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Measuring the success of your B2B marketing strategies is essential for the success of your business. As a business owner, you use different marketing and communications platforms to get your message to your potential customers. But how do you measure how your strategy is performing? We look at several metrics in SEM, social media, advertising, and email for B2B marketing.
What Is B2B Marketing?
Understanding B2B marketing is critical to your success in this area. B2B marketing is where businesses market their products or services to other businesses. As a supplier, marketer, or solution provider, your focus is on engaging potential business clients to buy from your company. Instead of engaging individual customers, you need to optimize the sale of your products and services through building relationships with other businesses. B2B businesses emphasize boosting lead generation and increasing sales. For example, a computer vendor provides computers and peripherals to other companies. Additional services may be customer support and technical advice for the business as a business-to-business. Regardless of the focus of your business, you ultimately need to understand your potential buyers to succeed.
Strategies for B2B Marketing
B2B marketing strategy means understanding the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the process of making decisions about your products or services. Buyers go through a process of being aware of your business, considering and evaluating what you sell, and deciding to purchase. To arrive at a purchase decision, you first should understand your customer audience by researching what motivates your potential buyer. These are your critical data points to create brand awareness and start the buyer’s journey.
Without data about your buyers, you won’t know how to build brand awareness. Showing ads relevant to your buyers is imperative. Traffic to your website may decrease without awareness of your brand. One way to cultivate this brand awareness is to use intent keywords. Intent keywords are keywords focusing on the demographics of your intended audience. For example, to target businesses that need computer peripherals, you would use keywords associated with computer peripherals, such as computer mice, keyboards, or LAN cords.
Furthermore, with paid search, you need to look at different tiers of keywords. Some people will be intent-based, searching for specific words, such as computer peripherals. Intent keyword searchers are likely to submit a request or order form. Other buyers may be simply looking by industry, in research mode. Certainly, focusing on and tracking metrics such as intent-based keywords and strategies for paid search will be more about building brand awareness.
One metric in B2B marketing to look at is how web traffic is coming into your site and if people are converting this traffic to sales. For B2B sales, you can look at conversion metrics, such as people filling out lead forms or the registration forms on your website. With B2B registration, you need to contrast your actual registrations with how many phone calls or emails you make going out to the company to establish that B2B relationship. Some other critical metrics to consider are:
You need to ensure you allocate your budget and spend appropriately. And you should test how effective your spending compares to your conversion rate.
You should monitor and measure the effectiveness of your social media and other campaigns. For example, which campaigns resulted in your audiences clicking through to the form, and which ads generate traffic to a specific location, such as web pages or forms?
Cost per thousand (CPM) is a B2B marketing strategy term for the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on a web page. CPM is a metric in B2B marketing strategies to help businesses show how efficient their advertising is for the amount they paid. For example, if you spend $4 for every 1,000 impressions but only have a return of $1 for 1,000 impressions, your CPM is not effective. You need to pay attention to how expensive audience engagement is for your outlay.
Conversions from viewers to buyers are the goal. You need to measure whether these conversions were from your website, form, phone call, or demo.
Engaging your audience with video content is useful, but you should see if this content leads to conversions. Video can be expensive to produce, both timewise and financially, and you want to make the most of your investment.
You can look at these data points on a campaign-, audience-, or ad level and filter through what is and isn’t working. You can fill gaps in your marketing by rotating audiences, campaigns, or ads.
How to Measure Marketing Success
A primary metric for measuring B2B marketing strategy success is conversions. You can measure increases in changes in web traffic, ad impressions, and clicks to the website. Social media is a frequent measure of marketing success. These metrics tell you the channels your audience interest is coming from and where to focus your marketing. However, filling out an interest form is essential to making sales. As a business, you need to know what channel, website, or social media creates a positive return. Measuring revenue compared to how much you spend on a channel shows where your ad campaign has a good lead quality. With your team and sales reps, understanding these metrics can help you launch effective marketing campaigns.
When you do B2B marketing strategy campaigns, you have an array of tools to choose from and use, such as SpyFu. This application helps you gather intelligence on what other companies use for paid search keywords and display ads. SEMrush is a metrics tool for identifying organic traffic and pulling information. For example, you might see how specific keywords rank and what is your top-ranking content. These tools can help you see how other companies are positioning themselves to inform your strategies. While you may not be able to see lead volumes, such as the number of conversions or conversion rates, you can get a glimpse of these metrics and how they align with your marketing goals.
Google Analytics is another popular way to measure web traffic. An example is when a potential buyer reads an email. Using Google Analytics measures, for example, you can see which pages your customers visit from the email and whether they take action, such as completing a purchase or submitting a form. Google Analytics can also help you measure traffic and how people digest content.
Content and Conversions
Some metrics in B2B marketing strategies you would look at with content would be engagement rate, a newer metric in GA4. When someone has spent more than 10 seconds on a page or multiple pages, they’ve engaged with your content. If you retain audience interest, you are more likely to complete a sales conversion.
Content marketing is a powerful tool in B2B lead generation that often goes overlooked. Consider the use of web traffic from both organic search and paid campaigns. Sometimes, content or a blog as a landing page can lead to sales conversions. An example is if you run ads about a specific topic or service, sending people to your content might convert to sales. They might find information on that page, find your services valuable, and then decide to submit a form or contact someone.
Social media is useful, but not all social media is equal or valuable for B2B marketing. LinkedIn, for example, is helpful for its business-focused audience and utility for B2B advertising. While social media platforms like Facebook reach more people, you need to reach business people, not consumers. LinkedIn offers focused solutions for reaching employers, companies, and your business’s targeted industry.
Looking at similar metrics that are done for tools such as StartPage, you can measure metrics about awareness and viewing company pages for web traffic. In doing this, you need to be aware of exact metric names because sometimes B2B can have longer sales cycles, reaching upwards of six months to a year. The sales process is long-term, so publishing content on LinkedIn means you have to make search ads visible. This visibility is essential for your company’s research journey to generate leads. Your awareness metrics, whether clicks, reach, or social, are similar on LinkedIn, but you should have intent-based web traffic. Being sure people are coming to the website, seeing content, potentially reading other website pages, and then contacting you drives sales conversions.