Well, we’ve made it! We’re officially halfway through 2015. Now is a good time to look at the progress you’re making toward overcoming this year’s biggest challenges and obstacles, so you can make the second half of 2015 even better. Mod Girl Marketing has been helping growing businesses with the following five B2B marketing hurdles. Perhaps you can identify with some of them!
Top 5 B2B Marketing Challenges
1. Lack of Effective Strategy
Ascend2’s Inbound Marketing Research Report identified “lack of an effective strategy” as the biggest obstacle to inbound B2B marketing success. Often, important discussions happen over the phone or in face-to-face meetings, but a concrete plan is never written down. Marketers know that things like content, social media, web design and PPC ads will all further their business goals, but they have trouble organizing all these components into a focused strategy that can be measured, acted upon and amended as time goes by. Not surprisingly, strategic planning from experienced digital marketing consultants is the top service purchased by Mod Girl Marketing clients. This amazing infographic from SmartInsights.com gives a brilliant overview of points to consider when developing an effective B2B marketing strategy:
Image Source: SmartInsights.com
2. Content Creation
This year’s benchmark report from the Content Marketing Institute identified “content creation” as both the most effective B2B marketing tactic (cited by 60% of marketers) and the most difficult tactic to execute (cited by 54% of marketers). What makes this task so challenging is that, not only do marketers need to find the time and resources for content creation, but they also need to produce content that furthers goals like brand awareness, lead generation and sales — which are all challenges in their own right.
Image From: ContentMarketingInstitute.com
Solid content strategies and marketing automation are necessary precursors to nurturing prospects throughout the sales funnel. “Good content” relies on knowing your audience. Delivering the right message to the right prospect at the right time is ultimately what leads to sales, so setting up a system that captures demographic data in a sensible way becomes key. The most compelling storytellers are also the best salespeople in the world of digital marketing. Producing consistent content and measuring effectiveness should be top priorities.
The Content Marketing Institute found that B2B marketers found it particularly more challenging to find trained content marketing professionals this year (32%), compared to last year (10%). If this sounds all too familiar, contact us to discuss opportunities with our experienced team of B2B content creators. Our team includes industry-specific writers with a knack for research and SEO who came to us with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and have been a reliable part of our crew for more than a decade.
3. Content Performance & ROI Metrics
Part of the beauty in online marketing is our ability to harness real-time conversion data to see what’s working and what’s failing. We can quickly allocate our resources to the most effective tactics and revamp or eliminate our least effective efforts. However, Data can be overwhelming and can really sink your ship if you don’t know how to make use of the mind-boggling number of statistics some of the best marketing tools spit out. For starters, consider measuring these factors to assess the effectiveness of your content and B2B marketing efforts in 2015:
– Engagement (new visitors, page views, visit duration, bounce rate, return visits)
– Virality (social shares, comments, SEO results, organic traffic, new social likes)
– Leads & Conversions (sources, cost-per-lead, cost-per-sale)
– Revenue (percentage of content-related revenue vs. revenue from other sources)
Having a team of Google Analytics consultants will also help optimize your marketing campaigns and improve user experience and lead generation on your website.
You may like: 5 Reasons CMOs Should Be Talking About Analytics
4. Brand Awareness
Another huge challenge for B2B marketers — especially in the B2B marketing tools world — is simple awareness. Executives are inundated with so many offers that it becomes overwhelming to sort through the clutter. Competition is huge in many industries and it can be difficult to stay in the minds of your prospects to see the final sale. Is your brand reaching the right prospects? Which websites, companies and social media users are your best advocates? Again, these questions all lead back to the need for efficient B2B marketing tools to capture and make sense of relevant data.
As Dunn & Bradstreet explain, the best methods of gauging brand awareness include the following:
– Google Webmaster Tools keyword report – impressions, clicks, inbound links, keywords for each page
– Bing Webmaster Tools – page traffic statistics, inbound link performance
– Social media platforms – likes, shares, comments, traffic insights
– RavenTools link data – reports on which links are most or least valuable
– Web page referral reports – third-party page referrals
5. Lack of Budget
According to a 2015 survey by Regalix, the top challenge B2B marketers face is “lack of budget” necessary to implement an effective digital marketing program. As eMarketer suggests, one way to make your budget stretch is to find innovative ways to repurpose old content. While you’ll want to have a few posts on timely news and hot topics, most of your content should be evergreen — meaning that it has a long shelf life and speaks to topics that audience will find valuable beyond 2015.
Another way to save pennies on B2B marketing is to outsource some or all of your content marketing functions. Producing amazing content sucks up time and talent. As our In-House vs. Agency Infographic shows, hiring a team of in-house marketing professionals could easily cost $337,000 a year or more — and that’s not even including the additional expenses of employee health care, paid vacation days, lost productivity in sick days, and training costs! On top of basic salary and benefit considerations, outsourcing gives you free access to expensive marketing tools that could add up to $40,000/year.
Contact Mod Girl Marketing for all your strategic consulting or outsourced B2B marketing needs.
Tags: b2b challenges, b2b content marketing, b2b marketing