Are you doing business in construction, development or design and getting the feeling that things are starting to change as it relates to the sales and marketing of your business? Are you wondering how your online marketing and presence plays into your sales and marketing strategy and what you should do about it?
In this post I will be talking about the importance of your online presence as it relates to the B2B business in the commercial real estate space and 5 things you can do today to start to control your presence online to influence the business you want to do.
Now more than ever, your digital footprint is positioning your business to your top customers whether you like it or not, for good or for bad. Don't believe me? Below is a list of companies and projects on BLDUP and how often they showed up in Google search just in the month of August. The top organization page on BLDUP showed up in 33,172 searches on Google. What happens when people click on that page in Google? What are they seeing? Do you like what it shows? Are you paying attention to your online presence?
(Taken from BLDUP google analytics)
For companies not paying attention to this, you might be losing business and not even know it. For companies that are paying attention to this, are you doing enough? Today 72% of buyers in the "research phase" turn to Google. That means they are googling your company, your name, and your projects to see what comes up trying to learn about you when they aren't talking to you.
People want to do research on their own now more than ever because its easy to do and they want to be more informed and want to talk less to sales people, sorry sales person. As a matter of fact take a look at the stats below from Gartner as they speak about the B2B buyer journey. When companies are comparing multiple suppliers they are spending as little as 5% of their time with each supplier. So that means that the other 95% of their time is spent without you, (as the sales person) making a decision about your product or services. That's a very small amount of face time in the overall scheme of things. In fact sellers have the least amount of influence over the buying process than ever before.
So we agree that you don't have as much influence as you used to so now what?
You need to create content! In many different forms as well.
89% of B2B marketers are using content marketing today as reported by the content marketing institute 2017 report. If you're new to the concept of content marketing, it's defined as;
“a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing lets your customers read about you and learn about your products in an educational way. It helps you sell to them when you're not in front of them and it has nothing to do with selling. It has to do with value. The more value you can create with content, the more value you create with your customers.
Here are our top 5 things you can do today to start developing your online presence through content marketing.
By now everyone who is in the B2B world has at one point set up a Linkedin profile for themselves and/or their companies. Linkedin has great reach with posts, although it's going to become more limited (think Facebook 5 years ago vs now). To get the most out of Linkedin it comes down to value. So many people use it as a way to self promote by pounding their chest. After a while that becomes noise and actually has the opposite effect of what you're trying to do. Add value by giving great commentary around business topics that relate to what you're doing. Post content that educates, informs and gets people talking. Share your knowledge with your audience.
I know, everyone is doing it and there's nothing unique about it anymore. I think that can be said for the consumer space. For the B2B space it's a very different game. You can niche down on topics and get a ton of value out of doing so. Often in the B2B space where the stakes can be high, all it takes is one person to turn into an opportunity and the ROI of that blog is justified for the next 50 years. Just because a lot of people are not seeing your blog doesn't mean it's not adding value to your business. The SEO value alone is worth the content you create. Remember, most people who are researching solutions to their problems turn to Google first. Write blogs around the keywords you want to be found for and turn those searches into opportunities. The great thing about that type of content is that it can bring targeted search for a long time and it's free. Lastly, you can take that content and repurpose it in your other channels such as social, paid media and lead magnets in the form of downloadable white papers.
3.) Google Business
I know what you're going to say, we are a B2B company and nobody cares about your google business profile. In case you didn't know, your google business profile is that search result that comes up on the right side of the page when someone types the name of your company into Google. See below for Suffolk Construction National Headquarters.
Believe it or not there are very large commercial real estate companies that don't even have a google business profile. Furthermore they have a profile with 1 1-star review. Now you might not think that anyone is paying attention to that because you are a B2B company but the fact of the matter is that it is not a good representation of your business having review averages of less than 4.0. the sweet spot is actually 4.4 for reviews. Make sure you have a google business profile. You can set up one here. If you have one and you don't have great reviews you need to set up a review strategy. There is plenty of software out there that can help you with this. Here's a list to get started.
Nothing shows your knowledge of a subject like a professional podcast. This is hard because they are time consuming and need a level of professionalism to be taken seriously. It is also difficult to pump out a lot of podcasts. The goal of a good podcast schedule should be to do one weekly. The amount of podcasts are growing daily and for good reason. Today 48 million people listen to podcasts weekly.(source) Some of the top podcasts in the country happen to be B2B oriented podcasts and it creates a great forum to grow a niche audience.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Now what does that mean and why should I care? There are two ways you can show up on google, naturally or you can pay. When you pay it is called SEM or Search Engine Marketing. When you show up naturally it is called SEO. The quickest way to show up naturally is to achieve authority with google's spiders that are crawling your site. Some things that play into your SEO are meta tags, keywords, site structure, and mobile site speed. The quickest way to start to obtain authority is to get backlinking. Backlinking is when another website, preferably a site with authority, links to your site. Getting a link to your site from an article on Wall Street Journal's site would be a great backlink. For most, that is not realistic so you have to focus on other more attainable sites. Find local sites, blogs, or any place that shows up in search for your company or specific search terms and ask them to link to your blog you created. If you created really good content you should be able to find other folks to link back to it. Another easy way to get backlinking is to create a BLDUP profile. This is free and a new feature we launched in the last month. You can learn how to add your company here. Log into BLDUP and add your organization. On the page you will get a link that you can add to your profile. This is fast and easy to do and will start you off on the right foot to building more links.
If you have questions about any of this or want to discuss more please email me at email@example.com.
Content is King! Go out and make some great content!