How to populate the top of the B2B marketing funnel
If you're a marketer and work in B2B, you're probably well-acquainted with the marketing funnel. The names of the different stages may vary slightly, but your buyers' awareness of your business generally sits at the top, followed by their consideration. The purchasing decision rests at the bottom of the funnel.
Getting found online is the first interaction between your business and your prospects or, as it is often referred to, the top of the sales funnel. It's the stage that's furthest away from the buying decision, but it's crucial from a brand-building perspective. Driving a larger number of visitors to your website and raising awareness of your brand can be achieved through activities such as:
- On-page optimisation – incorporating keywords into your meta description, titles, h1 headers and anchor text
- Off-page optimisation and link-building – third-party endorsement in the form of inbound links from high ranking websites will boost your search engine ranking
Creating, publishing and disseminating fresh content
Whether in the form of blogs, eBooks or videos – any fresh content published and promoted on a regular basis will be viewed favourably by Google algorithms as proof that you have something important to say, and will therefore increase your visibility on the web.
A keyword tip for getting found online
While search-optimising your website and blog, you should opt for long-tail terms instead of generic keywords. This will increase your chances of attracting highly qualified visitors who are more likely to convert into leads as you will have provided the exact information they searched for.
Social media interaction
It's important to be active on the relevant social media platforms where your audience hangs out. Facebook, for instance, has proven to be an effective lead generation tool for B2C companies, while LinkedIn, because of its professional networking focus, is the preferred social channel of B2B organisations. Research shows that IT buyers are 50% more likely to buy on LinkedIn than any other social network and two thirds are happy to use it to connect with vendors. Social media is critical for building your reputation and bolstering your visibility online.
Bird image via flickr.com/photos/thelightningman/ Funnel image via hubspot.com