“Yeah we have a great digital marketing strategy that we totally understand, we write content and we publish it. We have great website traffic.”
“Where do you publish your content?”
“On our social media”.
“You know social media has no-follow links?”
“Mmmm, OK. You mention great traffic, what is your conversion rate?`”
“Not sure, we don’t measure it.”
The art of digital marketing is a mixture of science and creativity. Utilizing a digital marketing strategy is a lynchpin to any overall B2B marketing strategy. It is a cost effective method of creating new incoming sales leads for your company and building online brand awareness. That is of course assuming prospects can find your website amongst the massive abundance of online information including your competitors and other noise around your industry. That is why utilizing digital marketing for b2b effectively you need to adopt at least the basic principles, and the deeper you go, the more success you will have in terms of lead conversion. Website traffic is not the major measurement factor, conversion rate is the overall defining yardstick. Measuring conversation rate, that is who contacts you, will determine what strategy works, allowing you to fine tune your digital marketing approach with the resources you have.
What is a structured digital marketing approach?
From a high level it is the creation of content, content and more content. Hence the creativity, but the content has to be created according to certain rules and once completed, it has to be distributed accordingly. Distribution of content using only your social media will not give depth and will limit your success.
First step to content writing
You need to incorporate within your content what is known as “themed relevant keyword links” also sometimes known as “anchor text” back to relevant parts of your website. Before writing any content, first research relevant keyword links using a tool such as Google Keyword planner. As an example in the first paragraph above, I researched some links on keywords that people regularly search on. I underlined them. I have not linked them all, as we don’t want to do keyword stuffing.
Why do we want links?
Links from content back to your website is what gives your website “Domain Authority” (DA). The higher the DA of your website, the higher you will list in organic searches in search engines such as Google. Note that Google use their own measure of quality known as ‘PageRank” at a web page level. Links from other web pages with high relevance and high authority with high PageRank back to yours will improve your PageRank ranking and in turn your organic listing.
My specificality is digital marketing and sales development for tech and startups. Especially in the broadcast and media world. Press Releases are an easy way to distribute content as there are many journalists and news platforms who will take your content, especially that are relevant to the media tech industry. Some platforms allow you to keep your keyword links when they publish your content meaning as well as exposing your content to a relevant demographic, you are also getting Search Engine Optimization (SEO) “juice”. The higher their online web portals in terms of DA, the better impact it will have on improving your DA on your website when they link back to you.
Also content can be editorials, success stories or thought leadership pieces. Again there are many online platforms that will welcome your content, especially if it is educational and non-product specific. Compelling content is key. We never create content only for SEO.
Are there other ways to create links?
Naturally! Some links are better than others:-
- You can buy links. This is best avoided and sometimes can do more harm than good.
- You can submit links to business directories and other search engine categories. Very limited value.
- You can ask people to add links in their company pages or you can exchange links. A lot of work and reliance on good-will.
- Leaving links in blog comments. Blog owners hate this, and Google sees right through this tactic.
The best alternative links are people who incorporate your links into their own content. There are some tactics for this and some tools that can help you do this:-
- Using a specialist SEO tool, you can understand where your competitors are published with their links, especially the ones with a higher DA. You can approach these websites or publication platforms as a guest blogger, relevant PR or with content of your own.
- A technique known as “skyscraping”, using the same tool, you can find where your competitors are being linked within online content such as editorials, blogs and reviews, and you can offer an alternative link if it benefits and improves the piece.
- You would be surprised how many links back to your website are broken as your website evolves. You can find these and ask for the link to be updated.
- There could be many instances of your company or product that are mentioned online. You can ask for some of these mentions to be linked.
- Create something on your website that is very linkable – some sort of utility, cost calculator or application can work very well.
- Online communities – but if you just start dropping in your links you will be banned instantly. You need to play the slow game and build trust.
It should be noted, it is worth focusing your efforts on building relationships with websites owners that have high DA and high PageRank. They are the most difficult to obtain, but gives the best reward. A general rule, weblinks that are easy to give links generally give the least value.
Be warned! Asking for links is one thing, actually making people do this is another. So you may need to offer some exceptional content or some other incentive in return. And be careful, if Google thinks your exchanging goods or services for links, this will negatively impact your listing.
Link building is a major part of digital marketing, but I am only scratching the surface here. But I hope I have given an insight into one element in the art of digital marketing. But when you compare to other lead generation techniques such as cold calling which is very demoralizing and trade shows which is very expensive, digital marketing is working for you 24×7 and in my opinion with the exception of word&mouth referrals, gives the best sales leads.