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Marketing 38 min read August 11, 2022

Integrated Marketing: How to Increase B2B Website Traffic

Integrated Marketing: How to Increase B2B Website Traffic
Integrated Marketing: How to Increase B2B Website Traffic
Ryan Gould
Ryan Gould
Vice President of Strategy & Marketing Services at Elevation B2B Marketing
Integrated Marketing is a secret weapon for B2B agencies needing to increase traffic and conversions.

Keyword optimization, SEO, social presence, site speed and accessibility, thought leadership — each of these tactics is vital to increasing your website traffic. But the key to your success is understanding how these efforts tie into one another across the buyer’s journey. With a little strategic coordination, you can maximize their impact.

You see, if your online marketing, your print marketing, and your sales efforts are siloed — if they’re not working together — none of them is optimized. You must use an integrated marketing strategy to gain total value from your sales and marketing efforts.

In this article, we explore how to increase the quality and quantity of your website traffic using Integrated Marketing.

Understand Integrated Marketing

What is integrated marketing?

Simply put, integrated marketing is a strategy that uses consistent messaging and branding across multiple channels. But it's more than that, too. Integrated marketing ties your sales and marketing efforts together to meet your business objectives, nurturing buyers and decision-makers throughout the buyer's journey

Think of your sales and marketing efforts as parts of a car. While each part is vital to the car's operation, they must work together, or it's not going anywhere. Similarly, no single sales and marketing strategy is the sole contributor to your business's success. You can't build a car, or a solid marketing approach, by stacking the parts separately. 
Siloed sales and marketing may seem to be effective. Your SEO team is optimizing your website for search. Your social team is maintaining a social presence. Your content team is providing thought leadership. Your digital team is targeting your market with paid ads. And your sales team is connecting with clients. 

Every team is working toward your business objectives, but how united are their efforts? To be truly effective, they must be connected and cooperative. By integrating your sales and marketing strategies, you build a high-performing machine. 

What is the purpose of integrated marketing?

While it's important to understand what integrated marketing is and how it works, its purpose is where it really shines. The purpose of integrated marketing is to capture and hold the buyer's interest throughout the customer journey, from the initial touchpoint to the purchase decision and beyond.

This means you'll increase brand awareness in your target audience, capture interest with ads and provide nurturing content that pushes prospects through the sales funnel — and it doesn't end there. You'll also create sales enablement materials to move sales qualified leads (SQLs) through the pipeline and support clients post-purchase to encourage brand loyalty, referrals, and repeat sales.

When you coordinate these efforts, you supercharge your overall sales and marketing strategy. Together, these efforts drive more traffic to your website and, ultimately, increase your sales.
Below is an illustration that shows how these efforts are connected throughout the marketing process:

A Data-Driven Approach to Integrated Marketing

In Scientific Advertising, advertising pioneer Claude C. Hopkins explains that all advertising efforts must be measured and justified. In short, successful marketing isn’t based on a whim. In the 1920s, Hopkins used coupon codes to track, test, and tweak his efforts for tremendous success. Today, digital marketing tracking codes, pixels, and measurement software easily facilitate such analysis.

Hopkins’ principle forms the foundation of integrated marketing: a data-driven approach. With data, B2Bs can discern the who, what, when, where, why, and how of their marketing channels, audience, and efforts.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) tell businesses which channels drive the most traffic, what audience they’re pulling on each channel, which ads get the most purchases, which content types and images resonate best with their audience, and what turns them off. These metrics help you calculate the return on ad spend (ROAS) to determine which efforts are paying off and which are wasted spend. Interesting data can also be gleaned from research and audits. By implementing a regular analysis and reporting schedule into your marketing strategy, you can adjust and optimize your campaigns for the best possible performance.
The more insight you gather, the more on-target your marketing strategies will be, so you can really put your marketing dollars to work effectively.

Now, let’s explore how it’s done.

1. Define Your Business Objectives and Goals

Before you decide which message you’ll use in a marketing campaign, you must first know the goal of that campaign. Likewise, actionable business objectives and goals are central to an integrated marketing strategy.

For example, do you want to increase your market share? Grow shareholder value? Boost new product sales? Strengthen customer retention?

Not only should your sales and marketing teams know what your business objectives are and how to act on them, but they must also know how to measure success. Your business objectives will help determine your marketing goals and the KPIs you’ll use to track your efforts.

2. Perform Research and Audits

Let’s talk about mapping your journey to success. After you decide where you want to go, it’s vital to understand where you are.

An integrated marketing strategy uses research and audits to help you to know where you stand in the market, your strengths and weaknesses, and how your competitors compare. The data gathered from thorough discovery will help inform which strategies and metrics you’ll use to move your business forward.

Note that through your research and audits, you may find that your business objectives need to be adjusted. You may be surprised to find that something is performing better than expected, and something else is the problem.
  • Qualitative research. Qualitative research observes, analyzes, and helps to understand what people know and how they feel about your organization, your products/services, and your competitors. Typically, organizations get this information by conducting one-on-one conversations with stakeholders. This includes prospects, target audiences, current clients, employees, and competitors.
  • Quantitative research. Similar to qualitative research, quantitative analysis provides insights into what stakeholders know and think about your business, offerings, and competitors. Rather than in-person interviews, you’ll use online, print, and telephone surveys to build this understanding.
  • Market research. Market research is based on market data, audit findings, and survey results. These audits will help you understand the functionalities, content, and channels your target audience prefers.
Online audits evaluate the functionality of your current site, what your audience cares most about, what metrics you need to monitor, etc. Audits uncover weaknesses in your marketing campaigns and provide clear opportunities for improvement.

You can use tools to perform these online audits, including Google Search Console, Google Tags Manager, Google Analytics, Serpstat, Mention, HotJar, etc.

Your website audits should consist of:
1
Keyword research helps determine what your target audience is searching for, what terms your site ranks for, what your competitors rank for, and how your ad campaigns perform. It will help inform keyword strategies for your website and ad campaigns.

This is where you can use Serpstat Keyword Research tools that will help you collect real-time search suggestions and find out the interests of your potential clients.
What info you can see using different reports of this tool? For example:

  • "Related Keywords" report represents all search queries that are semantically related to the searched keyword. This is where you can check and use new variations of the queries. 
  • "Search Suggestions" report shows the queries offered to users under the search bar.
  • "Search Questions" report is where you can see all question forms of search suggestions. These are questions that include a selected keyword that users are looking for an answer to.
So, this is how you can find out what interests your audience the most using Keyword research from Serpstat.
2
SEO audit demonstrates how well your website performs in organic search, the quantity, and quality of backlinks, how well your content follows best practices, your authority score, etc. It will help determine your website SEO and backlinking strategy and the metrics that are key to optimizing performance.
If you want to ensure that your website is optimized, you should pay attention to Serpstat Site Audit tool. Using this tool, you can:

  • scan any site page to check for on-site issues;
  • see technical issues by their priority;
  • find recommendations for fixing issues that have a higher impact on your rankings;
  • track the growth dynamics of the site optimization level;
  • schedule automatic site checks.
3
A user experience (UX) audit evaluates how user-friendly your website interface is, identifies any navigation and functionality issues, and helps you understand why your customers take the actions they do. This audit will explain your conversion rates, customer onboarding, and retention rates and help determine any steps you need to follow on your website. 
4
A conversion rate optimization (CRO) audit assesses the conversion performance of your lead generation forms, downloads, newsletter signups, purchases, etc. This audit reveals missed opportunities, where users get confused or frustrated, and functionality issues affecting conversions.
5
A content audit reviews your site content to determine editorial tone, content quality, and reader perception. It will help identify communication gaps, missed thought leadership opportunities, and areas where content strays from your business strategy or content best practices. A content audit will also inform a content strategy to help you meet your business goals.
6
A public relations (PR) audit analyzes your brand's internal and external online presence in terms of the quality and quantity of conversations being held by and about your brand, messaging consistency, and brand vulnerabilities. This audit will help determine your proactive and reactive PR strategy.
7
A technology audit evaluates the tools, platforms, plugins, and tech integrations you use across your website to identify redundancies, inadequacies, or tools that hamper your site speed. It will help determine any technologies you need to remove or implement on your site.
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3. Understand Your Audience

Before reaching out to your target audience, you must develop foundational marketing campaign tools. These tools will define who you’re talking to, shape consistent messaging, and inform how, when, and where you reach your audience. 

Understanding who your buyers and decision-makers are, what influences their buying decisions, and how, when, and where to reach them are essential to an integrated marketing strategy that drives the right traffic to your website. This information is fleshed out with buyer personas and a customer journey map.

Components of an Effective Marketing Plan: Buyer Persona and Buyer’s Journey

Create buyer personas

A buyer persona is a fictional character with the key characteristics or demographics of your target audience or ideal customer. Business-to-business (B2B) buyer personas generally represent groups of similar people who are the decision-makers or buyers in the industries you target.

There is a science to creating a buyer persona. It’s not based on the assumptions of your internal teams but a collection of information, including:

  • collaborative input and brainstorming from the departments that interact with your customers;
  • demographics and behavioral data from Google Analytics, social media insights, social listening, and marketing automation tools;
  • long tail keywords from your keyword research that will help you understand the challenges and obstacles your buyers face;
  • data from your CRM that gives you insight into demographics and buying patterns;
  • surveys that provide feedback from clients and prospects;
  • testimonials that help you understand customer challenges and motivations;
  • customer interactions between your clients and your sales and customer services teams, revealing who your buyers are and how they behave.
Once you’ve collected this information, you’ll be able to flesh out a rich buyer profile that describes who you’re doing business with, their business processes, and the challenges and obstacles they’re trying to overcome. Depending on the industries you serve, you may create more than one persona. Each buyer profile may include: 

  • industry or vertical;
  • company size and location;
  • budget and buying process;
  • demographics of your buyers (age, education, experience, title, duties);
  • what drives their buying decisions (brands, prices, trends, etc.);
  • challenges your products/services solve;
  • objectives your products/services meet;
  • how your products/services will be used, how often, and by whom;
  • how your buyers prefer to be reached;
  • where your buyers search for information;
  • what social channels do they use, etc.
The essential part of creating a buyer persona is using it. Too often, businesses don’t know what to do with the information they’ve gathered about their buyers. Put your persona to good use by segmenting your audience and creating targeted messaging, ads, landing pages, and emails. These efforts will ensure you drive the right people to your website with established buyer personas

Below is an example of a customer persona a tech business might create for the education vertical:

Create a customer journey map

The B2B customer journey is longer and more complex than it is for business-to-consumer (B2C) customers, and it’s more complicated than ever to attract the attention of the modern buyer. In today’s B2B market, buyers don’t want to speak to a company until they’ve done their research using search engines, websites, newsletters, events, and people in their personal network.

This research gets the buyer 70% of the way through the buyer’s journey before they ever engage a sales representative. So how do brands turn the heads of the modern buyer and guide them to the website?

Enter the B2B customer journey map, which plots the buyer’s self-guided path and key touchpoints where your brand has opportunities to interact.
Although the customer journey is complex — and sometimes doubles back — it typically follows this route:

  • The awareness stage: awareness hinges on a moment of inspiration (MOI) when a buyer first identifies a problem and realizes they need to find a solution. 
  • The consideration stage: during consideration, the buyer weighs their options.  
  • The nurture stage: during this stage, the buyer explores potential solutions and builds a list of required functionalities or parameters. 
  • The adoption stage: also known as the decision stage, at this point, the buyer purchases from either you or your competitor.
  • The retention stage: this is the point where buyers become loyal clients or where they switch to a competitor. 
A customer journey map diagrams this path, identifying the touchpoints between the customer and the brand, challenges and obstacles along the path, and pivotal moments that may make or break the relationship. 

In the following illustration, Gartner® shows how complex the buyer’s journey really is:
Vital to the customer journey map are the strategic messages, campaigns, tools, and channels your brand will use to address the challenges or questions at each stage of the journey. 
We’ll talk more about the customer journey later, mainly about how you can capture interest at the awareness stage, hold interest at the consideration stage, seal the deal at the adoption stage, and foster brand loyalty during the retention stage. But first, let’s talk about developing a consistent brand message and marketing strategies.

Below is an illustration that shows different marketing tools that might be used at different stages of the buyer’s journey:

4. Develop Consistent Messaging and Branding

Before you reach out to prospects and clients, you must know how your business will present itself and with what message. Because you’ll be reaching out across multiple channels and platforms, consistency is vital. You can facilitate a consistent message and brand image with a messaging matrix, a style guide, and brand guidelines.

Although many companies tend to confuse or combine these items, your messaging matrix, style guide, and brand guidelines are distinctly different resources.

Messaging matrix

A messaging matrix is the foundation of all external company communications. It is a summary of your brand message that helps organize and guide how everyone at the company speaks and writes about the organization.

Although it helps form all external communication, a messaging matrix is an internal document designed to be the center of your marketing efforts. It provides your sales and marketing teams with everything they need to develop consistent company messages. Because your messaging matrix addresses the different audience verticals in your industry, your buyer personas are integral to its development.

On a fundamental level, your messaging matrix tells your brand story regarding who you are, what you do, and who you serve. A typical messaging matrix defines the following three areas:

  1. Brand positioning statement: Who your brand is?
  2. Key benefits: What your brand offers?
  3. Target audience segments: How to talk about your brand across different verticals?

Why Your SEO Strategy Should Primarily Focus on Brand Building

When you create your messaging matrix, consider how the key benefits of your offerings vary within your target audiences and address these differences in your target audience segments. In addition to these three key elements, you may include key messaging drivers and foundational information that all stakeholders agree on.

Style guide

Simply put, a style guide is an internal set of grammatical, spelling, and formatting rules that regulate written company content. It defines which stylebook your organization adheres to (i.e., Associated Press Stylebook or Chicago Manual of Style), what regional spellings to use in communications (i.e., American English or British English), how common industry terms are treated, etc. It may also set the voice, tone, and personality of your brand communications.

Brand guidelines

Brand guidelines facilitate a consistent brand look across all marketing campaigns, channels, and platforms. Your brand guidelines are an internal set of brand rules that define brand colors, how and where logos are used, fonts and text sizes, and how design elements such as photos and line drawings are used.

5. Build Brand Awareness

Once you’ve developed your foundational sales and marketing tools, you’re ready to make prospective customers aware of your brand. 

Brand awareness determines how familiar a buyer is with a brand’s products or services. Recognizable and memorable products have established a presence and a reputation in the industry and among their audience. The more familiar a buyer is with your products, the more likely your product will be top of mind as a solution. 

In short, brand awareness creates trust, authority, and brand equity. To build brand awareness, you must meet your audience where they are. This means establishing a presence, connecting and engaging with prospects across multiple channels through: 

  • posting organic social content;
  • paid social ads;
  • interacting in private groups and industry forums;
  • digital and print advertising in industry-related channels (newsletters, magazines, emails, websites, etc.) 

As you can see, a brand awareness strategy isn’t siloed within your social media team, paid media team, or PR team. Instead, these teams unite to achieve the same goal. 

6. Capture Interest

As we discussed, the modern B2B buyer has researched and made a preliminary decision before ever reaching out to a salesperson. If your website isn’t answering their questions, guess who they’re getting answers from — your competitors. 

The data from your keyword research will help you understand what prospective clients are searching for, what questions they’re asking, and which answers are driving them in what directions. Your research should tell you what questions your website should answer and what information you need to provide to attract your target audience. 

Understanding the intent behind those keyword searches or the moments of inspiration (MOI) that activate the first step of the buyers’ journey is fundamental to connecting with your target audience

Keynote speaker and bestselling author Andrew Davis defines the MOI as “moments in time that send you on a journey you never expected.” By understanding these moments, B2B companies can capture their prospect’s interest at the very beginning of their customer journey. 

Davis identifies three types of MOIs:
A brand-induced MOI is sparked by an email, invoice, offer, etc.
A client-induced MOI is triggered by a challenge, event, or situation that requires a solution.  
A media-induced MOI is prompted by an external influence, such as social media or a news story, that inspires a need or want.
More important is to understand the specific moments that led your clients to your website. You can get this information from surveys or interviews in your initial research. This is the optimal time to ask current clients open-ended questions that explore the exact moment they realized their need for your solution.

When you determine what inspired your clients to seek your solution, you can create content that sparks more MOIs, which then leads prospects to helpful, keyword-optimized content on your website.

7. Retarget and Nurture

Hold your audience’s interest with thought leadership

Marketing efforts don’t end when you’ve captured a prospect’s interest. Unlike a retail website, B2B websites rarely make an immediate conversion. Instead, a B2B website must hold the buyer’s interest throughout the B2B customer journey, which could be up to six months or longer. 

If you’re treating your B2B website like a B2C one, you’re missing opportunities at multiple touchpoints to nurture prospects and current clients and guide their journey with thought leadership. Thought leadership is a content marketing strategy that brands use to provide expert insights on industry-related topics, thus establishing trust, credibility, and authority. 

While thought leadership is the most effective B2B content marketing type and a recognized method to drive traffic to your website, content must be on point to break through the noise in today’s saturated market.
In Edelman and LinkedIn’s fourth annual B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, decision makers revealed that less than half of the thought leadership content they read provided them with valuable insights. So how do you write content that stands out

Edelman suggests six essential methods to move the needle:
strike the right balance with content that is intellectually rigorous and fun to consume;
share something new or challenge current assumptions;
research your audience and write content that addresses their specific needs;
back up your findings with third-party data and insights from other experts;
use a byline of a credible author (don’t just publish under your brand);
analyze current trends, don’t just speculate.
How to determine current trends in a particular region in real-time?

Use Serpstat Keyword trends tool to discover up-to-date topics and news for generating content.
Serpstat Keyword trends report will help you identify the most trending keywords and use them on a site, increasing traffic. Sounds interesting, don't you think so?
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Use paid ads and retargeting to stay top of mind

The rule of seven is a marketing theory stating that it takes seven interactions between a prospect and a brand before they take the desired action. This theory is based on the psychological impact of repetition, which creates familiarity, increases brand awareness, and makes it more likely for a brand to stay top of mind during the consideration and decision stages of the buyer’s journey.  

Retargeting facilitates repetition by using digital tracking cookies to “tag” prospects when they interact with your online web, social or ad content and then sending them reminders in the form of paid ads. 
According to Truelist, B2B retargeting campaigns have a high success rate. The retargeting platform Retargeter claims a retargeting rate of 273% per impression for click-through conversions for B2B campaigns. LinkedIn's statistics show that retargeting on their platform can produce a 37% higher click rate, a 32% higher post-click conversion rate, and a 4.7% decrease in post-click cost-per-conversion. 

Effective retargeting relies on the effort you’ve put into your integrated marketing strategy. You must have conducted thorough research and planning to maximize your retargeting efforts and reach the right audience on the proper channels with the right message at the right point in the buying journey.

8. Close the Deal

To be clear, all marketing collateral supports the sale, from your buyer personas to your paid ads. However, toward the end of the nurture stage, a different set of marketing tools is vital to help your sales team move the buyer to the adoption phase — precisely, to move the buyer to adopt your solution. 

Materials that will help your sales team close the deal include:

  • industry-specific white papers;
  • case studies;
  • eBooks;
  • client testimonials;
  • sale sheets and brochures;
  • company one-pagers.

Not only should your sales team have these materials in their arsenal, but they should be accessible from your website. Some — like white papers, eBooks, and case studies — make great lead-generating gated content. 

9. Practice Post-Purchase Nurturing

According to BrandEquity, B2B customer retention rates are 76% to 81%. It seems solid, but it also means you’re experiencing up to 24% churn. This is unfortunate, considering it’s much cheaper to retain loyal customers than to acquire new ones. 

According to OutboundEngine
Customer acquisition costs five times more than customer retention.
A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits up to a whopping 95%.
The success rate of selling to a loyal client is 60% to 70%, while the success rate of selling to a new client is a meager 5% to 20%.
An existing client is five times as likely to repurchase, five times as likely to forgive, four times as likely to refer, and seven times as likely to try a new offering.
Customer churn costs U.S. businesses $136.8 billion per year.
33% of customers will consider switching companies after just one occurrence of poor customer service.
With these staggering figures in mind, customer retention is crucial for a stable business. So, what can businesses do to retain existing customers and foster loyal relationships? The answer is simple: post-purchase marketing.
Supporting clients after a sale increases brand loyalty, encourages repeat sales, increases referrals, decreases returns, and minimizes churn.

Consider the following in your post-purchase marketing strategy:
  • a welcome/thank you letter or email;
  • user manual;
  • how-to videos, FAQs, and blogs that answer customer questions;
  • feedback and testimonial requests;
  • newsletters and periodic updates;
  • user-generated social content and testimonials that feature clients using your solutions;
  • referral rewards;
  • ads targeted to loyal customers featuring coupons and discounts.

It’s important to keep post-purchase content helpful and informative. Avoid sales messaging and upselling that may push customers away. Instead, save the upsell for when it makes sense, such as during an upgrade or at the end of a subscription period.

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Recap

Integrated marketing uses consistent messaging and branding across multiple channels and unites your sales and marketing efforts to meet your business objectives. It is a data-driven approach that uses research and audits to understand your target audience, your strengths and weaknesses, and how to move your business forward. 

Integrated marketing efforts are based on a foundation of marketing materials: a customer persona, the customer journey map, a messaging matrix, a style guide, and branding guidelines. These materials help you reach out to the right people on the proper channels with the right messages at the correct times. 

Lastly, integrated marketing efforts nurture prospects throughout the customer journey, connecting at multiple touchpoints: promoting awareness, providing thought leadership, staying top of mind with remarketing, and keeping in touch with clients post-purchase.

When done right, an integrated marketing strategy drives more of the right traffic to your website, increasing conversions and customer retention rates. 

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