Filling the sales funnel

When business leaders think about digital marketing, many just think about large-scale retail brands. But every company should be thinking about how to fine tune its digital marketing strategy.

It could be link building, or optimizing your company’s presence in search engines. Or getting phone ads to interested buyers (for B2C) or specific career-affinity groups (for B2B). Or maybe your best tool is social media marketing. Whatever it is, small and mid-sized businesses should embrace digital marketing, as the timing has never been better for it.

Small B2B companies used to rely on tradeshows and industry events to fill the top of the sales funnel. But with many events are cancelled or scaled down because of COVID, think about reallocating some of that money to digital. A strong digital marketing presence fills the top of the sales funnel with qualified prospects, and a coordinated marketing automation platform helps track success.

Baby boomers who were the procurement decision-makers for decades are retiring, taking with them their Rolodex of contacts at vendor companies. Younger decision-makers are more likely to search for answers online first, rather than seek out referrals from peers or industry groups. Younger buyers still want to procure from a brand they trust, though, so to bridge the gap, the younger buyer looks for valuable content online.

When building a digital marketing strategy, think about how to deliver infographics, webinars, case studies, or instructional videos to prospects. Because Google owns YouTube, videos generally appear higher in Google searches than landing pages with similar titles. Short informational videos can position your content in search engines at little or no cost.

C-suite executives should look to digital marketers to utilize the Google Ads platform, as it has tentacles across thousands of news sites, blogs, online distribution channels and apps. Paid search term marketing gets your website to prospects who use specific key words to find products or services. Small businesses often have niche services, when bidding on higher-intent keywords, you may not be bidding against larger competitors.

Another type of Google Ads is display ads, which can quickly get in front of prospects by using Googles preset affinity audiences. Whether it is finding parents with teenage children, or scientists looking for information on digital microscopes, Google has done the segmenting work for you, so display ads can cross-reference potential prospects by age, income, demographics and location. Digital ads are fast, efficient, cheap and targeted.

Leaders of smaller companies may think their size prohibits them from digital marketing success, but it can be an advantage. The bigger the business, the more moving parts there are to scale and implement change. Budget-wise, digital marketing seems almost designed for small businesses with no minimum ad spends.

Businesses can design their target personas and search engine keywords, and generally only pay for the clicks they want. Then, when marketers have experimented with digital marketing tactics, they can quickly increase spending where it is working, and stop where it isn’t. With print, radio, or traditional media advertising, you generally don’t have opportunities to quickly scale up or down, as these are mostly up-front, larger-scale yearly paid ad commitments.

If your business hasn’t previously considered digital marketing, investigate the opportunities it provides to help your business grow and thrive. ●

Dennis C. Hyde is marketing manager at RJ Lee Group.

Dennis C. Hyde

Marketing Manager


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