Going online for many B2B businesses can be a frustrating endeavor. Many companies have been in business more than 20 years and find themselves stuck when it comes to internet marketing. They rely on traditional advertising methods and references to do business. They do not always grasp the opportunities online or might think that the evolution of the internet does not really apply to them.
The reality is that B2B and Manufacturing companies probably benefit from internet marketing the most since most of their competitors are wary to go online. Do the questions below define you?
- Your company works with major manufacturers and provides B2B or Industrial Services/Products.
- The preferred contact method for you would be a phone call, email or an online lead/form submission.
- You attend various trade shows to showcase your products/services.
- Your products / services may be very customized and it might not be viable for you to display pricing information on your website.
Our objective would be to re-design the site and the content management system in a user- and search engine friendly way to increase sales and profit. Based on the above criteria, here is the strategy that we would suggest;
- Design / Re-Design and CMS (Content Management System) Integration
The best approach here would be to use a system that allows individual product entries with custom options. This would allow us to really refine search and filtering options, thus providing a great way to drill down into categories for different products and catalogs. You must obtain a data feed (excel, access or xml format) from the manufacturers, as an essential first step to provide an integrated system for your inventory of products. Many eCommerce /CMS Systems provide you with a sample feed making this process as efficient as possible. The design should include calls to action to get B2B leads.You should use a hosted system instead of an open-source or a licensed one if you have over 20 products with different options. The reason would be to always stay current with developments and technology involving search, filtering and new SEO integrations. The hosted solutions have a low monthly fee, while the licensed solutions can cost upwards of 10K+ to get started
- Search Engine Optimization / Internet Marketing
Since most of your competitors are not online, there is great potential for a customized SEO Strategy for your B2B business. Your top competitors probably spend money on PPC, however not likely for SEO.The SEO cost depends on how aggressive you would like to be. The cost would be $2,000 – $2,750/month for the first 6 months. (Based on how much content needs to be generated) This would enable you to compete with anyone in your industry, regardless of how big they are.
- Sponsored Search / Pay per Click
While we are not fans of Google AdWords or PPC, it can provide quick results if we want to get a boost of traffic, leads and sales in a short period of time (while SEO is in process). The trick here is to track every single call to action on the site or landing page including phone calls and emails to be able to determine the exact CPA (cost per acquisition) as well as ROI. You should setup the AdWords with keywords, ads and landing pages specific to terms to optimize conversions.The budget should be $1,000 – $10,000 per month, and it mostly depends on how aggressive you want to be considering competitive factors and the breadth of your product line. The cost for this should be a one-time setup fee of $1,000 – $4,000 (based on how many landing pages are generated) and monthly maintenance fee based on the full scope of the PPC campaign.
As with any marketing strategy, the key here is to focus on ROI and build a strategy based on numbers that make sense. It’s always essential to conduct competitive and industry research in terms of organic ranks and link authority. How many dollars is a legitimate lead worth to your business?
Let’s say that you profit $1000 if you close an online lead and turn it into business. And you estimate that your sales team can close 40% of the leads that they get. That means that your breakeven point on every lead would be $400. So, setting a CPA (cost per acquisition) of $100 – $200 can make you 200% – 400% profit.
So, the real key here is to actually get the clicks and be able to convert the leads. Justification is quite straight forward; if you spend $2.00 per click and get 100 clicks, at $200, you should have a conversion rate of 1% to have a CPA of $200. It’s all about converting the clicks.
- Re-targeting / Re-marketing
I believe that a customized internet marketing campaign cannot truly succeed without a re-targeting strategy. Here’s how it works;
a) The user arrives at your site from any source (could be organic or paid traffic)
b) Your system drops a pixel (a marker) at the user’s computer or browser to capture his/her settings, what they viewed on your site, if they purchased any products etc.
c) Since you already have an active sponsored search strategy and have re-targeting turned on, the next time that same user goes to a partner site such as aol.com, yahoo.com or cnn.com (sites that you can custom select), he’s displayed an offer from you or an invitation to visit your site again. Stickiness!
The benefits are countless. Not only do you keep your brand name in front of that user’s eyes, but you can also target specific products/services for that user and customize the marketing message. You know that the user has been on your site at least once, so instead of targeting a large pool of users who may have never been on your site, you target the interested parties who have been on your website before. You can also do customizations like “only displaying ads to users who have stayed on your site for more than 60 seconds” or “displaying custom ads to users who have only made a purchase on your site” or “displaying certain discount ads to users who have only abandoned your checkout while shopping.”
- Lead Management
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to get leads. You have to know what to do with them. It’s surprising to see how many companies actually waste most of the leads that come in from their websites due to poor management and integration. Lead Management Integration is a key process in sales and new business acquisition.It’s essential to have an internal or web based system to track all leads that come in (phone calls, form submissions, quote requests) with a comprehensive strategy. Tracking your leads from generation to conversion (sale), you have the knowledge, the visibility to assess your marketing and sales performance and ultimately manage your entire internet marketing program with maximal efficiency
We know that this is a lot to swallow for a B2B Manufacturer. You have a business to run and you cannot be reviewing marketing strategies and statistics on a daily basis. Contact us and we can help.