December 18th, 2020
In the past decade, B2B marketing has gone through major tectonic shifts. Marketing planning strategies have switched focus from direct sales and cold calling to digital content marketing and search engine optimization in order to attract a new breed of always-online, mobile-first, socially-interconnected, and research-savvy customers. And in the wake of a global health crisis that has forced people to work from home, crafting an effective and efficient digital campaign for the upcoming “new normal” is even more important than ever.
Here are some quick tips for B2B marketing planning to help you get a jump on 2021:
Plan your content calendar ahead of time to specify who you want to target (audience) and what you need to create (assets) in order to get your desired results (outcomes). A content calendar helps keep you organized, so you can conduct prior planning and brainstorming in order to produce relevant and engaging content assets that are consistent with what you need to accomplish — be it more leads, increased brand awareness, or thought leadership in your industry vertical.
In B2B marketing, a “lead,” or more specifically, a marketing qualified lead (MQL), refers to an individual or organization that has expressed interest in your product or service by voluntarily submitting contact information, downloading materials, opting into a program, or attending one of your webinars. Leads are different from “prospects” who are colder in the sense that they may be potential customers, but have not yet engaged with your marketing efforts.
Whether leads or prospects, the key is crafting custom messaging by industry (and ideally, by Buyer Persona) to ensure that you are offering content that is relevant to their specific needs and challenges. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for researching where your prospects are clustered, so you can create customized messaging, increase the likelihood of engagement, and generate more MQLs.
We highly recommend using a project management app to keep everything organized. (Purplepatch team members prefer Basecamp, but we also use Slack and other apps based on our client’s existing ecosystem.) Pick a platform that will improve collaboration between your Content, Design, Technical, and Sales and Marketing teams — no matter where and when they work.
This also brings us back to your Content Calendar, which should provide a clear roadmap of what you need to be producing per week, per, month, and per quarter (LinkedIn posts, blogs, infographics, videos, white papers, webinars, case studies, email drip campaigns, etc.) in order to keep on track.
At PurplePatch, we believe in deploying a “Smart Content” strategy (as opposed to a “one-size-fits-all” strategy), which is designed to align your marketing content with your buyer’s journey and industry. As your prospects’ and leads’ content needs are different throughout the buyer journey, we can help you plan your content strategy so it will be responsive to their changing needs and the dynamic demands of their sector.
Since your audience now consumes content on different devices and channels at different times of the day, it is important for your marketing content to be designed for such diverse consumption.
If this all sounds too overwhelming, complex, or tedious to you.. well, it can be, we’re not gonna lie. But marketing, when done right, pays for itself many times over as proved by the nearly 50% of B2B companies who invest 10% or more of their annual budget in marketing. And if you don’t have the bandwidth, expertise, or resources to do it yourself, then get in touch with us and we’d be happy to get our team behind yours.