The modern B2B world businesses are witnessing transcendence – by raising their digitization games to showcase their products or services & by enhancing their web presence leveraging integrated approaches to build full-proof multichannel strategies for their marketing endeavors.
According to a research published by Gartner, B2B marketing campaigns that integrate four or more digital channels outlast those which assimilate only single or dual-channel programs by generating up to 300% more Return on Investment (ROI). Another research study by Gartner implies that 73% of the shoppers don’t entertain any direct contact by the salespeople from unknown organizations, rather prefer to contact the sales team themselves, once they are finished with extensive researches about the products or services that resonate with their pain points.
As the researching habits of the buying prospects have evolved, they have started using diverse platforms for research. While, the online methodologies of research range from different social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram & Reddit to name a few; several search engines primarily Google, Bing & Yahoo, are also used by the prospects to culminate the research phases of their buying cycles. The offline methodologies of research involve attending to the B2B marketing events, reading newspapers, watching televisions, following niche-specific influencers & listening to the podcasts.
Besides, Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) i.e. reviews about a particular company on several review websites such as yelp.com, as well on the primary domain of a business & reviews about the buying experiences of the customers, also have decisive impacts on the buying decisions of the prospects.
So, in a highly competitive & evolving B2B backdrop, not only the marketers need to register their presence on as many marketing channels as possible, but also need to effectively integrate them to seamlessly measure the endeavors of their marketing campaigns across the diverse channels – so as to attract, engage & convert traffic from diverse referral sources. In the long & short of it, optimizing the experiences of prospects (UX) across omnichannel, often by opting for niche-specific targeting, targeting for specific geographies including regional/local areas & radii-based targeting or geotargeting have become essential components of any B2B content strategy.
Optimizing users’ experiences (UX) & tactfully guiding them down to their journeys in the sales funnel, helps the enterprises achieve their prime objectives of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Moreover, the importance of multichannel marketing has amplified as users tend to research several times before making a final buying decision & the conventional sales funnel research process extends beyond the “Awareness Stage”.
Helping the prospects with their research & giving them hyper-targeted pieces of content, at each step of their buying cycles, not only helps in accelerating Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) but also contributes to the marketers’ ultimate aim of optimized sales revenue. However, unfortunately majority of the marketers still fail to impeccably articulate their multichannel campaigns, often beyond three channels. Thus, the synchronicity between the omnichannel content strategies remains a major challenge & so does the co-ordination between the marketing & sales teams.
Matt Roberts, Digital Marketing & predictive Analytics Expert at Argos quoted the imperativeness of multi-channel marketing as follows:
“We have enough customer behavior signals (in the way they interact with our website and also off-site channels) to paint enough of a picture to give strong results and conversion metrics.”
Data harnessing & housekeeping from multichannel campaigns lies at the heart of impactful B2B content marketing practices. Furthermore, aligning the data from omnichannel with the intent data of the prospects (both first & third party data & the data encompassing the demographic, psychographic, firmographic, technographic, “fit-data” & the data from the digital footprints of the prospects as well as their researching habits) & with the Keystone metrics or the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the organizations at large, helps the marketers in quantification of their multichannel content marketing endeavors, as well as in qualitatively asserting the relevance of the same to generate hyper-targeted campaigns (to attract, engage & convert the prospects).
One of the most frustrating aspects of creating a single data platform is amalgamating massive amounts of data into Excel Sheets, which makes data mining, interpretation & analysis a difficult task for companies providing B2B services, specifically for those operating in the realm of field sales. However, marketing automation platforms such as Salesforce Pardot, ActiveCampaign, Autopilot, HubSpot Marketing Automation, ONTRAPORT, SharpSpring, Sendinblue, Lead Liaison & Marketing 360, have made the task of amassing data from various points & sorting it based on the intent signals of prospects, much easier.
Data analysis & interpretation is much simpler with the help of the above-mentioned tools which leverage artificial intelligence & machine learning algorithms to derive insights for hyper-targeting marketing & quantification of insights from multichannel marketing campaigns. Most of these marketing automation platforms can be integrated with CRM tools & provide the scope for optimization of multichannel campaigns.
A research carried out by Dotmailer, across their client database revealed that the clients who used dynamic content strategies, split-tested & optimized them from time to time – after quantifying the successes of their multichannel content strategies, achieved better Open rates, Click-Through Rates (CTRs) & conversion rates as compared to their counterparts who neither quantified nor optimized their content strategies. Data-driven decision making by tracking multichannel endeavors helps the B2B marketers in tracking propensities for future purchases of prospects & helps them to build an integrated platform to extrapolate the precognitive buying behaviors of prospects. Accordingly, hyper-targeted campaigns can be designed & launched to attract, engage & convert the prospects.
Ways to Design, Manage & Optimize Multichannel Content Strategies
According to Paul Say, Director of Marketing, UK&I, Sage one needs to be crystal clear in defining the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to businesses to optimize their marketing process. He added that because of the customers switching on to the cloud-based platforms, piles of transactional data is generated. However, it’s important for companies to streamline the data & use it only in conjunction with the most relevant business KPIs of an organization.
Architecting multichannel content strategies & designing campaigns according to the users’ psychographic habits utilizes the intent signals from the prospects to prepare an invisible armory to attract, engage, convert & retain them.
Let’s delve into some ways to design, manage & optimize all-encompassing, multichannel B2B content strategies, which have been listed below:
1. Generating specific pieces of content to match customer preferences:
Preparing a marketing preference center for effective communication can help the businesses in targeting their customers with their preferred types of content, using the permissible frequency rate allowed by the prospects. A preference center is a web page that allows the prospects to set their preferences, in terms of the types of content that they want to generate, about their preferred products or services & their preferred frequency for receiving emails or newsletters. The idea capitalizes upon the intent-based targeting of the prospects to attract, engage & convert the customers – instead of opting for a one-size-fits-it-all strategy.
A preference center prioritizes the requirements of the customers & facilitates the following:
- It gives the subscribers the option to prioritize the types of content that they want to receive
- It gives the prospects a say over the content format, size, design & even the specific HTML texts that they want to get highlighted
- It allows marketers to use predictive text, analytics & multi-touch attribution technics to optimize users’ experience (UX)
- The customers are allowed to modify their subscription over time viz. update their email addresses, contact information or even to reset their email preferences. According to Target Marketing Magazine, as much as 20 to 25% of the subscribers change their email addresses every year, owing to their job switches. Allowing customers to modify their preferences, helps the marketers in retaining the customers for longer.
Content marketers need to promote the opt-ins for their preference centers. The welcome emails are the perfect places to have links to the preference centers. While, the subscribers may stick to curtailed preferences, advertising the whole chunk is still a good strategy for the marketers, as sometimes the prospects may wish to shuffle or change their opt-in preferences over time.
Different potential customers in different stages of their respective buying cycles are looking for different pieces of content – to address the issues resonating with pain points, as well as to answer some specific questions that they might have, related to the products or services at disposal.
Based on the data gathered from web-analytics, as well as data generated from the third party intent signals & data gathered from demographic, psychographic, technographic, firmographic, “fit-data,” as well as the digital footprints produced from the past research methodologies & buying behaviors of the prospects, hyper-targeted pieces of content can be created to accelerate the sales conversions. Customers can be segmented into specific clusters for cluster-specific targeting or divided into specific niches (example: Customers belonging only to some specific targeted geography).
Machine-learning algorithms such as k-means clustering can be used for market segmentation as well as for segmenting the prospective buyers or shoppers in the market.
Tailoring content to the preferences of the customers ensures that they are fed with specific pieces of content, designed to specifically answer their queries. Such an approach ensures that the experiences of the users (UX) are optimized, which, in turn, assists the optimization of website conversion rates. Furthermore, text-mining helps in figuring out the patterns among the most frequently asked questions by the prospects. Designing content strategies to specifically address the common queries placed by the prospects at specific stages of their buyers’ cycles, helps the marketers in optimizing their ROI.
Writing specific blogs to answer the frequently asked questions by the prospects & linking them to the popular Q&A platform Quora, helps in driving additional, relevant referral traffic on the website. Additionally, hyper-targeted pieces of content also aid in bridging the gap between the content strategies of marketing & sales teams. Once the marketing & sales teams work in close conjunction with each other on a hyper-targeted content strategy to expedite the journeys of the prospects, marketing automation platforms can be employed to help in better housekeeping of data related to specific pieces of content.
Thus, customers are fed with specific & separate pieces of content during their buying cycles, which accelerates the sales conversions. To tailor content as per customer preferences, their buying journeys need to be closely monitored. This automatically brings technology into equation & once the marketing automation platforms are used to architect as well as manage the content information being fed to prospects; this eventually ensures that marketing & sales team don’t work in silos, but rather on intertwined automation platforms & thus, each of them have an assess all the different content strategies opted by the marketing & sales teams separately. This bridges the gap between the content endeavors of marketing & sales across multiple channels. Eventually, the sales revenue of organizations strengthens because of an integrated content endeavor.
2. Tracing out Customer Motivation:
B2B marketing is primarily driven by need rather than by desire. The three driving factors behind any B2B purchase are:
- Convenience &
The value shouldn’t essentially be confused with reduced cost. While the pricing of products needs to be competitive, the marketers also need to keep in mind that no B2B enterprise will think about investing in multiple cheap products, but rather many of them will invest in a comparatively costlier product that will serve them for a longer duration.
Convenience is an important factor – particularly when the prospects are still in their respective buying cycles – researching about their buying preferences. The prospects nowadays are very particular about the type of content they want to consume & about the platforms on which they want to engage with the pieces of content at disposal.
The B2B marketers should carefully create different pieces of content to engage prospects on various referral channels including the social media channels.
The pieces of content must be convenient for the prospects to discover & engage with, on their preferred platforms. The website should be easy to use, preferably with a website loading time of not more than 2 seconds. Moreover, the pieces of content displayed on the website must be easier for users to understand. The delivery options should be flexible, tailored according to the needs of the customers & installment options & financial assistance in the form of loans can also be provided.
3. Having highly specialized Email Strategies:
The email strategies must be designed such that they help the prospects move down their sales funnel by answering their queries & addressing their pain points, while at the same time expediting their journeys through their buying cycles to optimize the website conversion rates.
The email strategies can also be automated partially to help the businesses send personalized emails (for example welcome emails) at the right time. Often, when the prospects subscribe to email newsletters, they expect a prompt response. According to the data from InsideSales it was deduced that contacting subscribers within 5 minutes of signing up elevates the chances of conversion 21x times.
The types of email content can be subdivided into the following main types:
- Welcome Emails (For welcoming the new customer as well as for the returning customers who long in after a long interval of time, for promoting special offers to some key customers & when indifferent purchasing activities are spotted)
- Emails with Generic Pieces of information (Examples include: Subject Matter Guides, other information such as how-to-guides & e-books & those addressing issues about legislative compliances, GDPR guidelines or subject-based knowledge guides)
- Product Emails (These emails are specifically those about product-specific campaigns. These often also have discount offers)
- Special & Seasonal Offers (These emails publicize special discounts being given on particular products or services & often also include the Seasonal Offers & discounts being given on specific days or during specific times in a year)
4. Integrating internal sales & marketing teams with Website, CRM data & Email Marketing automation platforms:
The sales & marketing teams need to work in close conjunction with each other to optimize their sales revenue which essentially includes: bridging the gaps between their cumulative endeavors & by coordinating & cross-functioning with the other vital departments such as Information Technology (IT) & Human Resources (HR), as & when required.
At any point in time & sales & marketing teams should be well aware of the pieces of content being displayed on the website & of other technicalities related to the website health, such as website design, website loading time & the design of the landing pages.
Access to the CRM data to monitor customers’ journeys & their omnichannel behavior & to the Email Marketing Automation Platforms are required, to send automated emails to the customers based on their intent targeting (leveraging the data derived from their demographics, technographic, firmographics, psychographics, “fit-data” & those derived from their research mythologies & past buying behavior).
The modern CRM platforms are capable of being studded with multiple plug-INS to analyze the data of the prospects from multiple marketing channels. The intent data from the first party analytical tools, as well as from third parties can be integrated to generate hyper-targeted campaigns for the customers based on their demographic, firmographic, technographic, psychographic data & their past research habits & purchase records.
5. Designing data-driven infrastructures:
The multichannel content marketing endeavors can be quantified by the marketers by using marketing automation tools integrated with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, as well as by using the in-built analytical tools & some other analytical tools such as Google Analytics.
Indulging with effective data-driven insights from the customers, at each stage of their buying cycles, not only helps the marketers in designing specifically suited marketing strategies to attract, engage & convert customers at each stage of their buying cycles, but also helps them in making data-driven decisions by amalgamating the insights from various data-points. For example, in a hypothetical scenario technology companies may invest in software & immediately thereafter might also invest in some of the complementary products. This might give the marketing companies a signal based on the intent to either prepare the complementary products themselves or advertise both the parent & complementary products together.
6. Focus on Personalization:
The marketers should jot down that the personalized experience now need to delivered at individual levels, every single time a prospect consumes a piece of content (which often is in the form of email marketing campaigns).
According to a study by Conversant Media, 94% of the customer insights & marketing professionals across multiple industries stated that personalization is “important”, “very important” or “extremely important” for accomplishing their Email marketing strategies.
Personalization has evolved to the level of individualization & the shoppers need to be fed with specific pieces of content for each stage of their buying cycles. This optimizes the Users’ Experiences (UX) which is an essential prerequisite to generate optimized sales revenue.
7. Defining, Continuously Monitoring & Optimizing the Multichannel Marketing KPIs & Integrating them with the Business KPIs of B2B organizations:
Defining the metrics to measure the endeavors of multichannel content marketing campaigns is essential to optimize them. Care should be taken that all the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), designed to quantify the endeavors of the multichannel marketing have to be integrated with the KPIs of the organization at large (with high degrees of relevance).
After the KPIs for multichannel marketing have been defined, they need to be split-tested & optimized. The optimization remains a dynamic process, considering the ever-evolving set-up of the B2B industry.
Lizzy Foo Kune, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner for Marketers stated, “Calculate success using metrics detailed around the three key types of user responses: Action, engagement, and perception”
Quantifying the engagement of prospects across omnichannel, their actions & perception of a brand (perceived notions they hold in terms of Brand Resonance) are essential. Engagement, actions & perception are the three most probable ways in which a prospect can respond to any given marketing opportunity. Measuring & aligning the KPIs related to multichannel content marketing endeavors, including those on social media, with the vital KPIs of organizations at large & split-testing, can help the marketers in optimizing their multichannel content strategies.
Multichannel content strategy is an essential element of B2B marketing, having the following advantages:
- It allows them to retain accurate, comprehensive & regularly updated customer information
- By seamless integration between marketing, sales & website & automation platforms for email synchronicity is established for optimized conversions through omnichannel content marketing
- The multichannel content strategy assures that the marketers provide relevant content at regular intervals to the prospects on their preferred platforms
- Hyper-personalized pieces of content based on the intent signals of prospects mean that prospects always have regular, interesting & relevant content at their disposal which is creative & inspiring enough to entice them to take relevant actions meant for the optimization of the sales conversions
- Multichannel content strategy can be regularly monitored & optimized
By combining the three Ps viz. personalization, people-based approaches & predictive analytics with customer data (demographic, technographic, psychographic, “fit-data”, firmographic), engagement history & the modern business intelligence tools the marketers can expand their reach with hyper-personalized multichannel content strategies to expedite as well as optimize the sales conversions. Moreover, segmenting the prospects based on their data, engagement histories & methodologies of research helps in designing hyper-targeted campaigns.
According to Campaign Monitor, Marketers have witnessed a 760% increase in revenue from the segmented campaigns than those generated from the non-segmented ones.
We, at Valasys Media, possess a wealth of experience in running hyper-targeted campaigns to bolster the Return on Investment (ROI) for our B2B clients. Our services include lead-generation, appointment setting, content syndication & account-based marketing, to name a few.
For the furtherance of perennially healthy sales pipeline & for an optimized Return on Investment (ROI), feel free to get in touch with us.