Social media has changed the way B2B companies engage with clients and prospects. And even though the potential of this channel is as huge as the work day is long, it can never fully replace traditional methods businesses have been relying on since before social became the talk of the town. Case in point: Search engine optimization and email marketing. These two veteran tools have been a staple in B2B marketing strategies since the advent of search and email respectively on the modern day internet. They are as effective as ever today.
Email: The King of Communication
Facebook by its lonesome is close to having one billion users. That’s impressive, but email is still more of a worldwide phenomenon than social media when it comes to effective communications, a critical need in the B2B world. In 2009, the number of worldwide email users was estimated at 1.4 billion. That number is projected to increase to nearly 2 billion by 2013, the same year users are projected to send 507 billion messages per day. It doesn’t take market research and predictions to know that email is a major force. For many B2B companies, it is the primary weapon in their marketing arsenals.
SEO Still Drives Qualified Traffic
SEO is a must for a B2B company with online presence. Whenever professionals and entrepreneurs need to find something online, be it information regarding an event they heard about or marketing solution, where do they turn? Their favorite search engine. The content seekers using the search engines are traffic and this traffic means conversions for B2B marketers who establish visibility in the results pages. Those who don’t play the game end up with their content buried and rarely to be found.
Putting It All Together
Email marketing and SEO are worlds apart, but they also share similarities in terms of what makes a good strategy for each. For example:
Value-Added Content – Putting your focus on providing strong, valuable content without aggressive selling is critical for leading a prospect through the sales cycle. Whether it’s in the inbox or on a web page, trust is what gets people to move.
Streamlined Efficiency – Email marketing and SEO can both prove to be tedious processes. However, both can be streamlined for simplicity with tools such as autoresponders and CMS solutions.
Track and Repeat – An effective reporting system is essential for email and search initiatives. The data these systems spit out provides insight into learning what works, what doesn’t and what it takes to improve.