How to plan and develop a digital marketing strategy for a B2B small business? A complete step by step guide for B2B small business digital marketing.

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How to plan and develop a digital marketing strategy for a B2B small business? A complete step by step guide for B2B small business digital marketing.

 

How to plan and develop a digital marketing strategy for a B2B small business?

How to develop a digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing strategy for a B2B small business has four main strategic categories:

  • Media strategy
  • Google strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Advertising strategy

We will try to describe in this article each one of these four main digital marketing strategic categories and their sub-categories.

Media strategy

Media strategy category has three sub-categories:

  • Owned media
  • Paid media
  • Earned media

Google strategy

Google strategy category has three sub-categories:

  • Google marketing products
  • Google website performance tests
  • Google webmaster, SEO, and links guidelines

Content strategy

Content strategy category has two sub-categories:

  • Content production
  • Content distribution

Advertising strategy

Advertising strategy category has two sub-categories:

  • Advertising production
  • Advertising distribution

We will now write some relevant information about each one of these strategic categories and sub-categories:

Media strategy

  • Owned media

Own media are those media designed, developed, hosted, purchased or acquired by the B2B small business directly and where the B2B small business can publish or post own content without previous third party permission or without previous payment to third party businesses. B2B small businesses can edit published content in its owned media.

Domain name

We recommend B2B small businesses that the domain name be the business name. Business name, domain name, brand name, logo name, all these names should be one unique name. This business name consistency will help Google ranking.

We recommend B2B small businesses to register their domain name at Network Solutions. Domain name should be registered either under the business name or under the business owner name. Address and phone used in the domain name registration form should be the business address and phone.

NAP consistency

B2B Small businesses should have NAP consistency.

NAP is the acronyms for Name, Address, and Phone.

NAP consistency means that your business name, business address, and business phone must be exactly the same in all your digital media and listings: website, blog, social network company pages, social network community pages, guest blogs, directory listings, business associations listings, search engine listings, PR campaigns, Google marketing products, Email marketing platform, and Webinar platforms.

Website

B2B Small businesses websites should be designed and developed to satisfy user needs. We recommend to use the classical and academic design methodology where a list of users and tasks is written before the design phase begins. Even further, we recommend to produce a prototype and test it, even before the final design and develop phase begins.

B2B small business website should be designed and developed using WordPress technology since WordPress takes care of 80% of search engine optimization (SEO) technicality as Matt Cutts, former anti-spam chief at Google, said few years ago.

Website should also be designed and developed to comply with the Google website performance tests, both device test and speed test. We will comment on these tests later on in this same article in another section.

Finally, Website should comply with Google webmaster guidelines, Google SEO guidelines, and Google Links guidelines. We will review all these Google website guidelines later on in this article in another section.

Blog

B2B Small Businesses Blog should be designed and developed also in WordPress technology for the same reason explained above, and it should also be designed and developed within the small business website. Blog should be a website section.

Blog will be used to published the small business articles, and each article should be published with the use of a relevant image.

Blog interphase should be beautifully designed, showing the name and the image for each article published, so users can browse easily all the articles published.

A blog search engine should be available for users to search content within the articles published.

Articles engagement should also be available to users, so users can comment, like, share, email, and follow the B2B small business and its articles.

Social Network business or company pages

B2B small businesses should have business or company pages at all social networks. Main social networks are LinkedIn, Slideshare, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, Twitter. These social networks company pages will be used to post the articles links to generate follower’s groups or follower’s communities. B2B small businesses will educate their followers communities with the articles written about the business products, services, and customer needs.

Social Network group or community pages

B2B small businesses should also have group or community business pages at those social networks that allow members to do so. LinkedIn Group Pages, Google Community Pages, and Facebook Group Pages allow B2B small businesses to have a business group page at these social networks.

These LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook business group pages will be used to publish the articles written in the content campaign; and these business group pages will also be used to build a business followers community.

Guest blog pages

There are few free digital media that allow B2B small businesses to publish their articles in their free blog accounts. Some of these are Medium, Reddit, Quora, and Merchant Circle. These free media platforms allow B2B small businesses create free accounts and free blogs and publish their articles. These will make the B2B small business to increase the articles reach, and generate additional follower’s communities.

Directory listings

There are several paid and free online national and local business directories that allow B2B small businesses to list their businesses in such directories. These directory listings will help the B2B small business to rank in better positions in the local Google search results.

Some of these online directories are Google My Business, Yahoo Directory, Yelp, Merchant Circle.

There are few companies that offer a directory listing paid service, such as Yext. Digital agencies may choose to do the listing manually one by one, or pay the automatic directory listing service to companies like Yext.

Email platform

Every B2B small business should have an email marketing platform to send email marketing campaigns to their prospects and customers. There are several companies that offer paid and free email platforms such as Mail Chimp and Constant Contact.

Email newsletter subscription should be automatically programmed in the B2B small business website or blog in a manner that allows website or blog visitors to easily subscribe to the B2B small business newsletter.

Email marketing newsletter should be sent automatically to prospects and customers once a week or once a month, with all the B2B small business articles recently published.

Webinars platform

B2B small businesses should give webinars to their prospects and customers at least four times a year.

There are several paid and free platforms that B2B small businesses can use to give live online presentations or conference to their prospects and customers. Some of these are Skype from Microsoft, Hang Outs from Google, WebEx from Cisco, Adobe Connect from Adobe, GoToMeeting from Citrix.

Remember to register the B2B small business in these platform using the same NAP consistency. Use the same business name, address, and phone that you use in all others digital media.

  • Paid media

Paid media are those media paid by the B2B small business in order to get business or brand promotion through content publication. B2B small business does not have edition possibilities on paid media published content.

Press Releases campaigns

Press Releases campaigns can be used to increase the audience reach and also to get links to the website and blog. There are several companies that offer the Press Releases campaign service such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, PR Underground, Market Wire, PRWeb, News Wire.

We recommend to use Press Releases services every time there is an important announcement to publish.

Interviews

Interviews are another way to increase audience reach and also to get links to the B2B business website and blog. Best way to get interviews is to hire a local journalist with local media relationships. Important matter here is that all interviews get to be published in digital media.

Public Relations Campaigns

Public Relations Campaigns are another tool to increase audience reach and to get links to the website and blog. Best way to implement a public relations campaign is to hire a local public relation agency.

  • Earned media

Earned media are those media that B2B small businesses can obtain because the quality of their content, products and services. Good quality content, products and services, will sooner or later produce earned media.

Links to the Website or Blog content

Links to the website or blog is one of the most appreciated earned media a B2B small business can get. We have to remember that links to the website is one of the main Google ranking factors and therefore every B2B small business needs them to rank higher at Google.

As Matt Cutts, former Google anti-spam team chief, used to say, good quality content is the best way to get links to the website. Good quality content production and distribution is key to get links to the website.

Links to the website also increase audience reach.

Social media engagement

Social media engagement increases audience reach and also helps ranking higher in Google.

Views, likes, comments, shares, and follows are appreciated by B2B small businesses. Content can get to a higher number of people if social media engagement is high.

Social media engagement is obtained thanks to good quality owned content.

Once again, good quality owned content production and distribution is key for engagement and audience reach.

Website blog engagement

Audience engagement can also occur at the B2B small business website blog. Audience can engage with the articles at the B2B small business website blog, where the articles are published originally.

Views, likes, comments, share, and follows can be obtained at the website blog, when audiences are reading the business articles at the website blog.

Website blog engagement helps to increase audience reach and also helps to ranks higher in Google.

Email marketing engagement

Email marketing engagement helps to increase audience reach and also helps to rank higher in Google.

Email marketing distribute the articles throughout all the prospects and customer’s emails. Prospects and customers can help to share the B2B small business articles if they like the content.

Views, likes, comments, shares, and follows are welcome by the B2B small business because they help to increase audience reach.

Customer reviews and testimonials

B2B small businesses should request their customers to leave customer reviews at their Google My Business page and also at their LinkedIn products and services pages, and at Facebook business page. There are other online media platforms that allow customer reviews, but the main ones for B2B small businesses are Google My Business, LinkedIn products and services pages, and Facebook business page reviews.

Customer reviews will help the B2B small business to increase customer and prospects trusts, increase audience reach, and will also help the business to rank higher in Google.

Google strategy

  • Google marketing products

Google offers B2B small businesses several free digital marketing products, and the main ones are Search Console, Analytics, My Business and MAPS.

Search Console

“Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results”

Search Console is a marketing product that Google offers to B2B small businesses to keep record of many website variables, where the most important are links to the website and search results.

B2B small businesses can see the website history for impressions, clicks, and positions at the Google search results.

B2B small businesses can see what search terms are given the high number of visits to the website and how the website ranks at Google search results for a variety of search terms.

Search Console basically tells the B2B small business how its website is ranking at the Google search results for all the search terms used by searchers. This information should be used by B2B small businesses to improve the content strategy and key words strategy.

Analytics

Analytics is a Google marketing product that allows B2B small businesses to know all the information related to the visits to their website.

“Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.”

My Business

My Business is a Google marketing products that allows B2B small businesses to list their businesses at the Google local search results.

“Get your free business listing on Google My Business to start building visibility in Google Maps and Google Search in your local community.”

MAPS

MAPS is a Google marketing products that allows B2B small businesses to register their businesses at the geographic maps in their local region.

“Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.”

  • Google website performance tests

Google offers three places to test a website performance at desktops, tablets, and mobiles. Most probably, in the future, Google will replace all these three places to test a website, by only one place to test the website performance.

We recommend to test your B2B small business website in all three places because each one of them give different insights and performance improvements actions.

Website performance test at mobile and computers:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Mobile-Friendly Test

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Mobile load time performance test:

https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/es-419

  • Google webmaster, SEO, and links guidelines

Google has developed technical, design, content, quality, and links guidelines for business websites in order to improve search results and offers Google search users the best useful and most relevant search results.

These are very technical guidelines that B2B small businesses must request to their digital agencies to comply with.

B2B small businesses websites that do not comply with these guidelines will be penalized by Google search results, and may take the risk to be removed from the Google index.

Google webmaster guidelines

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6001170?hl=en

Google SEO guidelines

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184 

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en

Google links guidelines

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en

Content strategy

  • Content production

Content is the most strategic component of digital marketing for B2B small businesses. Content is the digital marketing component that will be used to educate prospects and customers and also it will be used to position the B2B business at the first page of Google search results and at the social networks and email marketing.

Content can be produced in several different formats. Texts, images, and videos are the three most used content formats. However, text is the recommended content format for B2B small businesses, being article the recommended text format content.

B2B small businesses articles should be written about the products, services, and customer needs; and should be written to educate prospects and customers about these topics.

Articles should also contain those phrases and words that prospects and customers use to search for the products and services. This is done to position the business at the first page of Google search results. These phrases and words and found after executing a key phrase analysis about the business (KA).

Content topics and strategy

Articles topics should be all those topics related to the B2B small business products and services, and also those topics related to the prospects and customer’s needs, and how the products and services satisfy those needs.

We recommend to categorize and sub categorize all the products, services, and customer needs, and write articles about each one of these categories and sub categories.

Article must be written either by a subject matter expert or by a journalist that interviews the subject matter expert. Authorship is a vey important factor in Google algorithm and in Google ranking

Key phrase Analysis (KA)

We recommend to run a KA using Google Keyword Planner (GKP). We feed GKP with all the terms obtained in the categorization and sub categorization of products, services, and customer needs described above. Then we download all the excel files that GKP gives as a result of each term search. We then order the terms in each excel file in relevance order, and we keep with the most relevant terms and most used ones. We will use these terms in the articles to optimize these terms.

Articles planning

We recommend to build an excel file with the articles titles, articles topics, and articles key words to be positioned, for one-year work. These will be the guide to use in the articles production work.

Articles production

Articles production frequency will depend upon the B2B small business budget. We recommend to produce 8 to 10 articles per month, for a total of 96 to 120 articles per year, in a permanent manner, year after year, at least for the first three years. Then, articles amount can be reduced to half.

  • Content distribution

Owned media distribution

Articles should be published originally the first time at the B2B small business WordPress Blog. Then, the articles links should be distributed or post it at all the B2B small business owned media pages: social network business pages, social network group pages, community’s pages, guest blog pages. Finally, the articles links should be sent monthly to the email marketing customers and prospects list.

Paid media distribution

Articles can also be distributed to paid media if the B2B small business has budget for paid media.

Advertising strategy

  • Advertising production

Advertising is a very efficient manner to deliver a message to the audience. Message can be delivered in any content format, either text, image, video or sponsored content. Audience can be segmented by geographic variables, demographic variables, interests, content topics, words, websites, and, even for some providers like LinkedIn, audience can be segmented by job position, industry type, company size. Big data marketing advertising providers such as Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook has segmented audiences by many useful variables, that allows B2B small businesses to reach their target audience in a very efficient manner.

  • Advertising distribution

Once the ad has been designed and produced, in any of the above mentioned formats, we have to distribute the ad using the advertising platforms offered by Google and LinkedIn. We do not recommend Facebook ads for B2B small businesses.

Google AdWords Search ads will allow to distribute the ad at the first page of Google search results when the audience searches for the B2B small business products and services.

LinkedIn sponsored content will allow to distribute the ad at LinkedIn and deliver the ad to the segmented audience by country, industry type, company size, job position, job seniority, company name.

Google AdWords Display ads will allow to deliver the ad to the audience that visited competitor’s websites, when they browse Internet. Google AdWords Display ads have several ways of segmentation, including words, topics, interests, purchase intent. Segmentation will be defined specifically for each B2B small business depending upon the products and services offered.

We have tried to summarize in this article a methodology for how to plan and develop a digital marketing strategy for a B2B small business. We hope you find it useful for your business.

 

 

How to plan and develop a digital marketing strategy
How to plan and develop a digital marketing strategy

 

You can read our previous article in the following link:

http://www.msalesleads.com/how-to-create-a-digital-marketing-strategy-for-a-b2b-business/

About the Author:

This article was written by Julio Sanoja Rial, CEO, founder and digital marketing consultant at MSalesLeads, a digital marketing agency for B2B small businesses. We help B2B small businesses to go and grow their businesses online. We help B2B small businesses to get qualified sales leads online.

Julio Sanoja
Julio Sanoja