B2B buyers’ behaviour when searching for information has changed in recent years, and now embraces the Web and digital technologies. SMEs must respond to these changes and ensure that they are visible throughout the purchasing process by adopting an inbound marketing strategy. Here we recommend 4 main techniques, taken from a white paper just published by Europages in collaboration with the online marketing agency Kyto.
- Search engine visibility
Ensuring your company’s visibility on the major search engines is now unavoidable. To do so, the prerequisite is having a decent website, i.e. the cornerstone of your commercial development. Today, the minimum effort any self-respecting SME must make is to ensure it has a website, i.e. a digital business card for the enterprise. Your site must provide all the information needed by potential buyers at every phase in the purchasing process: catalogues, PDF product sheets, white papers, customer testimonials, video clips, etc. Identified, stored and indexed by search engines, this content will be delivered to buyers looking for specific information. In addition, your site must include an excellent landing page and forms that make it easy for visitors to establish contact with your company’s various departments.
For a B2B SME seeking to develop its international activity, the most effective way to proceed is to register with professional directories and marketplaces offering optimal natural referencing, with specialised teams that take care of the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) process. This involves identifying the most suitable platforms based on your company’s goals and targets.
- Display advertising
Display advertising, i.e. the display of online advertising banners on websites visited by your potential buyers, is an effective method for reaching your prospects in a highly targeted manner. For the purpose of your display campaign, you must identify sites that deal with your products and solutions, sector-specific portals, professional directories, etc., then define your campaign’s objective: promoting a product, announcing an event, etc. Retargeting will subsequently boost your banner’s visibility by presenting it on other sites visited by Internet users who have browsed your site.
- Email marketing, an effective tool for B2B
Email marketing is a key B2B tool for developing your brand awareness, attracting prospects to your site and safeguarding the loyalty of your customers. In order to work well, it must adhere to certain criteria set out in the white paper. Bear in mind that it will be more effective with prospects if it comes from a partner known by the recipient (B2B buyers are inundated with requests, and sort them ruthlessly). Moreover, if your activity is international, the email must be written in the recipient’s native language for optimum impact.
- Social media platforms
B2B can no longer ignore social media platforms: for digital native B2B buyers, using social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn and sharing information online among people with common interests is quite simply a way of life. B2B SMEs must recognise these new forms of behaviour and adapt accordingly by managing their digital identity on social media platforms.
To find out more, download our white paper entitled “The online B2B purchasing process. How buyers search online and how SMEs must respond.”