B2B online marketing offers immense value if used properly, but businesses that act without considering a particular channel's specific ROI risk wasting resources, money, and brand equity. You have to choose what is right for your company based on your goals.
Understanding how each approach impacts your bottom line relative to its expense is crucial. In this article, we’ll be outlining the most effective B2B online marketing approaches affect a business.
Inbound marketing—typically in the form of content marketing, but not always—is no doubt the golden child of modern online marketing. Most companies benefit from an inbound marketing approach, which has enough tactics to be an entire business strategy on its own.
In a nutshell, inbound marketing is about:
- Attracting the right leads to your website through blogging, search engine optimization, social media, and more
- Capturing their information through a form, typically in exchange for a high-value, downloadable offer (such as an ebook, resource, guide, coupon, etc.)
- Nurturing leads through a process of email marketing in combination with sales outreach
- Closing leads, identifying the best source of leads, optimizing practices and increasing ROI
A return on your investment may take a while, but it will usually be substantial. Of particular interest may be non-monetary returns, such as increased brand equity and industry authority. Check out our guide for B2B online marketing ROI for specifics.
Marketing automation in B2B online marketing is a huge boost to marketing and sales operations. For some, it will offer one of the highest, fastest returns on your investment. For others, gains may be delayed, but should come through eventually.
Automation's benefit is that in paying to purchase and implement the technology once, you cut down on wasted resources forever. The return grows over time, even if you don’t invest further. How? The technology literally automates some of your day to day work and helps you scale marketing as your audience grows. It will allow you to send automated emails to new leads or customers, customize messages based on a leads online actions and even help you close the loop with analytics so you know exactly where your sales are coming from.
For any mid-size business, marketing automation is crucial to long-term success. Instead of infinitely scaling up your marketing team, automation software can cut out some of the repetitive work and give you more insights by unifying your sales and marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
While some degree of search engine optimization should offer good ROI for the vast majority of companies, there’s wide latitude in how hard a company should push on competitive searches.
The practice of SEO seems to change every year, as Google rolls out new algorithms and changes to the way it serves up search results. But that actually only makes it more crucial than ever. Staying on top of the latest optimization techniques can help your site reach the right people at the right time -- the people searching for what you have to offer.
SEO isn't really a lead generation startegy on its own, though. Keep in mind that this is an attraction tactic, a way to get people to your site. Once there, you're looking more at inbound marketing tactics to actually generate leads.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay Per Click advertising (or PPC for short) typically speaks to paid search ads, the ones you see above or below search results. However, you can also pay per click with social media ads, content syndication (putting your content on other websites) and display ads across the Google network.
Few tools in the B2B online marketing toolbox offer such wide variation in their potential ROI as paid advertising. It’s easily the most inherently aggressive investment you can make into your online presence, showing its results (or lack thereof) nearly instantly in most cases. That's the benefit though: You learn quickly so you can optimize your investment and advertising strategy to get better results right away.
It’s also useful in combination with other methods on this list. For example, paid advertising in combination with inbound marketing, for example, can accelerate timetables and bring much greater returns. The average Lifetime Value of a client should be taken into consideration when deciding how much budget to allocate to paid media.
Web Design and Development
Web design and continued web development often get overlooked or sectioned away from the bigger picture of your online marketing ROI, yet it most definitely belongs in the conversation. Good web design will cost you considerably more than most of the other strategies on this page, aside from, perhaps, paid advertising in extremely competitive markets.
Research has shown even minuscule delays in navigating a website can seriously reduce conversion rates. At an extreme, a single second of delay can drop conversions by seven percent.
A well-designed website that is optimized for search and mobile browsing is a must for any modern company today. It is a reflection of your company online, and many customers will draw conclusions about your service based on your web design alone.
The ROI of These Tactics
To find out more about the specifics of the ROI of B2B online marketing, check out our brief e-book on the subject.