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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   September 2017

Draw Up a Winning Marketing Strategy

Attractive website design, strong content and a customized strategy are key to online success

Draw Up a Winning Marketing Strategy

Blog posts and presentations about business-to-business (B2B) digital-marketing campaigns often make the entire process sound so simple. In truth, it isn’t. Why else are there so many companies trying to sell the service?

Effective digital marketing requires day-to-day dedication, as well as a strong grasp of current strategies and new opportunities that are on the horizon. For commercial mortgage brokers, having a B2B marketing partner allows you to trust the details of your campaign to someone else’s expertise. Still, the concepts supporting B2B marketing are not all that difficult to comprehend. Understanding them allows you to stay more engaged in your campaign, or even be so bold as to make recommendations about possible changes.

All successful B2B digital-marketing campaigns require the following several elements. First, you need a well-designed and well-maintained website.

Additionally, you must have outstanding web content to help position yourself as an expert while also building brand loyalty. Finally, you must develop a customized online marketing strategy to drive traffic to your site.

Only by placing an equal emphasis on developing each of these three components can you succeed. Once they are in place, you will see your marketing efforts turn into the proverbial “well-oiled machine” that consistently generates new business opportunities.

Building a website

Growing your mortgage-brokerage business all starts with your website. Investing resources that drive clients to a poorly functioning website can turn you into the digital-marketing world’s version of a snake-oil salesman, promising the moon and stars but barely being able to deliver the treetops.

Your website should be viewed as the focal point of all your marketing efforts, because it’s where all of those efforts lead to. Once you’ve done all you can to bring people through your virtual doors, you need to also ensure that they like what they see once they’ve arrived.

Commercial mortgage brokers have free rein over the content they convey to visitors. Some brokers only work with investors who are looking to purchase properties and generate revenue. Others want to sell properties directly to business owners, who may want to increase their fixed assets through their storefronts, offices or manufacturing facilities. Building a website allows you to target your audience, or try to draw in as many different types of buyers as possible in order to maximize potential profits. 

Although optimizing your website requires a fair amount of focus on visuals, graphics and design, turning a site into a tool to bolster your B2B marketing efforts mandates an emphasis on content. Your website should be brimming with content that builds up your status as a subject-matter expert, utilizing tools such as blog posts, white papers, infographics, case studies, e-books, service guides, customer reviews, currently available properties and financial research.

On top of the content, your site should include a well-built home page or a specific landing page designed to be the access point for those who come to you through advertising. Links to your social media pages should also be included as these offer visitors the chance to become more engaged with your brand. Finally, every page on your site should also incorporate lead-capture tools, whether they are links to online contact forms or simple calls to action.

Developing web content

What kinds of web content does your company need, other than for your website? None, if you’re comfortable relying on sheer luck to dictate customer retention. If you truly want to develop a devout brand following, however, you need to take advantage of opportunities to engage with your client base outside of your website.

That’s where social media comes in. You can reach out to customers without having to dedicate inordinate amounts of time, effort and resources by simply establishing a presence through outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

E-mail marketing offers you the chance to continue to engage with clients and visitors to your website. 

Do you have to set up accounts on each of these channels? Of course not. Which ones you’ll use depends largely on the unique profile of your targeted audience. For B2B marketing purposes, it’s typically recommended that you set up a LinkedIn profile, as well as either a Facebook page or Twitter account. Facebook and Twitter allow you to informally share information and news, while LinkedIn offers the chance to develop a network of professional contacts.

How often should you post content on your social media sites? That will depend on how much feedback you receive through these channels, but it’s recommended that you attempt to connect with clients organically by posting at least a few times a month. These posts should be supplemented with paid tools, such as sponsored updates and ads, whenever possible. An example would be to share content on your own pages, as well as through each online channel’s sponsored updates.

Driving traffic to your site

With your web presence established, next comes the task of enticing visitors to engage your various online sites and pages. Each of the following methods helps to accomplish this aim using differing approaches:

  • Banner ads. Commercial mortgage brokers can cast a wide net with banner ads. They can be created to target specific audiences — from the startup entrepreneur looking for office space, to the investor looking to purchase revenue-generating commercial property, and everyone in between. 
    Your B2B digital-marketing partner will typically assume the task of finding banner ad space for you, whether that is through software platforms that search for digital-ad space, or direct advertising through providers like Google. Yet, rather than treating banner ads as random advertisements dotting the information superhighway, yours should be targeted to a specific audience. Therefore, feedback on the click-through rates of your ads is vital in order to ensure that your resources are dedicated only to ads that generate results. 
  • Pay-per-click (PPC): Understanding your audience allows you to take advantage of paid advertising resources, such as PPC. Anticipating the popular keywords and terms that your clients use when conducting online inquiries through search engines like Google and Yahoo allows you to link ads to the results pages that the search engines generate. 
  • Retargeting: It’s often much easier to retain an existing customer than recruit a new one. Someone that has already visited your site, even if that visit didn’t result in actual business, has at least expressed interest in what you have to offer. 
    Your job then becomes fueling that spark of interest into a full-blown fire through retargeted ads. By simply placing cookies in visitors’ browsers, you’re able to follow them once they have left your website and continue to target them through ads in order to keep your brand fresh in their minds. Eventually, your persistence is likely to pay off with a return visit. 
  • E-mail marketing: Considered to be archaic by some, e-mail marketing offers you the chance to continue to engage with clients and visitors to your website through periodic communications such as newsletters. Such content can include current promotions and services, or stories and blogs detailing news and trends within your industry. When establishing an e-mail distribution list, relying solely on leads generated through online or in-person sign-up sheets, rather than purchased lists, has proven to be a more effective tactic.

•  •  •

So, there you have it. Now that you understand B2B digital marketing in its simplest form, you’re ready to be more involved in your own campaign. When it comes to working with the advertising and growth sectors, you’re often told to trust the experts. That advice may be sound, but it’s also difficult to follow, because of the real or perceived lack of control it affords.

Having a better comprehension of B2B concepts helps to overcome apprehension and allows you to trust your digital-marketing partner, who will use their expertise to accomplish your objectives.


 


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