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ROBERTSON: Try these tactics for biz marketing

Take a fresh look at your business-to-business marketing and consider some tactics that really work.

It is important for businesses to keep looking forward. When it comes to B2B marketing, however, you may have trouble deciding which tactics you should be using or determining if it’s a worthwhile investment.

Several options right at your fingertips really work and are worth the investment, especially if you know your audience and keep your message simple and focused. Some results-driven B2B marketing tactics you should consider are search engine optimization (SEO), having an updated local search display, Google AdWords, content marketing and social media.

First, let’s look at SEO.

Many B2B companies think SEO is not for them. But SEO is critical for B2B marketing. Remember, other companies can also be your consumers. In fact, 89 percent of B2B researchers use the Internet, and 73 percent of buyers use Google, according to E Commerce & B2B.

Google also shows search trends related to business, and industrial categories have increased over the last five years. This increase indicates B2B SEO could have long-term growth opportunities and advantages.

To see if your customers are searching for your products or services, use Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner to find keyword trends and data. If the monthly search volume is high, that likely means your customers are searching. Make sure they can find you.

 

Local search display

In August, Google made more changes that will affect local businesses. Google’s new local search display format is a change that affects how a business is actually displayed on the search engine results page (SERP).

Why does this matter? Before this change, Google would usually display a variety of local and organic results, depending on the location and search inquiry. This assortment could include up to seven local results, also known as the “7-pack.” With the change, the results have been reduced to the “3-pack.”

This change brings a higher level of competitiveness, so your local listings should be keyword optimized and tracked using Google My Business to avoid any traffic loss.

 

Google AdWords

Your business can have targeted campaign control and instant results with Google AdWords, a paid advertising service. Using AdWords means you can have specific audience categories and keyword subsets.

AdWords is different from SEO. The difference is because your company can appear on the first page of a search engine results page for your most competitive keyword terms — or even top of the page with the right budget and bid — yet still target key messages and provide click-through destination to a specific audience.

 

Content marketing

Content marketing is the specialized process of creating valuable content for your priority audience that will drive traffic to your website by positioning your business as a reputable source. No one knows your business better than you, so use that advantage to overcome what some see as a barrier — creating the content.

Find something that’s useful and will connect you to your audience, and have that as a guide for generating articles, downloadable resources or eBooks. You will see that content marketing works and produces tremendous results.

 

Social media

With social media, locate platforms your customers find interesting. Make sure you are being relevant and put quality over quantity.

Many B2B marketers successfully utilize outreach tactics on LinkedIn, while sites like SlideShare can further your content marketing efforts and reach unexpected and valuable audiences. As for Twitter, engagement is key and you must be able to participate regularly to be effective.

 

Tracking results

Be sure to track your results and verify if you are getting a return on your investment. Even if you are doing everything in-house, time is money.

Determine in advance what your key performance indicators (KPI) are and commit to track them monthly. Google Analytics can be valuable, but you may need to rely on additional methods. Your business may need to track internally by monitoring new calls and/or emails.

Managing this data will allow you to increase positive results and reallocate future budgets.

 

This column was compiled by Karen Geriner Robertson, director of public relations and client development at Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations Inc. She can be reached at karen@robmark.com or 912-921-1040.

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