SIS International Market Research provides insights on the current B2B marketing space. Read on for the benefits of interactive media, content marketing, remarketing and more.
For many B2B marketers, content marketing is an incredibly valuable resource: More than 30% of survey respondents said it was either their most effective marketing tool or a key part of the puzzle.1
Still, some marketers have found it difficult to prove the full value of content marketing, which makes getting budget approval even harder. While actual revenue influenced is a key indicator of content marketing’s success, the value extends beyond just sales.
Content touches each part of the customer journey, from awareness to lead generation and purchase through retention. By measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) for each stage, you can show content marketing’s worth. Explore them all below.
Download our white paper to understand the importance of content marketing and six other consumer-centric trends in B2B marketing.
Stage 1: Awareness
Put simply, if people aren’t aware of your brand, there is no path to convert them. Grow your awareness by measuring how you’re being discovered. Here’s how:
SEO Positioning: It’s important to know where in the ranks you are showing up when people search unbranded keywords (keywords that are relevant to your business but that don’t use your brand or product names specifically).
The better your ranking, the more authority your brand has: When you’re among the top results in a search, people are more likely to click through and potentially convert.
Organic Traffic: If people are seeking out your website and your content of their own volition, they are turning to you as an expert. By tracking this performance indicator, you can measure awareness, which is the first step toward sales.
“For most companies, there’d be no leads without traffic, no opportunities without leads, and no revenue without opportunities.”–Eric Ayotte, Curata2
Stage 2: Consideration
Once customers start discovering and visiting your site, you have to lead them to take action. Tie your KPIs to conversion goals and measure engagement with your calls to action. Here’s how:
Goal Conversion: What are the goals of your content? Some pieces may be direct, guiding customers to purchase. Others may solidify your brand as a knowledgeable expert in your space, which helps build trust and win business over time.
Set up and measure these short- and long-term content conversion goals to solidify the value of your marketing in this stage of the funnel.
CTA Engagement: Your content may be engaging, but unless your CTAs are, too, content might not convert. See if your CTAs are working by looking at the click-through rate of your links, which measures the number of page views against the number of clicks on your CTAs.
This KPI is important for pieces of content as well as submission forms. What percentage of visitors to your site or form were driven to complete an action?
Stage 3: Purchase
A rich and well-tracked content marketing campaign can affect your bottom line in many ways. In the purchasing stage, you’ll want to look at potential revenue and average value. Here’s how:
Potential Revenue: What’s the total value of the estimated opportunities that could be generated by your content? This is a good KPI to set early to support your budget estimations.
For example, a piece could attract a lead who the sales team views as a good candidate for one of your tangential products or services. Now that this person is aware of and has some level of trust in your brand, you’re closer to a future sale.
Average Value: This KPI measures the value of a lead. It can be used to see if content marketing leads generate a higher value than leads from other channels. The quality of a lead is often determined through submission forms to access premium or gated content.
When you’re tracking revenue and closed sales, trace leads back to their source. Does more real, potential and repeat value come from content marketing leads than from social media or other outlets?
Stage 4: Loyalty
As people build trust in your brand over time, engaging with your expertise, tips and other content, they grow more likely to support you (and spend money with you). Here’s how to see that loyalty:
Early Repeat Rate: This KPI measures the percentage of new customers who make multiple purchases within a period of time, based on the length of your sales cycle. By looking at your brand’s “stickiness,” you can start to build your strategies around these patterns.
As you cultivate new buyers, there is an opportunity to take them down a specific path using content and communication. Those who follow it can become high-value customers for your business.
Average Order Value: This is the average amount spent by customers who interacted with your content, and should be compared with the amount spent by customers who didn’t. Are customers who read and engage with your content likely to spend more money on products and services?
It’s almost always easier (and less expensive) to convince a current customer or reader to make a purchase than it is to recruit a new customer. Content marketing helps expose more people to your brand and products, building loyalty.
While sales and revenue are important measures of the success of your content marketing, there are a number of other valuable performance indicators to prove its success. Invest time in measuring these eight simple KPIs to show that your content strategy is helping your business achieve its goals and reach important benchmarks.
For more on the value of content marketing in your B2B strategies, as well as six other key trends, download our white paper, 7 Customer-Centric Marketing Trends in the B2B Space.
The B2B market has shifted. The buyer, once beholden to a company’s sales team for all information, is now much more independent. Thanks to the internet, today’s B2B buyer does their own research, reading company websites, social media and thought leadership articles.
The pressure is now on the B2B marketer to hook this audience and reel it in. Luckily, there are strategic solutions for this very problem. Read on to learn seven tactics your company can use to convert B2B buyers and drive sales.
Want an in-depth look into the B2B buyer? Dive into our latest white paper: 7 Customer-Centric Trends in the B2B Space.
1. Account-based Marketing
This strategy can help you attract B2B buyers by concentrating marketing resources on a specifically defined set of target accounts. That way you can launch personalized campaigns designed to resonate with these special accounts.
Tightly aligned sales teams grow their revenue 24% faster.1
2. Social Media
The B2B buyer now uses social media to research a company’s offerings. Professional networking sites in particular have shown to be effective in generating leads. Brand your leadership on social media to help your company build trust with buyers.
More than half of B2B decision makers are searching for information on social media.2
3. Content Marketing
This marketing strategy allows your business to promote itself through thought leadership and capture leads in the process. Show your credibility and authority in your industry by creating digital content—articles, white papers, infographics, etc.—that is informative and snackable.
30% of marketers say content marketing is their most effective marketing tool.3
4. Interactive Media
Interactive content helps you capture your audience’s attention and keep it. It turns marketing from a passive process of consumption into a dynamic conversation and creates a dialogue between marketer and buyer. Consider creating contests, games, quizzes and more.
79% of marketers say interactive media helps drive repeat visits to their site.4
This tactic has been proven to increase click-through rates, decrease unsubscribe rates and increase conversions and sales.5
6. Micro-Moment Marketing
Micro moments are the short moments throughout the B2B buyer’s journey that inform their decision-making and shape their preferences. They are the moments when users turn to their phones to act on an impulse to learn, do, watch or buy something.6 Optimize your marketing to be relevant and mobile-friendly in order to capitalize.
Research shows that mobile impacts 40% of revenue in leading B2B companies.7
7. Direct Mail
Direct mail has proven itself as a marketing channel again and again. Now, it’s also an effective data collection device. Automation, tracking and data-collection systems can now be combined with direct mail for individualized and targeted B2B marketing.
Direct mail response rates have been steadily climbing with a 37% increase since 2015.8
Though the B2B buyer may be changing, marketers have more tactics than ever to reel in these clients. Social media. Content marketing. Direct mail. Consider combining a few or all of the tactics mentioned above to better target your B2B buyers. Looking to learn more about all seven tactics? Dive into our latest white paper: 7 Customer-Centric Trends in the B2B Space.
In this report from SIS International Market Research and USPS, we present data and insights for tackling the biggest trends in B2B e-commerce and the shipping challenges that come with them.
The growth of the e-commerce industry is changing the way businesses of all types operate. As younger generations come into leadership positions and begin dictating purchases, traditional models and operational practices are shifting.
This growth and change is most often discussed in terms of B2C e-commerce brands, but B2B businesses are feeling it, too. The B2B e-commerce market in the U.S. reached the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2018 and projections show that the $2 trillion milestone could arrive in just a few years.1 That means B2B shippers will need to stay on top of what’s changing and know when to adjust.
In our recent white paper, The Latest Trends in B2B E-Commerce & Shipping, we dig into actionable learnings to help your B2B business do just that. Here, let’s take a high-level look at some of the key trends and opportunities at play in the market.
Here are the latest developments in the B2B shipping market.
Half of all B2B buyers are millennials.2
This generation has had a huge effect on almost every piece of the economy. Now, they are growing into decision-making roles at businesses and have expectations about what a strong, positive B2B relationship looks like.
What this means for you:
Look to B2C shipping and e-commerce practices for inspiration. Millennials grew up with tailored, targeted and increasingly simple buying and shipping experiences. It is likely that, as B2B buyers, they will look for the same standards and values in the businesses from which they buy.
Smart, connected technology is transforming logistics.
As e-commerce evolves, so too does shipping technology. While autonomous vehicles for shipping are further from adoption, others, like Internet of Things devices, are already being implemented. Gartner predicts there will be around “20 billion internet-connected things by 2020. These ‘things’ are not general-purpose devices, such as smartphones and PCs, but dedicated-function objects, such as vending machines, jet engines, connected cards and a myriad of other examples.”3
These devices can help with tracking, optimization, efficiency and more, and they communicate with each other to make automatic adjustments.
What this means for you:
By using technology to optimize your logistics, you can better scale your B2B shipping business and continue to impress clients with fast, informed deliveries. Find ways to incorporate new technologies to assist in scaling operations and potentially cutting down on costs. We suggest specific tools in our white paper on the topic.
Keep your eyes on these opportunities to continue your business’s growth.
Develop a sustainable omni-channel strategy
Tackling omni-channel sales and distribution is an important step toward minimizing waste and maximizing flexibility. Research shows that many B2B companies plan to use online channels for sales and cut down on other methods.4
Once you open your business up to online channels, prepare your operations to answer the potential demand. Make sure you’re ready to fulfill additional orders by evaluating your network of distribution centers and finding ways to streamline logistics concerns.
Build loyalty with an easy returns process
In the B2C e-commerce world, returns are seen as an invaluable place to build loyalty. Companies that make returns easier, simpler and more convenient for customers can win more repeat sales. This is no different, and may even ring truer, in the B2B world.
When a business needs to send something back, it is most often because of a fault with the product, so it matters how quickly the issue can be resolved. Clearly articulate your return policy to avoid unwelcome surprises. Maintain strong communication with your customer. Make it simple to initiate a return, then proactively share information with your customer about the order’s status.
This high-level peek at some of the defining trends and opportunities in the B2B shipping market can help you see how your company could grow in the e-commerce space. Get a more in-depth and actionable look at the market by downloading our white paper, The Latest Trends in B2B E-Commerce & Shipping.