A solid and well thought out B2B marketing plan is a comprehensive roadmap that will guide you on your journey toward meeting your goals.

Goal Setting
First things first, SMART goals, objectives, and tactics need to be identified. To get started, you’ll want to analyze your current situation, as there is no better way to decide on where to go, then by taking a look at where you’ve been and where you currently stand. Most importantly, remember to choose goals that support the growth of your bottom line.   Stay focused and be realistic.

Website
The design, layout, and ease of navigation on your website all impact the user experience. You want prospects and customers to easily find the information they are looking for in about 5 seconds. Because if they can’t, they’ll be quick to leave the site and find a different website that can accommodate them. If aesthetically, the site isn’t appealing, or if the search function doesn’t work properly, or the design isn’t responsive to account for utilizing various types of technology (computer, tablet, phone etc.), you may lose customers. While driving customers to your website is half the battle, the other half is keeping them engaged with visually appealing, well organized, and engaging content.

Content
Content is king! Any marketer, especially inbound marketers, know this to be true. Providing quality content that answers your customer’s questions is what it is all about. Creating and promoting regular content through blogs, webinars, white papers, videos, downloads etc., will attract customers. But, it’s important to have a strong content strategy.   You must understand what motivates your customer. By analyzing customer behaviors as well as directly communicating with your customers via surveys, focus groups, and social media platforms, you can easily identify what type of information people are looking for. From there, you simply give the people what they want!

Social
Having outstanding content is great, but it’s only effective if people are reading it. One way to get more eyes on your content – you guessed it, social media. For B2B marketing plans, LinkedIn and Twitter are two of the most popular platforms. However, some B2B businesses do find Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest extremely beneficial too. Finding the right social media platform for your business depends on your industry. Where do your customers look for information? How do they best engage with you? What topics are hot right now? Staying on top of industry trends and actively communicating on these topics by providing relevant content will help you engage prospects, attract them to your website, and ultimately turn them into customers.

SEO
Search Engine Optimization is all about attracting your ideal customers. The world of SEO can be complex with its ever changing rules. But any effort spent learning and implementing the basics will be well worth your time. By learning the importance of identifying long tail keywords, linking, tagging and seo friendly urls, you’ll be well on your way to improving your ranking. And we all know that the higher you rank, the more likely you are to be seen and more likely to get visitors to your page.

Analytics
Collect data, analyze, and implement changes. By studying previous marketing campaigns, both those that were successful and those that weren’t, you can begin to identify trends. Do campaigns focused on a certain product perform better than others? Does time of year have an impact on conversion rate? How long is your average buying cycle? These are questions that you can begin to answer that can help you shape future campaigns. No campaign is ever perfect, and there will always be ways to improve it. Don’t stick with the status quo of doing something the same way every time, just because that’s the way it’s always been done. Take the information you’ve gathered and make smart decisions, test new approaches, and continually strive to improve the customer experience.

Creating a B2B Marketing plan takes time and should be a collaborative effort among the marketing and sales department. And it should be considered a living, breathing, document that is regularly referred to. It isn’t something you create and then stick in a file somewhere. This is a plan to get you where you want to be. Use it. Tweak it. And never forget to have fun with it! If you need help with any part of your B2B marketing plan, Measured Results Marketing would like to hear from you. Give us a call at 571-606-3106 or send us an email and let’s talk about your specific business needs.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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