
- Will they drive my cost or profit up?
The next thing you should look for is a keyword researching tool. Most major web advertisers such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask offer keyword tools along with their marketing tools. They also offer excellent tutorials that all marketers should get familiar with before using them. Remember, it’s okay to choose a lesser ranked keyword if it is more targeted to your audience; phrase keywords usually work best and are sometimes known as long-tail keywords. This is something that should stay in your mind when moving on to Step 2.
Create a Paid Search/Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Organic/SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Keyword Strategy
One of the biggest mistakes many untrained professionals make is that they look for keywords in their business’ niche that are considered “top-ranking keywords”. However, just because a keyword has the potential to generate a great deal of traffic doesn’t mean that the traffic will convert into a paying customer or client. Moreover, this traffic can be very expensive to target.
For instance, if you were researching a keyword to use in a paid search program like Google’s AdWords, then you may want to target your keywords as close to your niche as possible for one reason – cost. Popular keywords usually have an established high monetary value, because they have been bid on for a long period of time and companies with high budgets have been keeping them competitive for years. This is why keywords should be targeted as close as possible to the target audience and the niche itself.
Once your keywords are established, begin a paid search/pay-per-click campaign using these keywords.
Write or Optimize Website Content with Developed Keywords
If there is already published content for the company website, review it and see if the keywords you’ve decided upon can easily be incorporated on the pages. In some cases it may be required to rewrite the content to include your keyword phrases. Each page should contain between 1 and 3 keywords or keyword phrases that fit that page’s subject matter. It’s very important to make sure the content flows naturally while incorporating the keyword. Search engine companies are against websites with pages full of keywords that have no real purpose other than to be there. Finally, make sure each page has a proper Meta title, Meta description, and image descriptions (the site should have images with keyword-rich tags).
There are two more parts to the optimization process – consistently creating new content and attracting inbound links. By continually creating quality and compelling content, your site will look busy and attract new traffic. This is a practice that the search engine companies are asking website owners to do as well. As for inbound link creation, having highly trafficked websites post your website’s link on one of their webpages actually lends you increased internet authority. So, the more inbound links you can obtain from high-authority websites, the better.
Establish Social Media Sites and a Blog
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others allow businesses to create accounts where they can briefly describe what it is they do and will allow them to have an open relationship with the audience. These social media outlets are also currently free of charge. Of course they do offer their own pay-for-advertising services, but you do not have to partake in those immediately or at all. The point of social media is to create the personal relationship between the brand and its audience.
A blog is a brilliant way to continually create new content (as described in Step 3) for your website. You can create a blog on free platforms such as Tumblr, WordPress or Blogger. Or, your web developer can attach the blog directly to your website so that it’s looked at as an additional section of your website. Just like your regular web pages, you want to optimize the pages and posts on your blog as well with keyword-rich titles, content and images.
Research Whether Mobile Is for Now or Later or Not At All
Creating a platform or an “App” accessible by mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets is a natural progression. Keep in mind though, that this is a step that is not necessary for everyone. Mobile marketing is great for larger businesses, but may not be ideal for smaller companies. For example, a business that relies upon customers ordering products directly from its website may benefit immensely from a mobile app or a website optimized for mobile devices. If you are unsure of your business’ need for mobile, you can circle back to readdress this once the internet marketing strategy is deployed and generating results. You can also inquire via your social media outlets to see if your audience would like an App in the future.
Establish an Offer
The best way to get positive attention to your business is to provide your audience with something they want. Who doesn’t love a discount or freebie? Create an offer (e.g., 25% off, free whitepaper, free webinar) that will be compelling but not cumbersome to the business. Make sure you clearly state start and end dates for the offer. And lastly, come up with a creative call to action that will compel your audience to want to engage. This could include a creative image, button or tag line.
Offers, like social media, are a great way to get to know your audience and collect data at the same time.
What It Takes to Become a Successful Internet Marketer
Anyone can do a little research and create a marketing strategy. But it doesn’t hurt to have a strong business background if you want to be a successful internet marketer. Since the internet and its rules can change faster than you can blink, having an education that focuses on both business and internet marketing is the secret to many of today’s top-marketing professionals’ success.
For those who are interested in pursuing education specializing in Internet marketing, consider looking into specialized graduate programs such as an MBA with a specialization in Marketing. These programs give marketing professionals an acute edge and insight into the many facets that make up internet marketing, including analytic techniques and programs that are used specifically for data mining. After all, a marketer with the ability to read data and then apply it into an overall successful marketing strategy is the kind of professional top employers are looking to hire.