According to research conducted by the Acquity Group, 94% of business to business (B2B) buyers do online research before making purchases1. That’s a lot of educated buyers who are making purchase decisions well before traditional marketing methods have a chance of reaching them. Changing buying behaviors are turning marketing into a mission-critical function – especially building and nurturing relationships with unknown buyers. So how do you reach these buyers before they make their purchase? A consistent and engaging digital presence is the foundation of your marketing strategy across web, mobile, social and search.
As you create your company’s digital presence, consider the following elements for your strategy:
  • Articulate a value proposition that attracts the right customer. It is critical that your organization is able to express a meaningful and differentiated value proposition to prospects. Being able to clearly convey the value of your company and its solution offering is a key factor in the decision-making process. If you can address a prospect’s biggest pain points and they can understand how you differ from your competitors, you now have the single most important element in your marketing completed.
  • Be where your customers are by building digital real estate, including:
    • Company website and blogs. More B2B buyers are turning to the web to research products1, so it’s important for you to provide content that satisfies buyers’ need for knowledge. In addition, search engines feed on content for rankings. Leverage resources like the Partner Marketing Center for useful content, curate and comment on relevant content from the web, and mine experts in your own company, community and customer base.
    • Microsoft Pinpoint Profile. Pinpoint provides an open marketplace for Microsoft partners and developers to promote and sell Microsoft technology solutions to customers – and provides a pipeline of qualified leads. Manage your profile at the new Partner Center.
    • Social Presence. Marketers say that social media is an important lead generation tactic – so important that 69% of B2C marketers are creating more content now than just one year ago2. Fans of your business and content will share it to new potential customers, thereby growing your list of prospects. Prospects may prefer to engage and/or follow you through social channels, rather than email. Be where these customers are. See “Five steps to launch your social media strategy.”
  • Invest in ongoing optimization of your site(s). 70% of the links search users click on are organic – meaning they are not paid – and there’s a 62% lower cost per lead from inbound digital marketing versus outbound marketing3.
    • Utilize targeted keywords to harness attention. In fact, in the recent webinar “How to Partner in the Cloud with Digital Marketing,” Duane Forester says that keyword research is the “single biggest skill you will cultivate and use for the rest of your time on the internet.”
    • Understand and utilize search engine optimization (SEO), outsourcing as needed.
    • Learn how to optimize your Pinpoint profile at Pinpoint Resources.
Keep in mind that these building blocks are not static, but an ongoing process that requires a strategy. As you step into different digital marketing activities, remember to measure the results. Track your customers and see where they are spending time and what sources create the most leads for your company – and then double your efforts there.
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