Keywords Key When Creating B2B Marketing Content

As you put together your B2B marketing content, implementing the right keywords sounds like a no-brainer, but how many of you actually take the time to get it done right the first time?

B2B marketing content contains an array of possibilities, including press releases, guides and white papers, blog postings, e-mail newsletters and more. Which keywords you use and where they are placed, proves critical in order to get more eyes directed towards your copy.

Some things to keep in mind as you look to optimize your content:

  • In looking at it through the eyes of search engine optimization (SEO), more times than not it is more advantageous to utilize heavily focused keywords with minimum search volumes. By doing this, your traffic not only stands a better chance of being targeted but you increase the chances of being located. In the event you use popular, generic terminology, your chances of ranking decrease;
  • Be sure you know your audience. It stands to reason that you will be targeting different audiences over time, so your keywords need to reflect this. You will have different demographics looking to do business with you, so using the same terminology to cover the entire spectrum will not work. As an example, if you’re marketing to small business owners pitching life insurance, some keywords to consider would be life insurance quotes, affordable life insurance, life insurance for individuals, life insurance for families, quotes for life insurance etc.  Another important facet to your audience is listening to them. Talk to your clients in deciding what terminology they use in their search efforts ;
  • Track your efforts. By tracking your keywords through analytics such as those offered by Google for example, it is easy to determine those words individuals are utilizing to come to your site. Don’t only review keywords used to come to a single page or two, but those used to move further into your site. In order to better your standing in organic search, it is important that the keywords you use are tied to and relevant with the overall vision behind your site;
  • Be willing to adapt. It is also important that your keyword strategy not be set in stone, as you need to evolve and stay up to speed with what your clients want and need. Put to use keywords and phrases that will provide sufficient search volumes and prove relevant at the same time;
  • Determine keyword competitiveness. As you search and track keywords, use an online tool that will label keywords as being either low, medium or very competitive. Speaking of competitive, see what the competition is doing as far as bringing traffic to their site. If there are keyword terms they use and you don’t that appear to be working, consider some changes;
  • Understand importance of keyword density. Lastly, make sure you have a firm grasp of keyword density. Avoid worrying over the precise number of times you utilize an exact target phrase, given that when your keywords are relevant and tied to a specific page’s content, they will find their proper placing. Remember, the goal is to come up with material that proves optimal for both search engines and readers. In most cases, a keyword density rate anywhere from 1 percent to 5 percent is oftentimes adequate, meaning the designated keyword would show up in the content one to five times for every 100 words. One note of caution is being careful to not exceed your keyword density ratio in so that search engines perceive it to be keyword spamming.

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Study Shows Value of Social Media for B2B Marketers

A recent study from the Aberdeen Group indicates that those B2B marketers utilizing best-in-class B2B practices are generating, on average, some 17 percent of all leads through their social media channels.

The study reviewed four performance criteria in order to separate Best-in-Class (the leading 20 percent of aggregate performers) from the average industry and worst performing Laggard companies (middle 50 percent and lowest 30 percent, respectively).

According to the study, the Best-in-Class businesses witnessed these performance metrics:

  • Average annual revenue increase of 20%, compared to 8% for average and –3% for Laggard organizations;
  • Average 10% year over year improvement of marketing leads that lead to closed sales, compared with 3% for the industry average and –1 for those Laggard organizations;
  • A 44% of forecasted sales generated by marketing, that compares to 27% for average and 7% for Laggards;
  • The customer retention rate grew to an annual 73%, as compared to 27% for average and 7% for Laggard organizations.

Also of note from the study:

  • Forty-seven percent of Best-in-Class businesses report increasing lead generation as their main reasoning with social media marketing efforts, and 13 percent note generating leads to be their secondary strategy;
  • Twenty-three percent of Best-in-Class companies note forming clear business process for social marketing as their main strategy, and 8 percent report process development to be a secondary strategy.

Overall, the study points out that an overwhelming 84 percent of all the B2B marketers that took part in the survey are utilizing social marketing to some degree.

As it stands, the Best-in-Class businesses are typically showing a greater focus on using social media for lead-generation purposes and are more apt to involve social marketing with their other primary marketing channels and actions.

At the end of the day, B2B marketers have a number of reasons to leverage social media, including:

  • Add to company’s brand awareness
  • Put a human touch on the company
  • Be looked upon as a thought leader
  • Interact with both current and potential customers

In your efforts to generate leads, what role has social media played for you in the last year?

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Are You Tracking Campaign-Generated Revenue?

With many businesses wanting to track where each and every dollar goes, a recent survey from Pardot leads to some surprising news.

According to the report, nearly 37 percent of marketers state they do not track revenue that is generated through their campaigns. As close to 40 percent of them report, they do not have time and/or necessary resources available to make and study reports.

While the majority of those in B2B marketing find themselves responsible for putting together and implementing productive lead management programs, it turns out this rather large percentage that are not fail to show their real value to their companies.

Among the notable findings from the survey:

  • One-fifth of marketers report not measuring marketing-sourced leads in the first place;
  • Nearly one-third state they do not track advanced metrics like marketing-sourced opportunities, while the same figure report they do not have the proper tools necessary to follow leads from start to finish in the sales cycle;
  • Thirty-five percent claim not to be utilizing lead nurturing when it comes to less qualified leads;
  • Approximately 33 percent of marketers responding were in agreement that MQLs (marketing qualified leads) are the key metric to measure, with marketing-contributed opportunities coming in second; less revenue-focused metrics, including Web site traffic and page views, were viewed as lowest on the importance list.

While some of those numbers may seem troubling to many that run businesses, the survey also notes that the message of necessary action is registering with many B2B marketers.

The survey goes on to point out that 80 percent of those polled state they plan to devote additional time to marketing metrics this year as opposed to prior years.

Close to 85 percent of marketers stated that they are requiring that leads meet a noted set of criteria, including job title and/or industry, prior to passing the leads along to the sales department. Meantime, more than half commented that they used a complex group of qualifiers that brought together both demographic factors and lead activity.

According to Pardot COO and co-founder Adam Blitzer, “In today’s lean-and-mean small business environment, it’s crucial that marketers understand what’s working and what’s not, so programs can be improved and forecasts refined.”

As a B2B marketer, how are you going about tracking campaign-generated revenue?

Are you doing something differently through the first quarter of 2012 that you did not do in 2011?

Lastly, what is the biggest challenge you find your marketing department facing through the first quarter of this year?

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Is Your E-Mail Message Living to See Another Day?

After last week reviewing a recent nationwide survey from BtoB Magazine and business audience marketer Bizo on how marketers are challenged with attracting attention from their target audience, we look this week at the role e-mail plays in that quest.

According to the survey, a majority of marketers note their greatest challenge in 2012 is coming up with more leads. Could their e-mail tactics that they have employed to date need a little refining or a complete overhaul?

Another recent report from e-mail marketer Constant Contact, states that individuals sign up for e-mail lists and interact with social sites for a large number of the same reasons.

Among the findings from B2B marketers:

  • Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed say the main motivation behind an e-mail opt-in was to obtain discounts and special offers;
  • Forty-one percent claimed e-mail opt-ins in order to receive discounts and special offers was a good reason to “like” a business on Facebook;
  • Being a customer or backer was listed as the number three reason by respondents for both email and Facebook;
  • Paid search garnered 36 percent of efforts from marketers, with display ads (35 percent) and social media (29 percent) second and third, respectively;
  • Thirty percent of marketers report e-mail to be a mature and well-optimized method for their mix;
  • Eighty-four percent of marketers noted the importance of segment targeting in their e-mail campaigns.

While e-mail is but one facet of the B2B marketing campaign, there are ways to improve it and get a better ROI (return on investment) from all of your marketing channels that  are contributing to the size of your email lists.

Among the ways to do this is:

  • Producing a marketing video – A well-designed online video can get your message across to countless eyes. Make sure, however, that you keep it short and sweet so as not to lose the attention of your audience;
  • Being mobile – It is also important for marketers to utilize mobile marketing in an effort to help increase both open rates and click through numbers. Be sure that images are useful and easy to view. Make sure you provide them with a smooth delivery;
  • Re-emphasizing relevancy – In order to get your e-mails messages read, review your message to make sure it is targeted and relevant. Without those two key components, why would someone care what you had to say in the first place? Better to get it right then to get it out quick:
  • Remembering what your keys to success are when it comes to e-mail in the first place – The goals behind any e-mail marketing campaign include nurturing leads, adding to your brand awareness, generating sales and constructing a level of customer loyalty that is second to none;
  • Getting the right measuring stick – All too often, marketers fail to properly measure their e-mailing efforts, leaving them with the inability to see whether or not a campaign is producing the desired results and missing out on the opportunity to optimize those campaigns;
  • Making them an offer they cannot refuse – We all want something in return for our time. Make sure your e-mail campaigns are offering items such as how-to-guides, e-newsletters, white papers and more. When you give your customers and prospects something of interest, you stand a much better chance of retaining them.

As a B2B marketer, what tricks of the trade have you found to be useful when it comes to using e-mail marketing?

One-third of the way into 2012, do you plan to increase, decrease or keep your level of e-mail marketing this year about the same from a year ago?

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