Business meeting. Marketing strategy brainstorming. Paperwork and digital concept. Intentional sun glare and vintage colour

It’s that time of the year to take stock of your B2B brand assets and how well they performed in 2016. The timing of the New Year dates back to Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. when he ordered a change to what eventually became the foundation for our modern 12 month calendar. Perhaps not surprisingly, the name January derives from the Roman god, Janus, who was the god of beginnings.

Many businesses also peg their operational budgets to the start of the new year. Which means that many marketing professionals are busy evaluating the performance of their marketing strategy and investments. The goal? Learn what worked well, what could use improving and what should be scrapped in favor of a new approach.

In that spirit, we offer you this quick look at things marketing professionals should keep in mind as they look to retool B2B brands for 2017.

Blogging – Content is still King

Nothing quite compares to an active blog when it comes to driving website traffic and conversions. And by active, we mean publishing at least 11 posts per month consistently. If Hubspot’s extensive research is any indicator, B2B companies that publish 11 monthly posts get nearly 3x the website traffic as compared to ones that publish only occasional posts. Post 16 times per month and you may very well see 4.5x more lead conversions compared to those who post only weekly. Of course, this assumes you are laying the groundwork for conversions by adding call-to-actions (CTA) on your blog and providing deep links to other parts of your website.

Grow your contact list

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to add an email address capture app to your website in order to ask visitors to subscribe to your email marketing campaign. Mind you, it’s not an invitation to start selling to subscribers. But you can lace your marketing campaigns with call-to-actions in hopes of converting them into customers. An app like OptinMonster will let you set up the contact “ask” either upon arrival to a website, a set time after arriving or when the visitor shows what’s called ‘exit-intent’ (moves cursor to address bar to navigate away from the website).

Speaking of email

Email is far from dead, especially in the world of B2B marketing. Most purchasers in B2B companies prefer to be contacted by email over phone. Social media, by comparison, is a non-starter when it comes to making sales overtures. Email is the way to keep your prospects informed of your latest innovations, successes and offers. Combine email marketing with webinars, free white papers and an active blog and you will win a large share of the market in short order.

Website updates – Out with the old

If your website is showing its age, instead of scrapping the whole thing and incurring a huge expense in the process, you might consider freshening up the site with new images, some tweaks to content and possibly even experimenting with new CTA copy and buttons. As previously mentioned, one of the more effective ways to retool your website is by blogging on a consistent basis. If it has been 3-5 years since your last website refresh, you may be due for a complete overhaul. If you operate on WordPress, you would be wise to look for newer, more responsive templates that can allow you easily update the website, do your own SEO (more on that below), maintain a killer blog, and even create sliders.

[Part 2 of blog post is coming tomorrow!]
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