Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Cleantech B2B
By Sarah Lippincott
Digital and Content Creation Manager, Tigercomm
In the B2B cleantech industry, there are unique marketing challenges like long-tail purchases that can mean miles between a lead and a sell. For wind and solar companies, deciding which marketing methods will lead to return on investment (ROI) can be difficult. It gets even more complicated when you add in all the digital marketing options. So, to help you through this process, here are my top 5 digital marketing strategies for cleantech B2B companies (in order of priority):
You can call it a blog, a news hub or the best thing since sliced bread – either way, it’s the center of your digital marketing world. You can use a blog to improve search engine results, distribute news, and drive traffic to your site. In addition, you can leverage content on your blog by publishing video, audio and infographics. Most importantly, your blog can also act as a top of the funnel tool to convert visitors to leads.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most websites cost thousands of dollars, but they’re pointless if no one sees them. To get the most out of your investment, and pull in prospects, focus on building out your SEO to increase brand visibility. SEO includes a host of best practices and research to increase visibility through organic (as opposed to paid) searches on sites like Yahoo! Bing and Google. SEO is best applied to your website and blog to pull in buyers who have already expressed an interest in what you offer based on what they’re searching. You can mix in some paid search engine ads (also called SEM – Search Engine Marketing) to boost your results but don’t completely rely on it.
3. Targeted Social
Too many companies rely on interns or other junior-level staff to manage their social media and then complain they’ve not seen much ROI. There are strategic plans available that are designed to help businesses grow social media results in a way that correlate with the bottom line. It’s important to scale social media to fit your budget in terms of time and resources (i.e., don’t try to be on every social media platform). Pick the best platform to engage with prospects and then only commit to what you can afford to manage really well. Social media is about building strong relationships, not through a “machine gun” approach that is costly and ineffective.
4. Earned Digital Media
There are many benefits to earned digital media, e.g., getting your key messaging published in online news, blogs, or social media sites can build reputation and trust. But what may surprise you to learn is including inbound links within earned digital media can help increase SEO and help build thought leadership. For example, if you have sales representatives or executives that you want to promote as credible industry sources – get them published! People are influenced by industry thought leaders and tend to buy from people they trust. To that end, encourage spokespeople to participate in guest blog posts, online editorials, YouTube interviews, and online radio shows.
5. Digital Ads
There’s a wide spectrum of digital ads: video pre-roll, banner ads, SEO, social media, mobile, and native and online radio. Different ads are designed for different targets so the type of digital ad(s) you choose should be based on your business goals.
Digital ad placements are ideal for the narrow targeting of the B2B cleantech business for two reasons:
• You can target ads through demographic, geographic and even drill down to a specific list of individuals.
• You can widen the reach of your key messaging to reach new audiences.
When planning, ensure you’ve identified business goals and targets first because they will help in selecting the best type of content to use (e.g. video, graphics, and audio) and the best advertising channels (e.g. Facebook, Yahoo, and Pandora) to place content on. Attention spans are shorter than ever before. People get bored and click-happy, so make sure the content is so good that your viewers can’t turn away.