The Super Bowl is the most important day of the year for football fans, followed closely by advertisers. The price tag this year for a 30-second ad spot was a staggering $5 million.
Although the Super Bowl commercial scene is populated with mostly B2C offerings, there were several B2B representatives this year – specifically web companies.
Somewhat ironically, domain giants like Wix, GoDaddy and Squarespace went offline for the big day, booking pricey television spots amongst the likes of Budweiser, Audi and Coca-Cola.
Didn’t have a spare $5 million to allocate to your advertising budget this year? Consider these five marketing tactics — including paid, owned and earned media — that work well for B2B marketers, that won’t break the bank in 2017:
1. Public Relations: Media Mentions
One great way to gain exposure for your company is by earning media mentions. Occasionally a reporter will reach out to you if his or her story relates to your business or industry. Rather than waiting by the phone (or inbox) however, there are several tools that can expedite this process. For example, Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a free email list service that helps reporters find sources for their stories. You can sign up for alerts by industry – such as lifestyle, business and high tech, among others. ProfNet by PR Newswire is another option, but requires a paid subscription. Either way, keeping a pulse on journalists’ requests and responding when appropriate is a great way to gain exposure and links for your website – for free. But don’t be fooled. It’s called “earned media” for a reason – meaning that your responses must be courteous, timely and highly relevant to warrant inclusion.
2. SEO: Search Engine Optimization
It’s no secret that Google is a big factor in determining who’s able to find your business online. So, if your site isn’t ranking on the first page, in the first position for your targeted keywords, then SEO should be part of your B2B marketing plan for 2017. SEO may seem daunting at first, but it’s a long-term process that can be tackled at your own budget and pace. One of the major Google ranking factors is the quality of content you produce. As subject-matter experts of your offering, you can cut costs by creating comprehensive and optimized copy in-house for your website’s pages. Once your site is optimized, consider other SEO tactics like link building and content marketing. Remember, SEO is more about time than money, so patience will ultimately generate a higher pay-off than deep pockets.
3. Video Marketing
Want to produce a video but don’t have a prime time TV budget? Don’t fret. Online video marketing presents a huge opportunity for B2B marketers. Although you may not garner the same viewer volume as commercials aired during the Super Bowl, a helpful video can help attract qualified leads to your business. In the world of B2B marketing, quality over quantity is our motto. Here are a few fast facts about video marketing:
• Video on a landing page could increase conversion rates by 80%
• 1/3 of time online is spent watching videos
• After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy online
The tactic isn’t new to B2B marketers – 96% of B2B organizations use video in some capacity and 73% report positive results to their ROI, according to Hubspot.
4. Client Testimonials and Reviews
A funny commercial could earn you five minutes of fame, but a personal recommendation could earn you a lifelong client. Taking the time to collect testimonials for your site is a worthwhile tactic; it gives your clients an opportunity to market for you. In addition to on-site testimonials, encourage your clientele to fill out Google reviews. Google algorithms are user-centric, ever-working to improve their results based on user behavior and feedback. This tactic is a two-for-one: not only will you build trust among prospective clients, but it will help boost your SEO as well.
5. SMM: Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an alternative to higher-cost Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Depending on your market-defining keyword and target location, your SEM bid could cost up to hundreds of dollars per click. So, if you have a sizable social media following, consider a sponsored Facebook post, promoted tweet or LinkedIn advertisement. Most B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn for its highly-customizable targeting opportunities. For example, you can choose to target professionals by industry, job title, company size and location. Explore LinkedIn sponsored content and the new LinkedIn InMail feature for your next SMM campaign.
Don’t kick yourself if your B2B business missed out on the advertising-frenzy of Super Bowl Sunday this year. You have 11 more months to meet your marketing goals – and if your budget isn’t robust this year, consider incorporating these tactics into your 2017 B2B marketing plan.