Industrial B-to-B: Making the Most of Your Digital Efforts

digital-marketingAs the economy softens, all of us are looking for opportunities to expand or protect our position in the marketplace. Researchers and analysts all indicate that digital spending will increase or at least remain the same for 2009.

Marketers are still spending advertising and marketing dollars online because this channel is extremely measurable and can be tied directly to return on investment. To maximize your investments, here are the top 5 ways to invest in your digital channel for 2009:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Outside of your own primary web site, Google is the next important to most companies. Making sure you rank high for the kind of content your target audience is searching for is critical to generating leads. Every search engine optimization (SEO) strategy begins with the basics: search engine-friendly site design and architecture, and the fundamentals of key word research and content development. Take your SEO strategy to the next level by implementing best practices and staying on top of emerging optimization tactics.

2. Paid Search (Search Engine Marketing)

Targeting key words and phrases for your marketing campaigns can pay off in both the short and long term and is a great complement to SEO. Search advertising with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live Search and other providers can be an efficient and effective way to advertise online. Starting with the fundamentals and advancing to expert tactics, you’ll learn how to build and optimize successful pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns. Engaging with a partner in your paid search campaigns can yield 40% or greater ROI.

3. Landing Page Optimization

A landing page is the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search-engine result link. The page will usually display content that is a logical extension of the advertisement or link, and that is optimized to feature specific key words or phrases for indexing by search engines. By optimizing your landing pages for SEO, paid search, and e-mail marketing, you can significantly increase conversion and lead capture rates.

4. Don’t Waste Leads

Stop wasting leads that aren’t sales-ready and start using lead nurturing to build relationships so that when they are ready to buy, you’re positioned to win. In a recession, new prospects are less likely to be looking to purchase right away — which means they are less likely to want to talk to a sales rep. Lead nurturing is even more critical in a recession to ensure you convert the precious dollars you spend acquiring prospects into revenue.

5. Engage Your Customers in a Relevant Dialogue

People are looking online for relevant content to their current problems. Start thinking of your web site in terms of what is and what is not relevant to your end-customers and identify and extract thought leadership in your organization. Thought leadership is found in people, not departments and roles. Most organizations have certain employees that always have ideas or are a step ahead of the organization. Incent those employees to come forward and start providing content through your web site to provide value for your customers.

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