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Your First (Free) Baby Steps in B2B Web Marketing

OK, Listen Up

Your web site is not your field of dreams. Build it and most likely they will not come.

Nope, once it’s built your goal is to make it work as a sales sweat house – and this takes real effort and a bunch of web marketing smarts.

Your first order of business is to attract engaged and interested traffic to your site… with the ultimate goal of turning these people into qualified leads.

In order to do this effectively (and to filter out the tyre-kickers) you need to pull out your Web Marketing 101 Kit Bag. We’re talking SEO, social media, online PR and blogging.

Sound OK?

Don’t worry. It’s simple (and largely free to do). The key rule is ‘give to get’: you’ve just created a category-killing web site with a beautifully designed and executed value proposition…. now all you need to do is work hard to engage with the right kind of people and bring them to your door.

The idea is to increase your web ‘reach’ and improve your performance in search engines (ie, your SEO) so that you can engage with and drive high-value, motivated traffic to your web site.

Here are the techniques you need…

Step 1: Content Generation

Step 2: Backlinking

Step 3: ‘Rest of the Web’ engagement (via Social Media, Online PR and blogging)

And here’s how you can do it….

1) Content Generation

Put simply, you need to generate some content bait. Quality content is what will ultimately drive traffic to your site. You need to be publishing good content- and keyword-rich articles, papers, podcasts, and video regularly to your site. This will encourage those search spiders to return more often and, over time, it will give you a compelling body of work that you can publish off-site with the aim of steering people away from other web destinations and onto your site.

2) Backlinking

The links that are made back to your site are the number one influencing factor in Google’s PageRank algorithm. And the higher quality they are, they more influential they will be in boosting your ranking (for a full explanation of what ‘quality’ means in this respect, see our paper on SEO). To this end, you need to encourage as many of them as possible. How? By submitting your site to relevant, quality listings directories (such as the technology section in Yahoo’s business pages), creating reciprocal links with important partner sites and getting hip to…

3) ‘Rest of the Web’ enagagement via Social Media, Online PR and blogging

Here’s where you put that battery of superior content to use. You should be out there creating a variety of social media application profiles – YouTube, Squidoo, Flickr, Slideshare, etc – so that each time you create a new piece of content you can publish it on them, along with a healthy dose of linkage back to your site. Elsewhere we’ve described this effort as ‘Pico Branding’ – using top-flight content to engage with audiences elsewhere on the web with the intention of inviting everyone back to your place. It’s a fantastic way of driving interested traffic.

In addition, you should be taking a leaf out of the new book of PR and publishing all of your newsworthy content via online news distribution hubs. This is another means of backlinking – the hubs will take your content and distribute it far and wide across the web to ‘newsy’ destinations like Google and Yahoo News and others. Note – the aim here is not to convince a human being to write up your news story, but to have a web site somewhere deep in the interweb publish it, along with a link or two back to your key web pages.

Last but not least, you should start blogging your market-related ideas every time you hit on something of interest. Why? Well, we’ve already written on what we feel the value of blogging to be in B2B, but in short, blogging can be:

  • Another reason for Google to pay you frequent visits
  • A direct continuation of your sales discussions
  • The place where your prospects head to to get a handle on the real people behind the product/service
  • A great way of engaging with the fabric of the web and generating high quality backlinks

A word about measurement

Aside from all this content generation and ‘engagement’ activity, we’d also recommend that you measure what you do on a regular (monthly?) basis. Otherwise it’ll be hard to track the effectiveness of what you’re doing, and hard to convince other important people (like bosses!) that you ought to be dedicating more resources to the work.

Using a stats package like Google Analytics (which is free!), here’s a few simple yardsticks you can use to validate your work…

  • Average page views per month
  • Average time on site
  • Average bounce rates
  • Average number and cost of acquisitions per month (sign ups to newsletters, white papers, etc)

If you follow the above advice, I can guarantee you’ll soon have people beating a path to your door.

Alternatively, contact us and we can help you on your way!

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5 Responses to “Your First (Free) Baby Steps in B2B Web Marketing”

  1. laurent

    in 3) wouldn’t you want to identify the relevant places (where are discussed problems and topics related to what you do) and build a 2 way dialog with them? So that you know them and they know you and, during the course of the conversation with those people/communities, you can point them to any relevant content you have spread around (or published on your blog/website). I see what you describe as putting content on the right channels thinking that search engine will bring them back in front of the right people. That’s good but you also need to engage directly with your peers that are out there. Am I wrong?

  2. Roger Warner

    Hi Laurent

    You’re absolutely right, yes. I wrote about this a while back (see’Pico Branding”: http://www.velocitypartners.co.uk/2008/01/15/pico-branding-new-rules-for-marketing/)…

    But I’ve kind of glossed over it here at the end of point 3. I think that’s something we easily miss – that the value of this kind of work is in its inherent SOCIALNESS – ie, I blog about something, you comment on it, I like you, I read you, follow you, Digg you, etc, etc, etc….

    Kind of like the old mantra – you have to give action to get action…. the more social you are the wider your network of influence becomes and the greater the returns in terms of incoming links, buzz, etc.

    So, again, yes, absolutely, I agree with you….

    BTW: your conversion app there looks interesting. Can you get me on the beta!? : )

    ….Of course, your comment just proved your point here. You engaged, I checked out your stuff and now I want to know more. You are a wise man Laurent : )

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