Website Marketing How-To: The Secret to Building a Successful B2B Website
What if I told you that there really is one secret — a silver bullet — that all but guarantees your B2B website marketing will be successful? And by successful, I mean it will generate a positive ROI, differentiate your products, and move your target audience to act.
Not only does this silver bullet exist, I can sum the secret up in one word: Listen.
To your clients.
To your prospects.
To your sales team.
To your customer service reps.
Sounds easy, but as I’m sure you already know, it takes some doing.
Who Should You Listen To?
Let’s start with the groups outside of your organization: prospects and clients. These folks are likely to be a bit guarded, particularly prospects since you haven’t earned their trust. As with any focus group-type activity, you also run the risk of having people tell you want they think you want to hear. So you have to create space that allows them to be less defensive.
You might do this by couching your inquiry in a way that is helpful to them. For example, rather than inquiring about what they loved about your product x, get them talking about how they’d like to see you improve product x. The difference may seem subtle, but asking about what they want rather than what you want is much more likely to get you honest, helpful feedback.
The situation is similar but not identical with your internal audiences. You once again are much better served by asking what improvements would make their lives easier, but you also have to be even more communicative about whatever changes you implement. (If you keep asking and they keep not seeing any changes being made that benefit them, they’re not going to engage.) You won’t ever make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time, of course, but you have to show you’re trying – and you have to offer solid reasons if you can’t implement an improvement that has popular support.
All of this is no guarantee that your site is going to look great, or work with every browser under the sun. It doesn’t even mean it’s going to attract visitors. (That’s another discussion entirely.)
Address Your Audience's Concerns
But it does mean that the audience you do attract will engage because you are addressing their concerns. Remember, nobody is coming to your website looking to kill a few minutes between meetings. They’re on your site because they have a problem that they think you may be able to help them solve.
Show that you understand their problem, provide them with materials that helps them understand their problem better, and they’ll grant you permission to illustrate that you have experience and expertise to solve their problem with them.
That should be the primary focus of everything you publish on your website and every call to action and lead magnet you create.
If you talk to your prospects and clients they’ll tell you their pain, and that’s the information you need to build a website marketing plan that works.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")