The Ever Changing World of B2B Marketing

While the rapid pace of change in worldwide business is changing the way companies do business, when it comes to marketing, the shift in the global marketplace is secondary to rapidly changing technology.

When marketing to business targets, many “old-world” forms of marketing continue to be successful, i.e. telemarketing, radio & television advertising, and networking.  However, most buyers now find suppliers through search engines, and failing to quickly recognize this truth continues to trip up managers everywhere.

Start-ups and established businesses alike should recognize the need to address search engine and web-based marketing as pressing and immediate.

The three primary forms of online marketing include SEO, SEM or PPC, and social media.  It is important not to view these methods in silos.  Each one can impact the others, and recognition of this fact can help you maximize your campaign’s effects.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Buying traffic is a great way to quickly get your business in front of potential customers.  It is relatively easy to set up a pay per click (PPC) campaign, and results are very trackable.  You can customize your messaging and target customers who would otherwise never know that you exist.  However, PPC can be expensive.  It is critical that you invest the proper amount of time to avoid getting left in the dust.

Search Engine Optimization

Not long ago, businesses could simply hire search engine optimization (SEO) companies to build links and submit their site to various directories.  A company’s search engine ranking position (SERP) would depend largely on how many links were pointing to its website.  In fact, link-building is often the first thing that comes to my clients’ minds when the subject of SEO is brought up.

Unfortunately, this style of SEO is no longer as effective as it once was.  Google tweaks its algorithm hundreds of times every year, and devaluing low quality links seems to be one of their primary motivators.  Google now looks for new indicators of quality, and the best thing a manager can do is heed the search engine’s advice: provide quality content.

The good news for your business is that a lot of managers appear to be stuck in caves.  They continue to emphasize many outdated SEO practices.

Innovative managers follow the news, recognize change, and adapt their strategies.  Moving quickly can help your company break away from the pack.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is one of the newest forms of B2B marketing, and clearly appears to be the direction in which online marketing is heading.  The past few years have spawned unbridled growth of social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, and now seemingly everyone has a profile on either or both websites.  Heck, the Dalai Lama even has a Twitter profile!  

In 2011, Google jumped into the fray by adding its own social media engine, Google Plus.  Google’s entry into the market should further blur the line between search engines and social media, and bring them closer to being one.

Modern marketers should stay on top of the constantly changing shape of search engine algorithms and frequently scan the news for updates.  You can be sure that not all of your competitors will follow suit, and you can use their sluggishness to your advantage.

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