A recent BtoB survey indicated that websites were going to be the primary focus of B2B marketing investment and activity in 2013.
This doesn’t surprise me at all as websites are a company’s best way to make a first impression online. Websites are still the first resource most prospective customers draw on to filter potential suppliers, shortlist and/or validate purchasing decisions.
Think about it. When you run a search for information that is going to help you make a decision about who and where to purchase from, where do you go first? It’s more likely to be a website for a product or service provider rather than a Facebook page or a blog.
Websites are a primary digital marketing tool because they represent home base – the point where all promotional roads should return to. We use websites to host content, sell our business, position expertise and to generate enquiries.
Customers make snap decisions; we have no time to waste online and there is abundance of choice. Don’t waste money and time on any other tools until you get a home on the web up and running, indexed and optimised.
So, when you get there, what prompts you to take your interest further or return to your search results and look elsewhere? Understanding the science of search when it comes to B2B Internet use and applying your own search criteria to your own website will help paint a better picture of how it is working for you.
Here are five reasons why I think websites are still the most important B2B marketing tool and why they need your continued investment and attention.
1. Website as online proof of being: Your website positions and profiles your business based inherently on its content and structure. It should reflect core offer, strengths, attributes and USPs.
2. Website as an ambassador: It’s your silent salesman. A 24 hour 365 day window on the world that can operate, provide information, collect data and gather leads even when you’re sleeping.
3. Website as a content hub: Having one place where you systematically build a platform of expertise works for customers and improves your SEO ranking and visibility.
4. Website as a driver for opt in communications: Content developed for news, blog, download or landing pages makes newsletters and eshots much easier to craft.
5. Website as a store: Even in B2B there are opportunities to create transactional relationships on your website. This might come in simple documentation, event ticketing form or actually selling product.
In upcoming posts, I’m looking at the processes and critical successful factors that lead to effective B2B websites.