B2B Digital Transformation: Where Do You Begin?
It’s no secret: The digital transformation has arrived. It had been happening for years before the pandemic, but that accelerated the shift. Webinars replaced in-person events. Targeted social media ads replaced cold calling office phone lines. Marketers began generating content at an unprecedented pace and prospects ate it up on every digital channel.
And yet, if you feel you haven’t quite caught up to the trend, you’re not alone: Only 55% of B2B organizations have a digital roadmap in place, and 78% admit their organization has gaps in knowledge and skills. Don’t worry: It’s not too late for you, but it is time to get started. Here are 5 ways to get your foot in the digital door.
1. Improve Your Website
Your website is the face of your brand and is vital to your bottom line. In fact, of marketers who were extremely or very successful with content marketing in the past year, 59% believed that website changes played a role in their success. An effective website captures the attention of your target audience and provides answers to the questions they have at each stage of the buyer journey. Even more importantly, it must be fast, intuitive and easy to use, or your prospects will jump before they even read what you have to say.
Improving your website can decrease bounce rate and increase time on page, all of which means that your prospects are reading what you have to say. Start by thinking about your load time, mobile responsiveness and user experience, then follow up with engaging, useful content that is optimized for SEO, helpful to your sales teams and differentiated from your competition.
2. Create Good Content
If your website is the face of your brand, your content is your voice. Many of us know the importance of content for B2B marketing, but if creating it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and doing it well. The truth is that content marketing takes time, resources and specialized skills. You can start by determining your content gaps and making a strategy to fill them.
First determine your audience: Who are you talking to? What do they care about? List the content you already have that addresses those concerns, as well as what’s missing. Remember to think about the entire buying journey as well. Your prospects’ questions will be different at the top of the funnel than the bottom.
Now you have your topic gaps, but what about the format of your content? Effective content is more than industry whitepapers (although those have their place). You want both “snorkel” content, like short articles, videos and case studies, and “scuba” content, like webinars, research reports and ebooks.
3. Use LinkedIn
If you don’t yet have a comprehensive digital ad strategy, LinkedIn is a great place to get started. It’s the most used platform for B2B marketers by far, with 75% saying they’ve used paid LinkedIn ads and 90% using organic posts. It’s one of the easiest platforms to use, with intuitive campaign set-up and targeting, straightforward testing and best of all, no spend minimums.
LinkedIn B2B marketing is also incredibly effective: 79% say it's their most effective paid channel. Because LinkedIn is the social site for professionals, it has a ton of relevant data for B2B prospects, from job title to skill sets to years of experience. Combine the powers of LinkedIn with the personalized, engaging content you created in step 2, and you have the beginnings of a data-driven marketing strategy.
4. Build Your Tech Stack
Technology is essential to building an efficient, scalable digital strategy. There’s also a lot of technology out there, and determining what you need can be overwhelming. It’s OK to start small. Look at your existing capabilities and try to find areas where you already have some technology, or where there is simple tech available, and where leadership is open to a digital strategy. A few quick wins can provide the proof of concept and the momentum you need to take your MarTech stack to the next level.
Once you’ve implemented some simple strategies, there are two types of tech that are essential if you want to truly say you’ve entered the digital age: automation and analytics. Automation connects all of your different marketing channels, like advertising, social media and email, streamlining the customer journey and allowing you to personalize your marketing without lifting a finger. Analytics tells you whether your marketing is working. Together they create effective, insightful campaigns with a marketing ROI you can prove.
5. Bring in the Experts
Many organizations are shifting their recruitment practices and building teams to take on the tasks of the digital transformation, like data scientists and software engineers. But for many smaller organizations, this isn’t always possible. Unless you have unlimited time and resources, at some point, you’re going to need help.
Luckily for you, there are experts out there for just about everything related to the digital transformation. Full-service agencies like BOL can help you optimize your SEO, create and scale content, build a high-impact ad strategy and more. Check out our Lincoln Electric case study to see how we helped them implement marketing automation at scale and drive $3 million in revenue from net new customers. And remember we’re always here to chat.