7 Signs Your B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Is Failing You

Posted on July 15th 2014

7 Signs Your B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Is Failing You

1. Your Email Open Rate is in the single digits

Email marketing analytics can sometimes be misleading. Sometimes your email marketing program doesn’t account for email views without actually opening the email. However, most of the time these analytics can give you an overall picture of whether your campaign is reaching your audience. Given that the email marketing open success rate is around 18-25% (depending on industry), if your open rate is constantly in the single digits, there is something wrong.

Some common email marketing mistakes in B2B are promotional/commercial subject lines that turn off professionals in the industry and sending email campaigns from generic email addresses and/or senders (e.g. info@ email addresses or senders like “Info” or “Business Development Department”). Do a quick test: would you open this type of email if it were sent to you?

2. The number of email “Unsubscribes” are rising

Have you ever analyzed the number of “unsubscribes” per email marketing campaign? According to international SPAM laws, all email recipients need to have an option to unsubscribe from your emails. It’s normal that for mass email marketing campaigns, you may get a few “grouches” that unsubscribe, but if you notice the number climbing, start to rethink your strategy.

If this is happening, your content marketing strategy is not working. You have not gained the respect or trust of your target audience and therefore you need to rethink the whole strategy. Look at the people who are unsubscribing and adjust your content.

3. The number of website visitors has hit a stalemate.

You worked for months, maybe even a year or two, to build your website and attract visitors. Maybe you doubled or tripled monthly visitors. But now you’ve reached an impasse. The number of visitors isn’t decreasing, but it isn’t increasing either. Take it as a sign: you are no longer producing frequent and/or interesting content. If you notice a stalemate in your visitors, check the time spent on the website, I’d bet that has decreased as well.

It means your content needs a makeover and you need to produce something new. The advantage and disadvantage of digital marketing is that it changes quickly. People get bored easily, but the good part is that websites are easy to update. Every few months, review your website content and decide whether you need to update. Make sure you give your visitors a reason to navigate your site and not simply visit the homepage.

4. Your social media followers are not your target audience.

You grew your number of Twitter followers last month, great! Have you ever looked at who is following you on social media? More often than not, doing an analysis of your followers will show that they have nothing to do with your industry. They may be random social media trolls, people trying to sell to you, or even more common, students looking for an internship/job at your company. A few months ago I need an analysis of my company’s LinkedIn page versus our competitors in terms of followers and interactions. While our main competitor had 3x as many followers as us, 85% were not even industry- related. Our number wasn’t much better.

Next time you analyze social media numbers, don’t just look at your follower number. Look at who is following you and update your content and hashtags accordingly.

5. You’ve been called out on your blog.

This is the worst – and it’s happened to me before. Sometimes we rush to get new content published, that we forget B2B is more about quality over quantity. In B2B, our content usually needs to be professionally written and contain some sort of industry-specific facts. When the B2B marketer is writing the content, sometimes mistakes are made. And then industry professionals call you out – publicly – right there in the comment section of your blog or on your LinkedIn page. Ouch.

It happens – you get busy and you throw up a minimal effort article on your blog. Try to remember to have your content reviewed by at least one other person before it’s published. The extra time is worth the wait. Remember, in B2B marketing, your public relations mistakes are harder to cover up.

6. Your landing pages/online forms collect mostly SPAM

Landing pages can be a great marketing tool. They show when people are really interested in your content and have to download it by entering contact information. It’s great for branding via content marketing and for lead generation. So, what happens when your landing page forms are filled in only by spammers? You’re not reaching the right market, obviously.

Take a look at your content and figure out why it’s attracting spammers. Do a keyword analysis of both your content and your website text. Rewrite your content, reinstall your landing page and figure out what works. Sometimes a simple keyword meta-tag mistake can attract spammers.

7. Your online lead conversion is practically non-existent

Marketing isn’t finished once you hit “Share” or “Send”. The marketer’s job is also to convert marketing material into potential leads for the sales team. If your team is looking at RFP or sales generation at the end of the month and nothing is coming from digital marketing activity, it’s time to analyze both your content and your activity follow up.

Work with your sales team to deliver email marketing campaign statistics, website visitor statistics and social media interactions. While some leads will be more obvious and come directly from your website inquiry form, some are hidden between the digital marketing lines. Be sure you are following up your online marketing activity!

Mary Wieder

Mary Wieder-Bottaro

Mary is a Business Development & Marketing Associate located in Verona, Italy. She has been developing a career in international marketing and communications and B2B marketing for more than 8 years. Her experience includes developing marketing strategies and social media campaigns for the B2B marketing environment, small businesses and start-ups, and she has worked in the U.S., France, Australia and Italy. She offers marketing consultancy as well as business translations from Italian to English. Mary holds a Masters degree in Global Communications from the American University of Paris and a Marketing degree from Lehigh University and speaks English, Italian and French. She is an avid blogger, runner and Yankees fan.

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