What can B2B marketers learn from the B2C world? In short, the B2B world is lagging behind in using the most effective tools, such as Google Analytics, to improve their conversion rates. For a long time, many B2C marketers have been highly proficient in using heat maps, keyword research, A/B testing and optimisation tactics to attract traffic and drive conversions.
McKinsey & Company rated the 'Digital Quotient' (measures an organisation’s performance across key dimensions of digital maturity) of 200 major companies worldwide, and found that the average score (or the ‘digital quotient’) for B2B companies was 28, versus 35 for the B2C companies they rated.
While it is fair to say there are some areas of B2B trading that are less marketing-friendly, there are many areas where businesses could easily improve their image and their conversion rates.
B2C marketers often rely on social media for its power in both organic reach and paid advertising. Social media is a great way to reach wider audiences but it should be seamlessly integrated and aligned with other branded marketing to ensure consistent brand communications. This is known as omnichannel marketing which, when combined with tools such as smart search and remarketing, can increase conversion rates by as much as 60%.
B2B marketers can adopt more of the tactics used on Instagram and Facebook to drive traffic themselves on more work-focused platforms, such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
To perform well in a digital world, you first need to commit to digital and be willing to rethink your marketing approach. Sound daunting? We’ve set out 5 simple steps to get you started. These tactics are all well-known in the B2C world, but are things that many marketers still overlook.
According to the HubSpot State of Marketing Report, just 17% of marketers make use of A/B testing to improve conversion rates. Google Analytics makes it easy to create A/B tests which can take away the guesswork of marketing.
If you've ever wondered which call to action is better, or whether a big yellow button would generate more clicks than a small green one, then A/B testing is the tool that gives you a definitive answer, using your own customers as test subjects.
Page loading times can have a huge impact on conversion rates. Google reports that for mobile users, if page loading time increases from 1 second to 5 seconds the probability of a user "bouncing" increases by 90%. If a user leaves a page before they even see the content, it's impossible to convert them.
Fortunately, it's easy to boost page loading times by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), such as CloudFlare, to shoulder some of the load of serving your website. Additional tools, such as YSlow, can offer web developers some insight into what is slowing down the loading time of a website, so that the issues can be fixed.
Having a great-looking website is important but it also needs to be optimised to draw customers to engage and interact in the way you want.
Conventional wisdom states that the first call to action (CTA) should go 'above the fold.' This means the CTA should be displayed in the browser window, without the need to scroll.
Additionally, where your header graphic appears is likely to attract a lot of attention and sidebars are often ignored because users are ad-blind, or good at tuning out banner advertisements.
These rules of thumb are a good starting point, but using heatmap tools to get an understanding of how visitors use your website is a good idea.
Heatmaps provide a visualisation of the parts of your page that website visitors hover their mouse over and click-on the most. Some companies go one step further and use market research firms to do eye-tracking tests for even more powerful insights.
If you’re not quite ready for that level of science just yet, standard mouse-click heatmaps are very useful. The results can show you which sections of the page to use for calls to action and help webmasters identify potential reasons for poor conversion rates.
Once you have clear and relevant insight into what is and isn’t supporting your conversion rates, you have a stronger platform to make valuable changes.
Keyword research is the cornerstone of any marketing campaign. It's important for business owners to understand what their customers, and prospective customers, want and what they search for.
It's far easier to rank well for low competition, long-tail key-phrases than for shorter, high competition keywords, such as a well-known brand name.
Understanding searcher intent, picking high conversion rate keywords/phrases and writing informative, engaging and highly shareable blogs/white papers, is more likely to pay off than trying to compete in paid search with poorer keyword choices.
You will be glad to hear that this one is as simple as it sounds. Use landing pages to drive conversion and build your brand. The team at unbounce outline the key reasons why great landing pages are vital to your growth strategy.
What did you expect? You are reading a blog by masters of growth - if you’re not changing, you’re not growing. If your site is already performing well, it can be tempting to rest on your laurels, considering the job of SEO and conversion rate optimisation done. This would be a mistake. Remember: you cannot control what your competition is doing, but you can control the content of your own website.
When fashions and trends change, the preferences of your customers change too. Take a look at the design of your favourite website a few years ago in the WayBack Machine; designs that looked sleek and professional back then, might be called dated or clunky today.
It is so important to be constantly testing, tweaking and re-evaluating the design of your website. Fail to engage in continuous research and testing and your business risks being left behind. With the right marketing tools and ongoing effort you can achieve first class conversion rates, not only surpassing your peers but outpacing the market in growth for years to come.
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