Long gone are those days when your Sales team would hit the trade shows floor to meet prospects for a friendly chat. While we’re certainly sharing the nostalgia of those happy days… the show must go on! So how do you build your pipeline and secure demo calls in the new world, where Zoom pilates is a totally legit thing? Obviously, digitally too.
Brand awareness, lead generation, thought leadership and virtually any part of marketing have become extremely complex. So naturally, building and executing a company’s digital marketing strategy can be completely overwhelming. Which tools are the absolute must-haves for your business? Which vendors should you hire? Should you invest in Salesforce or Hubspot or both?!
And then there’s always that fella.. Let’s call him Gary. Gary likes to come up with ideas. And Gary just told everyone loud and clear that you need to re-design the whole website. Because, you know, your conversion rates… suck. Well, thanks, Gary! So, as the days go by, figuring out your priorities seems harder than a solo climb to Everest. Next thing you know you’re looking in the mirror at the Jedi of Procrastination, rather than a Startup Pro. YOU NEED HELP!
Luckily, SAGE is here to give you some clarity. We’ve worked across countless clients’ campaigns over the years, in almost every market you can think of. And we’ve achieved stellar results even for the toughest ones, so we know this process works!
Here’s how to create a successful digital marketing strategy in five steps. And you can tell Gary you don’t need to hire Gary Vaynerchuk yet!
Number 1: Set Your Marketing Goals
Knowing where you want to go is the right first step of any journey. To begin with, you need to set some measurable and realistic marketing goals for your business.
Some CEOs we’ve met over the years would take an overly careful approach. “Let’s start small and see how it goes” kind of thing. It’s a double-edged sword though, because when you start small, it’s easy to miss out on the potential opportunities. Others would jump in it full-on: high budgets, ambitious goals. Pressing the gas too hard, however, is also not the ideal approach as what you need is to A/B test first and see what channel works best for you. The truth is always somewhere in the middle.
If you’re an overachiever and aim to get 25% conversions and 500% social media channels’ growth, you need to (thank your parents?) take a look at the market benchmarks and what your business is generating today in terms of website leads, sales revenue etc. This way you can decide on the right goal for your startup given your current budget, of course.
You want to start with identifying your 12-month goals and then move on to a more granular level with a 3-month milestone target.
Number 2: Get 200% Clear on Your Business’ Core Message
You’d be surprised to know HOW MANY companies aren’t sure about their key messaging and positioning. You might be one of them, and that’s OK, there’s no shame in that (well, maybe just a little.) This is going to be the basis of everything that you do, so it’s really crucial that you identify the core elements and align on everything with the rest of the team, including Sales, who might get slightly carried away sometimes.
Messaging should be as granular as possible. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Here at SAGE we’ve demonstrated over and over again that the more specific we get, the better results we bring. You always want to target different buyer personas with personalized and laser-focused value propositions. Look at your content, and ask yourself: is this message for end users? Or decision makers? Are you positive you can use the same messaging for all verticals? Maybe different industries pay attention to different features of your product, and therefore the tone and voice of your communications with each segment should be different too.
Number 3: Learn How to Drive Organic Traffic to Your Website
Believe it or not, your website is absolutely central to all of your digital campaigns, so improving its performance is your top marketing priority. If Gary is right (I know you’d hate to admit) and your website sucks, it’s probably because of inconsistent messages, lack of case studies or missing CTAs (Call-to-Action buttons.) And no amount of paid campaigns’ – aka PPC – dollars will be able to help you. You simply can’t out-market a bad website.
Once your website has been professionally revamped – trust me, you don’t want to do it by yourself – you need to start driving traffic to your business. There are two ways to do it. First, you need to maximize organic traffic by focusing on your website’s content and the content your company is putting out there. Have you heard of Quora marketing? It’s a part of that strategy, for example. Stage two is optimizing your content to rank high on the search engines. In most cases, organic traffic is the most quality traffic you can generate, and the best thing is – it’s totally free!
Number 4: Boost Your Paid Traffic Sources
This is basically running ads. Before anything else, you need to identify which channels are the right ones for YOUR business, and this depends on a whole lot of variables. Same goes for your organic social media, by the way. Twitter might be still big with the US folks, but isn’t that hot anymore when it comes to European audiences.
Yet, running ads just for the sake of running ads won’t do anything to your bottom line, unless you have properly invested in creating quality content assets beforehand. Pouring thousands of dollars into demo ads is a losing strategy, it simply doesn’t work with savvy audiences that expect valuable information in return for their contact details. So make sure that some lines in your budget spreadsheet are dedicated to content writing, SEO and design without which it’s impossible to create quality gated content for your advertising campaigns.
Number 5: Prioritize And Build Your Plan
The fifth and the final step is when you’re going to take a wide angle, look at all of the above and identify everything that needs to be done. So if Gary suddenly turns up at your doorstep and announces that you really need a bunch of one-pagers for your Sales team in the US, you will know exactly when the right time to tackle this one is. This way you can always rest assured you’ve got your top priorities covered and you know what your next move needs to be.
Besides some essentials we’ve covered above, there’s plenty more you need to do as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy for your SaaS company. If you want to make it in the increasingly competitive marketplace, you must invest in a handful of B2B digital marketing activities including brand awareness and PR, build thought leadership campaigns, organize educational webinars, produce white papers, apply for awards and associations, publish industry reports and much more. All of this is essential to elevate your brand and build trust with your target audience, without which your hard earned leads will never become opportunities.
Some Closing Thoughts
Digital marketing for B2B business continues to rapidly change with new tools for automation and optimization popping up like mushrooms after a rain. Only a very experienced and diverse team of marketing professionals can keep up with this pace and know how to apply them for maximum impact.
Following the proper digital marketing strategy steps is a necessity if you want to set yourself up for business success. Without bold but achievable marketing goals, you won’t know how to measure your progress. This means you will either be overpromising and under delivering or not providing yourself the push you need to advance quickly and reach impressive KPIs. If your core company message is unclear or constantly changing, your content will be confusing and your target audience will have a very difficult time connecting with you. Along the same vein, if your website is outdated and has poor UI/UX, you must take care of that and then begin to drive organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic is just as important as paid traffic.
Once your organic traffic is boosted and your messaging is clear and concise, that is the time to invest in paid traffic. You don’t want to waste money directing people to your website if it’s not first prepared to handle these incoming leads and begin nurturing them with proper CTA’s, forms, and assets. If you follow these steps to create digital marketing strategy, you’ll be in the perfect position to take a holistic view at your comprehensive marketing strategy and create a plan for growth.
SAGE is a leading digital marketing agency in Israel, comprised of a strong team of B2B marketing experts. We work with diverse high-tech companies on digital marketing strategy and execution, that leads to significant growth and numerous business opportunities abroad.
SAGE has an impressive track record, and most importantly, we absolutely love what we do. Our dedication and marketing savoir-faire shows in the KPIs we generate for our clients for many years. Speak to us today to see how we can help your company with the most ambitious marketing challenges.