@ChristiJOlson, https://www.linkedin.com/in/christijolson

Digital transformation is all about understanding the tools and platforms you have and making them work together to provide a holistic view of your customer. You must understand your customer to create targeted content and messaging that is engaging, relevant, and actionable.

Recently at Microsoft Inspire, we showcased several key digital marketing solutions that are valuable to partners. Discover how tools like Bing Ads search, LinkedIn content, and DCCN can help you simplify and transform your digital marketing efforts.

The Importance of Search with Bing Ads

Did you know that 71% of buyers begin the purchase process with a web search? Search is an awareness tool that spans all stages of the customer journey. We also know that this journey is not a straight line—it’s a conversation.
Industry-wide, it’s accepted that there are 5 specific steps that most buyers go through when they search:

  • Initiation
  • Research
  • Comparison
  • Transaction
  • Experience

That said, these steps can vary according to customer needs and preferences. In fact, according to a recent Forester techno-graphics survey, 60% of customers begin their purchase journey by using a search engine to find products they want. Sometimes, search is the ONLY event in the purchase path.

Given those numbers, using Bing Ads as your search engine marketing tool should be a key part of your digital marketing strategy. It will help you get found and connect your customers to relevant and targeted content.

Power Compelling Content with LinkedIn

Of course, content is the backbone of the internet—without it, there’d be nothing to search for. Content marketing builds relationships between brands and buyers. When done well, content is highly relevant and useful for buyers and not salesy. It inspires and motivates buyers to understand the benefits of products and services.

During her presentation at Microsoft Inspire, Heidi Anderson from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions summarized what makes content compelling. Your content needs to be:

  • Targeted: You must get the right content to the right buyers at the right time. Take the time to truly understand your buyers, their goals, and their perspectives. Create customer personas and then tailor content, messaging, and campaigns that speak directly to these buyers.
  • Relevant: Content must be useful and aid buyers in their journey. Content must stand out and engage the audience you are trying to reach.
  • Measurable: To understand how content is driving impact, you must be able to track conversions, understand your advertising ROI, and optimize results. By running A/B tests and tracking marketing results, you can focus time and budget on what is working best.

A great way to get content to your audience is through LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the top B2B content distribution channel. Eighty percent of leads sourced through social media comes from LinkedIn. In fact, LinkedIn has a 3.5X higher conversion rate than other social networks.

So how can LinkedIn drive business impact for you? LinkedIn allows you to target your content to very specific audiences, such as individuals at high-value accounts. Sharing content that is topical and of interest to your buyers is important in helping you to convert high quality leads into customers. LinkedIn also enables you to measure lead quality and content value, so you can maximize ROI and get the most from your campaigns.

Simplify Your Content Strategy: Publish with DCCN

Creating and publishing content takes time. But ensuring you have discipline around your content strategy is critical. Microsoft Digital Commerce and Campaign Network (DCCN) is a web-based platform for partners that helps you drive awareness, increase demand, and accelerate sales by serving up dynamic and engaging Microsoft content to your website. DCCN content educates customers on new products, services, and solutions offered by Microsoft. DCCN also offers rich metrics to help you gauge impact.

More than 3,000 partners worldwide are taking advantage of DCCN. A recent study shows that Microsoft partners that have used DCCN marketing syndication generate 34% more revenue per quarter on average. It’s free, it’s easy, and it saves you time and money.

Microsoft offers plenty of digital marketing solutions to help you get found, build customer relationships, and accelerate sales. To learn more, watch this short video from Microsoft Inspire. If you have a bit more time, I’d highly recommend that you view the full Microsoft Inspire session here.

How are you engaging with your customer base through search and compelling content? Share your thoughts on your digital marketing transformation with the Microsoft Partner Community.