What Is Digital Marketing?

So, in all transparency, honesty, and so on and so on, this blog topic, “What Is Digital Marketing,” came about because I did some research on keywords. I was trying to find a key phrase that had a lot of organic searches without a lot of competition. I was surprised to find out that “What is digital marketing?” was a question that, apparently, many people are asking but only a few are answering.

But, then, I am not too surprised. In this business we often throw around terms and phrases that are natural to us but confuse many of our customers. We are in a world where technical skill and artistry collide and those things together have a bunch of concepts that, if you haven’t been in the business as long as I have, can be confusing.

It’s like a big mish-mash of terms and phrases!

At its core, Digital Marketing is a combination of many different assets and strategies that that reach their intended audience online. It is the process of getting the word out about your company to your target market using digital tools like websites, social media and search strategies as opposed to offline methods like brochures, newspaper ads and billboards.

B2B Digital Marketing Products and Assets

Below is a list of assets that should be in your digital marketing toolbox. These assets, individually, are important.

You need at least 2 or 3 of them to have a successful digital marketing campaign.

Even B2B industries can utilize each asset and product. There is this myth out there that you only need a professional looking website, okay, and maybe a LinkedIn account.

That can’t be further from the truth! 

Set your self apart by creating each of the assets below

1. Your website

This is the cornerstone of your digital marketing and where your outgoing and incoming traffic will begin and end. This is where you establish your brand, your expertise, contact details. Your website is also where you can control the message. It’s the one place that you can keep updating and fine-tuning. As you grow and shift in the market, your website can grow and shift with you.

Your website, desktop and mobile, should clearly establish what makes you different and why your target market should contact you. A professionally designed website that takes into consideration the next 5 assets and uses them to their advantage will be essential to your online success.

Did you know 57% of senior executives use mobile devices to conduct deeper research, and one-third reference information from their smart phones during decision-making?” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-reasons-why-digital-matters-even-more-days-b2b-marketing-tiwari/

2. Blogs and articles

Blogs are not meant only for inbound marketing or search engine optimization (SEO). Your content written by your company (or a ghost writer) helps establish you as experts. Your customers are looking for this information right now, and you might be missing your chance to connect with them. With a blog that discusses what your customers are most interested in, you can show that you care about what they are most concerned about.

Remember your blog doesn’t have to be all written words. Consider publishing “How To” videos or creating project videos, start to finish. Maybe you can discuss the latest news and how it affects your industry or customers? Or you can share opinions on the latest technology? Have you had any big projects that you completed recently?

Your blog hosts your credentials and helps build trust with your customers.

Your blog hosts your credentials and helps build trust with your customers. Click To Tweet

Did you know businesses with 401-1000 website pages, that includes blog posts, get 600% more leads than those with 51-100 pages?” (Hubspot).

3. Email newsletters

Many think that sending out a email newsletter is a waste of time. We all get so many of them it’s tough to stand out from the crowd. But, if you have content that affects or interests your customers, it can be used as ‘top of mind’ as well as education. Newsletters can be just that.. news. You don’t have to do the long, hard sale. Be a resource to your customers.

Being a part of a regular ‘touch’ can help with the buying cycle. You need to connect with your prospects 7-10 times but with some digital marketing, you can make this process easier. Email newsletters can also be the tool that helps you manage leads. Offer a white paper or in-depth report in exchange for an email. Then send periodic emails consisting of the blog posts or videos you just wrote.

Corporate decision-makers get as far as 67% of the way through their buying cycle before agreeing to talk to any vendors. https://go.forrester.com/blogs/15-05-25-myth_busting_101_insights_intothe_b2b_buyer_journey/

4. Social media platforms

Social media can be abstract but it’s too important to leave out for B2B industries. It is a part of the digital marketing puzzle and can help you as you build your strategy. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest and Instagram don’t always have to be used for marketing.

Consider other parts of social media that make up how other perceive your brand:

  • Having the right message on these platforms can help attract the best employees.
  • Check your customer ratings and what others are saying about you on Twitter.
  • Build good will with your customers by showcasing their work and business.

Quick Tip: Part of digital marketing on social media means that companies should highlight real people and their accomplishments. Many B2Bs shy away from featuring individual employees. By adding real humans to the conversation, B2Bs can stand out and, well, humanize the company.

By adding real humans to the conversation, B2Bs can stand out and humanize the company. Click To Tweet

64% of B2B marketers generate leads via LinkedIn. https://www.ironpaper.com/webintel/articles/b2b-lead-generation-statistics/

5. White papers, ebooks, reports, infographics (WERIs)

WERIs for B2B: companies often have a hard time coming up with topic for these. They fear giving away too much proprietary information. But, with all of your knowledge of what you do, taking the time to share this knowledge with your customers can make a big impact.

But what should you share? I recommend sharing whatever motivates your audience to volunteer their name, email address and/or other information. Your ebook or report could also be a workbook or a collection of assets. WERIs can be anything  that can help your customers save time, money or both.

31% of B2B marketers say sales lead quality is the most important metric used. — B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: North America

Quick Tip: Consider WERIs as lead generation qualifiers. Each can have a specific topic that can attract different leads. By having customers provide their email address, you are asking them to commit to one simple thing as well as letting you know their interests and problems by their choice of download.

6. Your brand

Your website, desktop and mobile, should clearly establish what makes you different and why your target market should contact you. A professionally designed website that takes into consideration the next 5 assets and uses them to their advantage will be essential to your online success.

The best way to elevate your online brand is to take each of the above digital assets and incorporate them into your message so that they answer your customer’s questions or help them solve a problem.

Quick Tip: For B2B, there is a myth that price is the only thing that matters. Price can help differentiate you but not as the lowest bidder. Instead of competing on price, a strong online brand gives you the opportunity to compete based on value. It is a less inducement by your customer to find a competitive proposal. Digital marketing makes sure your brand is consistent and relays this message.

Brands relying on inbound marketing save over $14 for every new customer acquired.” — Openview

What is digital marketing and what is the key to building the perfect mix?

Well, that might be another blog post and it’s the $10,000 question. The quick answer is: research and thoughtful analysis. Creating your brand would be the first step — determine your message about how you are going to improve someone’s condition.

Technology is key to success, from online lead nurturing to marketing funnel automation.

Quality lead generation remains a challenge for B2B marketers at every stage but there are several ways to help increase conversions.

Christina Hawkins

1 Comment

  1. Mohd Atif on February 19, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Hi Christina, While searching on the internet I found your post. It’s very interesting and I really enjoyed while reading your thoughts on this post. I think branding is compulsory for all the advertisement on the internet because I saw many people search for a particular brand instead of searching for a product on the internet. Second thing is engagement, if we are doing promotion of a product then we have to keep in mind that people must attract on our post or product by giving them some extra things.

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