These days, SEO is a frequent acronym used among marketing professionals as they develop and implement their marketing plans and campaigns. SEO has become an integral part of marketing strategies for any organization that wants to survive and strive in the digital era of the internet. But as a B2B marketer, you might be asking yourself how does SEO work for my business?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of boosting your brand’s visibility on search engines, namely Google. Its goal is to increase your organic web traffic and lead qualified internet users to download your resources and fill out your web forms.
SEO requires your team to optimize digital assets by:
Editing digital content
Writing new, SEO-friendly content
Technically, SEO is part of search engine marketing (SEM). SEM focuses on placing your brand’s digital assets at the top of search engine results. While there are other SEM strategies, SEO is the most effective for B2B businesses.
Indexing refers to adding web pages into Google search. Non-indexed sites won’t show up on SERPs. WordPress websites are automatically indexed. Google crawlers also follow links and discover websites to add to their index.
The Three Types of SEO
There are three types of SEO:
On-page SEO includes activities carried out on webpages that will be published (e.g., inserting keywords, links, or meta tags)
Off-page SEO includes activity performed on a webpage after it goes live (e.g., sharing, liking, or commenting on the post to build engagement)
Technical SEO includes behind-the-scenes website setup activities (e.g., creating SSL or XML sitemaps)
For the best results, your team should use each of these tactics.
The Process of Keyword Research
Your website should appear in search results when internet users type in relevant keywords. SEO empowers your brand to rank for keywords. For example, a digital marketing agency may want to rank for the keyword phrase “SEO strategy.”
Your team must conduct keyword research to determine which keywords your business should rank for. Keyword research is in-depth research into keywords that receive ample search requests. Once your team identifies these keywords, they can begin including them in their content. As a result, your content will rank higher with search engines and additionally, appear higher on SERPs.
When conducting keyword research, here is a recommended approach:
Consider Your Prospects’ Online Searches
Research search queries people are using to find your business, similar companies, and even competitors. These keywords can be found through Google Autocomplete, Google Search Console, Reddit, or even SEO tools like Ahrefs. Make sure to include every stage of the sales funnel. If it helps, replicate the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision) and designate topics or key phrases that prospects might be searching for. When creating keywords consider:
What are the problems that your personas face?
How could they be searching for ways to overcome these pain-points?
How are you the solution?
What are the main features of your product or service?
What are the keywords driving the highest amount of organic traffic for your competitors?
Use SEO Tools
Type these words and phrases into SEO tools like Ahrefs. These tools reveal volume, competition, keyword difficulty, and more. With this data, you’ll be able to distinguish and create a list of the best keywords to optimize your website and content for.
Optimizing B2B SEO for Businesses
SEO tactics are useful in any industry. However, there are a few B2B-specific SEO tactics every B2B marketing team should know.
Promote Thought Leader Content
B2B businesses make many sales through their thought leaders. Ask your brand’s top thought leaders to write blog posts and other content. Publish them on your website, and link to them on your professional networking sites.
Publish Original Research
Publishing proprietary data on your website will attract attention from bloggers and journalists in your niche. They will link to your website, boosting your SEO without extra effort on your team’s behalf. You’ll also further establish your business as a credible source.
Pick High-Value, Low-Volume Keywords
B2B businesses should focus on high-value, low-volume keywords. Long-tail keywords, which contain 3 or more words, are also preferable. They are more specific and may fit your brand better. This is especially important if your product solves a niche problem.
Use Keywords from Disrupted Industries
If your product is disrupting an industry (or two), include keywords from the industry you’re disrupting. They will probably be more popular than those for your new product, and you’ll be able to draw attention away from older solutions.
Create Keyword-Specific Landing Pages
There’s a good chance that your brand will have multiple top keywords. Create landing pages for each keyword. These landing pages should offer valuable content that centers on the relevant focus keywords, as well as support keywords.
Your content team may feel pressured to create a large quantity of content for the sole purpose of promoting your keywords. However, search engines are getting better and better at identifying keyword-stuffed content. Plus, customers won’t trust your brand if they come across content that’s less than the best. Ensure all of your content prioritizes value—while staying SEO-friendly.
Diversify Content Types
Most blog posts are about 500 words. Most of your website’s blog posts can be this length. However, include additional staple blog posts of 800+ words, eBooks, white papers, guides, and other critical content. Use these longer pieces to collect valuable customer data—and further analyze your audience.
How to Work with a B2B SEO Agency
B2B SEO agencies provide expert SEO advice and content that helps your brand increase web traffic and generate more leads. Working with them should be a collaborative, streamlined process.
When you begin working with a B2B SEO agency, be sure to:
Assign a dedicated agency contact
Communicate your goals and business vision
Establish a clear brief review and feedback loop
At the end of the day, a B2B SEO agency will help you improve SEO—and fast. Working with them effectively will only help your team reach its goals faster.
The Bottom Line
SEO gives you the tools to provide the right audience with the right information at the right time. It helps establish your company as a credible source, generate leads, and, ultimately, boost sales.
Want help with your brand’s B2B SEO efforts? Let’s talk.
As businesses start to switch their operations and procedures to software solutions, the Saas industry has begun to take over. Saas products’ virtual and online elements have caused its delivery model to become the core of business applications. This technological shift has not only grown the Saas market significantly but has also created a vast new customer base for Saas companies. While this offers an incredible opportunity for your Saas business, to make the most of this technological advancement, you’ll need to know how to make the most of your Saas marketing.
Don’t worry— we got you covered. Here’s a guide to some Saas marketing strategies (and metrics) that will encourage growth for your business.
How is Saas Marketing Different than Other Industries?
No doubt promoting Saas products has its challenges. Since there is nothing tangible to show your potential customers, your marketing efforts must work twice as hard to convince your audience that your product can solve their problems. Ensuring that promotion efforts focus on your product’s value is crucial because users can’t physically see it themselves.
Marketing efforts must also target every stage of the buyer’s journey. This is because most Saas users decide which product to use fairly quickly. The decision-making process is sped up as users have access to information with one quick online search. To appeal to the informed buyer, your content must be loaded with pertinent and relevant information to convince users o try your service.
Effective Saas Marketing Channels to Utilize
Today’s buyer is more informed than ever, and most of the time, they are going to search engines for their answers. This means SEO is crucial for any Saas business that wants their solution discovered on Google. Working on SEO provides businesses with better search engine rankings and visibility to create their presence online and, most importantly, to be found by users.
No matter the market, businesses use content marketing to grow their brand and build awareness. Most importantly, content drives leads. Creating and promoting content attracts website visitors and ramps up audience engagement to turn uncertain prospects into paying customers.
Retargeting (or remarketing) turns website visitors into customers. After someone visits your website and then leaves, retargeting can re-engage with them by displaying online adverts on other sites they visit. This valuable tool gives your brand another chance to establish trust and familiarity with website visitors so they can come back and convert into customers.
For some Saas solutions, users can naturally expand a customer base by introducing the product to others. With referrals being one of the lowest costing and quickest ways for Saas companies to have new users, many businesses have implemented a referral system or program. To ensure quality referrals, organizations will often ask for information regarding the person’s industry, company, or job title and sometimes include an incentive.
Saas Marketing Metrics to Focus on
Next, let’s talk about metrics. Monitoring analytics not only helps the effectiveness of your marketing but also exposes risks and finds opportunities to accelerate scalability. To help to stay focused on the growth of your Saas business, concentrate on analyzing these metrics:
Churn is one of the most important metrics for any Saas company because it tells a company how much business they are losing over a certain period of time. While customer service may play an essential role in keeping a low churn percentage, marketing should also be analyzing ways to improve this metric. Churn is more than lost customers or revenue. A sure way to keep a high churn rate is to market and sell your product to those who truly need it.
Let’s talk about LEADS. Any marketer or sales reps know the importance of generating leads. However, you don’t want to waste your time on just any lead — you need to make sure they’re qualified. In addition, break leads into lifecycle categories like MQL and SQL. This helps outline where potential customers are in the buying process and identify any leads that get stuck in the funnel.
CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
Customer Acquisition Costs tells companies how much it costs to acquire new customers and how much value they bring to your business. To calculate CAC, take total sales and marketing spend and divide it by the number of new customers (over a specific time). CAC helps companies manage their growth and accurately gauge the value of their acquisition process.
CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
CLV shows the average amount of money each customer pays during their engagement with your company/product. This metric is very insightful for Saas companies because it articulates an accurate portrayal of a business’s value and growth.
Whenever you hear the phrase “product positioning,” you most likely associated it with a B2C market. This is common since most B2C products are tangible and more clearly defined, making them easier to position in a market and compare against competitors.
But even as a B2B company, your “products” still pertain to a specific mindset with your clients. So, the important question is, what is your positioning strategy doing about it?
The Top 4 Things to Keep in Mind for B2B Product Positioning
The Product Itself
Okay, this one might seem obvious, but many times it can be overlooked. If you don’t know your product inside and out, how will you position it effectively?
First, evaluate your “product.” Ask yourself these questions:
What client needs does it fill?
What is the top benefit? Does is provided additional features?
How is it different from your competitors?
In a B2B space, ask the additional question of “How does my product better help other businesses?”. To fully understand your product, you must honestly consider why clients should purchase it. Once you break down and comprehend the who, what, why of your product, it will be easier to strategize your product positioning.
The Buyer Persona
Building a buyer persona can be done in 5 easy steps, but applying it to a B2B positioning strategy maybe a little more complicated.
Product positioning is an implementation tool under the STP model (standing for Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning). This model helps marketers identify their most valuable customers and then develop products and marketing messages that suit them. This range of customers is then represented by a buyer persona, based on their behavior patterns, motivations, goals, and demographics.
Personas give you a better idea of the market and who your targeted clients should be. So when you’re developing your product positioning, you can have a better understanding of who your customers are and how your products fill their needs.
Time to do some digging.
A deficient comprehension of your clients’ alternatives can make for a poor understanding of the market and who you are actually up against. You need to understand how your customers see your product against your competitors to impact how you market and position your product.
Know who your competitors are and, more importantly, study them — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Have an idea of what you’re up against. Then, combat it by providing the necessary, need-to-know product information in your sales spiel and marketing collateral, so clients have everything they need to make an informed decision. Would you rather your potential clients formed impressions of your product from your organization itself or a lowly Google Search?
Alongside your competitors, it’s also vital to evaluate the structure of your industry’s market. For example, let’s take a look at this perceptual product positioning map.
Perceptual mapping helps organizations visually analyze how their target market perceives their product. When creating a perceptual map, the axes should represent your customers’ criteria when buying products in your market.
Hypothetically, let’s say this graph represents your industry’s current market (dot size representing market share). Using your knowledge of client perception (either through surveys or one on ones), you’ve landed in what seems to be the center of your market. Looks a little crowded there, agreed?
When it comes to analyzing the market, it’s crucial to look at market gaps. Why? Because it’s where a potential market opportunity might lie. Gaps could mean untouched customers for your positioning strategy. However, market gaps should be taken with a grain of salt. Gaps can also exist because there is no customer need, or provides unrealistic financial means for an organization.
While market gaps can be up for discussion, there is one thing that is for sure — you need to know your market in order to have a successful product positioning strategy.
If you’re a professional marketer, you know that significant growth doesn’t usually happen overnight. Sometimes, it can take weeks, months, or even years of building up your marketing strategies to produce targeted goals and results.
Don’t you wish there was a way to know if your strategies worked while further helping your business grow to its full potential? Lucky for you, there is!
What is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing, growth hacking, performance marketing… You’ve heard these interchangeable phrases used before, but what do they mean?
Growth marketing is an integrated approach of constant testing across marketing channels with the goal of scaling and optimizing your business. The purpose of a growth marketer is to find new ways to build and engage your organization’s audience.
A growth marketer is keen, creative, analytical, and scrappy — all at once. They will test and experiment with new concepts and content until they find an approach that enables significant growth.
For example, have you ever conducted A/B testing? Congratulations, you’re already on your way to being a growth marketer! As the purpose of A/B testing is to test the effectiveness of content based on performance, it’s essentially a growth marketing strategy without the label.
Why is Growth Marketing Important?
Since not all industries or markets are alike, there are unfortunately no clear cut rules to direct and guide everyone’s marketing strategies. While overtime marketing best practices have developed, when it comes to an individual’s brand, there are never any guarantees for what will work and what will not. Traditional strategies usually involve “set it and forget it,” burning through resources like time and money, with no intention of maintaining potential customers’ attention.
This is where testing and experimentation become valuable. When it comes down to it, brands turn to growth marketing to provide them with creative, innovative, and low-cost strategies to achieve business scalability.
Notably, growth marketing is exceptionally substantial for content marketers. It helps them discover new ways to communicate with audiences, whether it’s testing a new marketing channel or a piece of content. Using the evidence of analytics, marketers can then integrate the best performing content into their strategies without worrying about its effectiveness.
Low-Cost Growth Marketing Strategies to Help You Get Started
For marketers accustomed to traditional marketing approaches, this level of experimentation can look overwhelming or even impossible. How is it possible to produce large amounts of growth with limited resources? Fear not! Here are a couple of convenient ways to implement growth marketing with content you already have.
Like mentioned before, A/B testing is growth marketing in disguise. To run an A/B test, you’ll need to create two versions of the same content piece (or just slightly alter a piece of content you’ve already created). This can work for multiple types of content — landing pages, social ads, emails, etc. The ultimate goal is to use analytics and decide which version resonates best with your audience.
Look into search ranking
Investigate where your business ranks when it comes to specific search terms. You can do this with Google Analytics and other SEO tools, or simply conduct a search using incognito mode. Not only does this provide feedback on where your SEO might work, but can also give insight into competitors, ideas for content creation, and more.
Feedback from current users
You don’t have to let analytics do all the talking. As the best source of product information, your customers can provide feedback to improve any current business function, including marketing. Whether it’s with surveys or client one on ones, get the answers you need to encourage business progression.
Audit your current content
Growth marketing is all about staying up to date with trends in the industry and uncovering new marketing tactics that take advantage of growth opportunities. Techniques that worked a few years ago could now not be the most effective way to generate consumer engagement continuously. What’s not performing as well as you would like it to, and more importantly, what’s the solution to fix it? Make it a point to frequently review what you produce so it can achieve its full potential.
Want more examples of growth marketing implementation? You can find more here, but don’t limit yourself to just those. There are several resources out there including SmarkLab’s Growth Plays — a complete playbook of 50 unique campaign ideas and tactics to help prioritize your marketing efforts.
Assess in your current strategy what elements or content may benefit most from growth marketing and start there. By applying growth marketing, you’ll be able to maximize your marketing strategy backed by data and analytics while contributing to your business’s growth.
Get the most out of your content by letting us help implement your growth strategy. Drop us a line to get started!
Have you ever heard the phrase “Always be launching”? It may seem pretty straightforward, but it’s definitely easier said than done. Fortunately, a go-to-market strategy can help make this more possible than you might realize.
A go-to-market strategy is the process of how a company brings their products to the market. Generally, this additionally includes any planning, researching, or preparing that happens before a product launch. When releasing a new product or feature, you definitely don’t want to waste any time and resources throughout the process. Without planning, there is no knowing notable factors about entry to the market, like audience or market saturation.
The reason behind why a recurring go-to-market strategy is so significant is because it positions your business as innovative and progressive. It’s not hard to deny that people like new “news”, especially if it’s in relation to new products or features that interest them. By implementing a GTM strategy, you are continuously engaging with your customers’ interests for your products while creating a wow factor and perception of success. Positioning yourself as “up and coming” will give your customers that serious sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) whenever there are any missed releases.
Go-To-Market Strategy Development
What does the Go-To-Market process entail?
First, you need to establish your “event”. Don’t worry about creating a big occasion or a new product launch just to push news out to an audience. Here are some potential ideas that your GTM strategy can rally around:
Feature or Service Updates
You want your current customers to have the best version of your product (and they want that too!) Keep them aware of your products’ updates so they can continue to be satisfied.
New Features or Services
Continuing to enhance your products is all about furthering yourself in the market and rising above competitors. Alert your customers to show them why they are already using the best in the business.
Free tools or freemiums
Announcing that trial period gets people hooked on your product while also creating loyal customers in the making.
Now that you have your options of “events”, here’s the important part: making it repeatable. For each release you have, it is possible to create and build reusable elements that will fuel weeks of content.
This is the presentation of your news. Whether it’d be weeks leading up to or the day of, there are various ways to get your audience excited. It can vary anywhere from social and email to news articles and press releases (or a combination of all of these). As a company expert, you’ll know the best way to reach your audience.
The Exclusive Story
When creating an event, details are critical if you want your audience to stay informed. Craft a write-up about the significance of the release including items like the use case, the problems it solves, or the opportunities it creates. If you are pitching to media, this is almost required, but don’t let that restrict you from repurposing it for other content like your website or your blog.
Allow your customers to get the tangible details of the release by including tutorials, guides, and documentation.
The How-To but essentially repurposed to video format. With this new medium, you can further extend information to customers while still talking about the details of your products. And there’s a bonus: Set the webinar up as gated content and allow tracking for leads and potential new clients.
Earned or Paid Media (optional)
Try and find a way to fit your news into your pre-existing content strategy with paid and owned media. Promoting this content helps drive exposure and engagement to your release. Now combine this with any earned media — positive reviews of the new feature, current customers’ recommendations, coverage in an industry trade — and you’re well on your way to a successful launch.
And there you have it! An easy yet effective way to use the tools you already have to start building your go-to-market strategy from the ground up. Remember to keep exciting your customers and “always be launching”.
Get the best tips and tricks on go-to-market strategies from the experts. Drop us a line and let’s get started!
Here’s the bottom line: In today’s market, to guarantee the utmost visibility in any industry, effective B2B positioning requires some sort of strategy. Rising above competitors is getting tougher as more and more contenders seem to enter the market. And while marketing efforts can be optimized or revamped, there is one element that underlies as a foundation for all: positioning.
Let’s take a look at what “positioning” is and why it may be the most important (but one of the most difficult) building blocks for your company’s growth.
What Exactly Does “Positioning” Mean?
Here is what is positioning is NOT:
Positioning is NOT branding. While both involve actively shaping your brand, positioning is how your brand sits in consumers’ minds.
Positioning is NOT “marketing’s job.” Ultimately, it’s the CEO or founder’s job to lead the way on what the positioning will be. Marketing can, of course, take on a role in the process, but their job is more heavily involved later on in implementing the strategy through the messaging.
Positioning is NOT just a statement. As you develop strategic B2B positioning, that brand story should weave itself into every element of your company.
Here is what positioning IS:
Positioning IS perception. The story that consumers and clients have created in their minds about your company and your brand. As positioning is composed of many different elements, from marketing and branding to service and social responsibility, it is crucial to create a clear and captivating customer perception with a strategy so clients choose your product and/or services to fill their needs every time.
Developing Your Positioning Strategy
The Buyer Persona
What are the ideal needs of your clientele? While every client may have different problems or difficulties, remember your job as a company is to solve those key pain points by providing a solution. Creating that buyer persona helps consolidate what needs your company should focus on filling and therefore, positioning your story around. Generally, the best persona to pursue would be the one who has the highest distress, simply because they are more likely to shift towards your solution if their needs aren’t currently being met.
Additionally, ask your current clientele for their input. This will help focus your areas of what customers’ perceptions are of not just your products, but your strategic B2B positioning as well. Ask questions like:
What do they like about your product?
What is the predominant benefit they receive?
Why did they switch to your product?
What do they wish was better?
The Competition and the Market
Where do you see your company fitting into the market? In consumers’ minds, you are already competing against other contenders, so make sure you know what you’re up against. One of the best ways is to simply gather competitive intelligence, whether that be from their website, blogs, social media and notably, reviews. Reviews are key to revealing what approvals — or disapprovals — current consumers are experiencing with your competitors’ products. How can your company fill these needs that your competitors aren’t delivering their promises on?
Do research not just on your competitors, but the industry as well. Where is the market demand now but more importantly, where is it going? Use your positioning to fill the empty void in your market to reach a new consideration of clients and maybe even contemplate the opportunity of creating your own category.
Differentiation and Consistency
That distinguishing factor that makes your company stand out from your competitors? USE it. This is what positioning is all about. See that a compelling story is crafted so your company will stand out from the competition and brand advocates will continuously share with anyone who listens.
Once you’ve established a brand position, keep to it. The second you change your brand’s story, you confuse your clients. Remember consistency happens across your whole positioning strategy — not just one individual element. This should include the messaging you are using for your marketing, ensuring that the delivery is centered around your story.
While there are several guiding principles to elevating your strategic B2B positioning, due to the differences and challenges each individual industry is facing, unfortunately, there is no one standard solution. As a specialist in your industry, you will know the in and outs of the market to implement the best possible positioning for your company — these are simply just tools to help you get started.
Still feeling overwhelmed by strategic B2B positioning? Leave it to the experts! Drop us a line and we’d be happy to help.