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‍Your complete guide to SME digital marketing for B2Bs 

‍Your complete guide to SME digital marketing for B2Bs 

Getting started with a B2B digital marketing strategy as a small business owner can feel extremely hard. But it doesn't have to be! Follow our guide to learn more about how to plan your strategy and how to get the most from your budget.

If you’re an SME and you want to boost your online presence to grow your business, you probably already know that a digital marketing strategy is a must-have. 

According to Marketing Week, 68% of SMEs are planning to increase their marketing budgets in 2023. That’s over two-thirds of small businesses who recognise the need to get their brands out there and stand out in today’s highly competitive markets. 

In this blog, we’ll explore what exactly SME digital marketing is, the strategies you should be using, how to drive results and how to measure your results. By the end of this blog, you should be equipped with everything you need to know to start a successful digital markeitng strategy for your business. 

What is SME digital marketing? 

SME digital marketing is any activity you invest in to reach your target audience such as: 

As an SME, using these channels to reach your target audience when they’re browsing online is essential to your future success. B2B buyers have changed the way they buy and now spend more time researching online than they did before. Their behaviour is beginning to mimic that of B2C customers who research and buy online. 

In fact, research shows that 70% of B2B decision-makers now prefer remote or digital interactions when it comes to buying products and solutions. And 70% of B2B buyers will spend over half of their research time online before even speaking to a sales representative.

If you want to know more about what SME digital marketing is and the best practices for your strategy, take a look at our blog: What is SME digital marketing: A guide for B2B. 

Now you know what SME digital marketing for B2Bs looks like, let’s have a closer look at the key strategies that can help you to achieve your goals. 

Planning your SME digital marketing plan 

Having a digital marketing plan in place is critical to SME success. It helps you to understand what you want to achieve and what you need to do to get there. SMEs face a number of challenges when it comes to digital marketing including: 

  • Measuring ROI 
  • Improving the digital experience 
  • Generating demand 

If you can overcome these challenges with a well-thought-out strategy, you’re well on your way to success. Let’s have a look at the core pillars we recommend you have in place before launching your digital marketing strategy. 

Core pillars of successful digital marketing 

Digital experience - the way that B2B buyers research, compare and buy has changed and most of them start their purchase journey online. They might eventually buy offline but the digital experience and the way they find you online is now essential to a successful customer journey. 

Inbound marketing - digital marketing is essential for a successful inbound marketing strategy. Every marketing communication and channel you use should be highly tailored towards your ideal target audience to make sure they buy from you and not your competitors. 

Content marketing - B2B buyers like to spend time researching high-quality content so you should consider how you’re going to show buyers what you can offer and the solutions you can provide through engaging and helpful content. Content will help with your SEO strategy too to make sure your customers can find your brand online when they’re actively searching. 

Brand awareness - only a small proportion of your customers are likely to be in buying mode at any given time. As a result, building brand awareness is essential so that your business is top of mind when your customers are eventually ready to buy from you. 

For more information on how to build a digital marketing plan for your business, take a look at our blog: 4 ideas for your 2023 SME digital marketing plan or, 4 ways to accelerate B2B growth marketing in 2023

How can you kick-start your SME digital marketing plan? 

We know, as small business owners, knowing where to even start when it comes to digital marketing can feel impossible. If this is you, we’ve got a few key steps you can follow to help you get started. 

Once you’ve tackled these, you can then start to look deeper into the activities you want to run to help you achieve your goals. 

Assess your existing strategy 

If you already have a digital marketing strategy in place, the first place to start is by looking at what you’re already doing, what’s working, and what isn’t. Knowing what your goals are and what you want to achieve will also help you here. It will allow you to make sure you’re running the right activities and reaching the right people. 

Create a plan 

Once you know what’s working, you will need to plan for your future activities. This will help you align your activities with your goals and help you understand what will work best for your business and how your activities are performing. 

Develop your brand 

Your brand is what your customers think of when they see or interact with your business. This will help you become recognisable in your industry and develop your brand personality. 

Review your website 

An online presence in today’s digital world is crucial. So, having a website is going to be essential to your success. Your website is where you’ll drive all the traffic from your digital marketing activities and will allow your customers to make a purchase from you. Make sure you’ve got product and services pages and it’s easy for customers to navigate. 

Learn more about getting your digital marketing strategy started in our blog: SME digital marketing essentials: How to kick start your plan. 

What digital marketing strategies should you be using? 

Although the B2B audience and the way they buy have changed over the last few years, there are still some important differences to consider between the B2C and B2B audience to make sure your strategy is as effective as possible. 

There are three key differences to consider:

  1. Audience: B2C marketing involves directly targeting consumers and, in the majority of cases, the end user. However, a B2B audience is likely to contain multiple stakeholders and the person researching will have to influence a number of other people within the business. 
  2. Market size: The B2B market is much more limited and more focused than the B2C market. 
  3. Sales cycle: It’s important to remember that the B2B sales cycle is longer and more complex than the B2C sales cycle, so you’ll need to take this into account when planning your activities and strategies. 

So, what strategies do we recommend to help you reach your target audience? 

Top 7 SME digital marketing strategies 

  1. Understand your target audience: This is essential for any marketing strategy, but it’s even more important for B2B audiences who may have multiple decision-makers who require different pieces of information. Knowing exactly who your customers are and what they’re looking for will help you make your activities more effective. 
  1. Ensure your website’s easy to use: Providing your prospective customers with the information they need to purchase requires an easy-to-use website that tells them what you do and how you can solve their problems
  1. Use paid search: Paid search helps you get in front of your potential customers when searching online at all stages of their journey. 
  1. Build an SEO strategy: An SEO strategy will help your customers find relevant information about your business when they’re researching online. 
  1. Create content: this is key in a B2B marketing strategy. Your customers will consume content during their buying process to educate themselves on the solutions you can provide and equip them with the information they need to sell it into their stakeholders. 
  1. Email: is great for keeping in touch with engaged customers until they’re ready to buy. Remember that only a small proportion of your target market is ready to buy at any given time so you’ll need to nurture relationships and keep your brand top of mind. 
  1. Measure your results: Knowing how your campaigns are performing is key to success. You need to know what works and what doesn’t so you can invest your budget into the activities that will work best for your brand. This will help you get the most from your investment and drive as many sales as possible. 

If you’d like to know more about the strategies that can help drive your SME, read our blog: 7 top SME digital marketing strategies for B2B.

But, once you have a plan in place, how do you maximise your budget to it’s full potential to generate revenue for your business? 

How to maximise your budget and generate revenue through B2B digital marketing 

When budgets are tight, it can be easy to neglect your marketing fund or find space to create a budget. 

However, looking at where you can get the most from your very small budget, without making cuts, can help you to be more successful over the long term. Remember that, the more successfully you can squeeze everything you need from your budget, the more likely you are to be successful in the future. 

Here are our top seven steps to getting the most from your digital marketing budget: 

Step 1: Know your goals 

Knowing exactly what you want to get out of your marketing efforts will help you to measure the results and understand what your activities are driving for your business. With no clear goals in mind, you’ll find it impossible to see how your digital marketing activities are actually performing. 

Step 2: Track your spend 

Look at what you’re already spending and what it’s driving. Can you cut spend on the activities that aren’t working and invest them somewhere else? 

Step 3: Analyse performance 

Really gather an understanding of what’s performing and what isn’t so you can put the most budget into the activities that are helping you reach your business goals. 

Step 4: Inbound marketing 

This is a highly cost-effective way to consistently drive leads for your business, so look at channels such as SEO, content and social media to reach your target audience while browsing online. 

Step 5: Utilise the marketing funnel 

In B2B marketing and sales, building a relationship with potential customers is important. Look at how your target audience makes decisions throughout their buying journey and the channels they use, and make sure you run activities that will help them at every stage. The goal is to keep providing information and guiding your prospects until they’re ready to purchase. 

Step 6: Look at competitors 

Understanding what your competitors are doing is key to successful digital marketing. How can you set yourself apart and drive customers to buy from you rather than them? 

Step 7: Understand your customers 

A thorough understanding of your customers will help you know exactly who you’re targeting and what they want from you. This allows you to make sure you get your brand in the right places at the right time. 

Want to know more about getting the most from your digital marketing budget? Take a look at our blog: The ultimate guide to B2B digital marketing strategies: Maximise your budget and generate revenue. 

Or, Digital marketing results: Tried and tested methods to maximise ROI for SMEs

What metrics should you be measuring to see the impact of your SME digital marketing? 

Metrics and KPIs help you to monitor, record and measure your digital marketing campaign performance. This allows you to see what’s working well, the activities that are helping you drive sales, and where you can improve. 

Here are the 6 essential digital marketing metrics we recommend you monitor to get the most out of your digital marketing budget and deliver ROI for your business. 

✅Website traffic 

✅Traffic by source 

✅New vs returning visitors

✅Average session duration 

✅Bounce rate 

✅Conversion rate 

Find out more about these metrics and how you find them in our blog: B2B digital marketing strategy: The best methods for measuring effectiveness

Should you outsource SME digital marketing? 

If you’re trying to take care of your digital marketing yourself or have a small team, it can be difficult to ensure your activities are successful. 

You might have considered outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency, or you might have tried to bring someone in before, and it hasn’t quite worked out as you had hoped. 

Outsourcing your digital marketing provides a number of benefits, including being able to hand your marketing strategy over to a team of experts who are experts and who have the time and resources to dedicate to making digital marketing successful for your business. 

Here are some of the factors you should consider when looking to outsource your digital marketing: 

✅Define goals 

✅Do your due diligence 

✅Be clear on the services and fees you’re being offered 

✅Meet agencies face to face

✅Learn more about the expertise of the agency you’re speaking to 

✅Learn more about the strategy your agency will implement for you 

✅Think about how the agency will fit in with your business and tea 

✅Understand how your agency will communicate progress and results 

✅Get a proposal 

✅Don’t always choose the cheapest option 

It can be nerve-wracking to leave your digital marketing and its success in someone else’s hands, but if you follow these steps to find the right fit for your business, your activities are likely to be successful, and you’ll see great results for your business.

Learn more about the criteria you should consider here: Checklist: Key agency criteria when looking to outsource SME digital marketing. 

Key takeaways 

When you’re a small business owner trying to attract B2B buyers, knowing where to start or trying to accomplish everything on your own can feel like a huge mountain to climb. However, taking small steps from planning your strategy, defining your goals, understanding who you’re targeting, and whether you need to outsource your digital marketing to a third party can help you to make your business a success over the long term. 

If you’d like to know more about B2B digital marketing, speak to a member of our team at hello@logica-digital.co.uk or request a free digital marketing audit

Blog written by

Amy Ward

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