The essentials in a B2B marketer's arsenal for 2016

Over the last few years we’ve seen marketing morph and change more rapidly than any other time in history. Mobile adoption rates are skyrocketing, wearable technology is beginning to boom, and the majority of the western world now uses computers for over 7 hours a day.

As a leading digital marketing and SEO agency, this change has lead to extreme growth here at Black Shirt Marketing. However as we’ve been preparing marketing plans for our clients in 2016, we’ve seen that the B2B marketing space is changing even more rapidly than in the past.

So to help you our, below you’ll discover the 5 pillars that are going to form the foundation for our B2B Marketing Arsenal in 2016. These 5 techniques and strategies, if followed correctly and used holistically will lead to dramatic growth for everyone in the B2B space. And the best part, is that they don’t require an enormous marketing budget to pull off, just some street smarts and a hard working attitude.

1. Authority Building

As we move into the maturity phase of the digital marketing revolution, it’s more important than ever for businesses who want to start out from the crowd to start up as authorities in their industry. This comes from constantly producing high quality content, useful resources and trainings to teach your audience 50% of what you do to prepare them to pay you for the other 50%.

Hubspot does an incredible job at building authority through their content and inbound marketing strategies.

2. Social Authority NOT Social Marketing

The days of ‘Social Marketing’ are over. If you’re social strategy is going to rely around becoming friends with your prospects then you have to change dramatically.

The wheels for this were put in motion when Facebook released their latest update to their algorithm that has dropped reach to less than 1% on average. However its not the algorithm that has cut reach, but more the wrong approach to social that has.

I have a client who is still consistently getting 20-45% organic reach with their content on Facebook all because we’ve positioned them as the authority and help them consistently feed their followers high quality, educational content.

So as you go into 2016, re-think your approach to Social and create a Social Authority plan.

3. Search Traffic Optimization

In my previous post I went into detail about why SEO is going to make a comeback in 2016, and why it’s the center of all our clients marketing next year. But one point that I didn’t touch on was how the importance of Optimizing your search traffic. Let me explain…

The traditional approach to SEO was to pick the highest traffic keyword that you had, and to push hard to try and rank for it. This was a very ‘shot gun’ approach where you were just aiming to get as much traffic as possible, without any care about if that traffic was actually profitable.

In 2016 the biggest wins for B2B Marketers will be in isolating the searcher intent that is most profitable for your business and that fits with your Inbound system the best (more on that in a minute). For example, ‘Car Insurance’ may have a lot of searches, but the user intent is very research based, where as ‘best car insurance for under 25 female driver’ has a much clearer user intent towards buying.

By optimising your search traffic you’ll be able to dramatically boost your conversion rates and focus your SEO efforts to those areas that are most profitable.

4. Inbound Marketing

Most B2B marketers are already doing Inbound marketing in one form or another, but I want to reinforce the importance of this practise.

Unlike traditional branding or cold calling, Inbound Marketing produces better quality leads, for less. Plus it integrates perfectly and brings together your SEO, Social and Authority  campaigns into a single results driven practise.

For more information check out the content that Hubspot puts out about the topic.

5. Conversion Rate Optimisation

Lastly, and in my opinion more importantly, is Conversion Rate Optimisation. To be blunt, if you aren’t running at least 1 A/B Test on every page of your website as you read this, then you are leaving dramatic amounts of money on the table!

You see, small tweaks can often add 5,10, 15 even 20% increases in conversions on each single page. While this mightn’t sound like much, when you start stacking these sort of increases on top of each other, you’ll multiply your income and lead flow many times over very very quickly.

Optimizely is a fantastic free tool to get started with and their Enterprise plans provide fantastic quality with insights that you never thought were possible. This work might feel a bit daunting at first, so you can work with an agency to help you out, or you can simply go through their certification documentation to learn how to use the platform in depth.

Wrap Up:

2016 is going to be a very exciting year to be in B2B marketing. I feel like in the coming 12 months we’ll experience more market disruption than the last 3 years combined which will lead to tremendous opportunities for marketers who are ready and waiting.

But until these disruptions occur, take the 5 pillars above and build your business a solid B2B marketing strategy to solidify your lead flow and to guarantee 2016 will be a great year!