How to Develop a Digital Marketing Roadmap for a B2B Company

Marketing is a lot to juggle, from paid advertising and SEO to social media and content development. Without clear planning and communication, it’s easy to fall behind. If your team struggles to deploy a marketing strategy and can’t seem to stay organized, you might benefit from creating a digital marketing roadmap.

Keep reading to learn how to build a digital marketing roadmap and how it will help your company. 

What is a Digital Marketing Roadmap?

A digital marketing roadmap is a visual aid that allows for tracking and planning the implementation of your company’s digital strategy. You can organize in whatever time frame works for your company, whether days, weeks, or quarters. You can map out work allocation, prerequisite tasks, and other helpful information per the task.

A sample roadmap may look like this:

Source: M16 Marketing

Why a Digital Marketing Roadmap is Important for your B2B Company

We all know there is a lot to manage. Taking the time to create your digital marketing roadmap will ensure that your team is working efficiently and effectively to crush your goals. 

Here are a few examples of how a roadmap can add value to your B2B company:

  • Improved internal workflow: Internal processes and overall team efficiency will increase with defined goals, tasks, and deadlines.
  • Increased conversions: Identifying buyer personas and targeting potential customers through all stages of the buyer’s journey will lead to more conversions.
  • Surpassed goals: Creating informed KPIs, tracking goal progress, and adjusting as necessary will increase the likelihood of meeting (and hopefully exceeding) goals.

How to Develop Your Digital Marketing Roadmap

  1. Determine Goals/KPIs

What is your business trying to accomplish through these marketing efforts? Are you trying to acquire five new partners or increase the amount of demos given by 20%? Creating clear objectives you can quantify within a certain timeframe will guarantee you stay on track and meet your company’s goals. 

  1. Buyer Persona

Attracting the right type of customer is crucial to a successful marketing strategy. Buyer personas possess all of the characteristics your company looks for in potential customers. Although fictional, these personas are rooted in research and consumer data. Lake One provides buyer persona services where we help you conduct a deep dive into your ideal target audience and how to create buyer personas that will best inform your digital marketing strategies.

  1. Budget

Determining maximum marketing spend will help you determine how much paid media you can do within a specific timeframe. 

  1. Content & Services

What content and services are you marketing to help move potential customers through the funnel? For B2B businesses, this may be a consultation with a sales representative or downloading a resource. 

  1. Marketing Strategy

Now it’s time to decide how your team will market your content and services. Determine how paid advertising, SEO, social media, and other marketing tools will contribute to the marketing mix. 

  1. Timeline

This is where the visual comes in. The duration and timing of all marketing tasks will help the team stay organized, track goal progression, and identify any holes or complications.

  1. Conversion Opportunity 

The goal is to convert opportunities to leads and leads to customers. Schedule content that guides potential customers through the buyer’s journey and drives conversion. 

  1. Analyze & Adjust

Continually use analytics to assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts as well as the overall strategy. For example, If potential customers are dropping off after their initial form submission or demo, they might not be receiving enough educational resources to lead them to purchase

Building Your Digital Marketing Roadmap with Lake One

Sounds like a lot? It can be, but it is well worth it. The digital marketing roadmap is a tool to help your team roll out your marketing strategy productively, convert potential leads into happy customers, and ultimately grow your B2B company.

If you’re ready to start building your roadmap, Lake One is here to help. Reach out to our experts to start creating your custom roadmap and blow your competitors out of the water. 

5 Ways Manufacturers Can Leverage Short Form Video Content

A 2022 HubSpot survey found that short form video content has the highest return on investment compared to any other marketing strategy. 

That sounds like a good marketing tactic for any industry, especially manufacturers. 

And let’s be honest – Many manufacturers haven’t had to market to the public unless you’re talking about specific industries like fashion and lifestyle brands, who, for years, have built corporate marketing strategies that drive sales.

Manufacturers who create goods and services rely heavily on their sales team. Their approach has to be specific with tradeshows, industry advertising, or while cultivating customer relationships. Today’s landscape is competitive, and it’s time for manufacturers to adapt their marketing.

Here are five ways manufacturers can leverage short-form video content.

Continue reading “5 Ways Manufacturers Can Leverage Short Form Video Content”

5 Paid Media KPIs to Track in Your Next B2B Campaign

There are hundreds of data points to consider when managing a business. Each team has its own list, and evaluating success can have different meanings depending on their goals. Paid media KPIs (key performance indicators) measure the effectiveness of how your paid or advertising campaign is performing, and there are ways to get the most out of using KPIs to improve your results.

Sound challenging? You bet.

Undoubtedly, there should be little disagreement on the importance of the following 5 to track in your next B2B campaign when it comes to paid media KPIs. Let’s take a look.

Continue reading “5 Paid Media KPIs to Track in Your Next B2B Campaign”

How to Create Your Ideal B2B Buyer Personas

To execute a successful marketing campaign, you need to understand your target audience. This goes beyond learning the demographics and behaviors of your prospects. Carving out fictional characters that align with your business objectives will guide you in developing a strategic marketing campaign. 

Oftentimes, companies invest money into content marketing plans, google ads, or social ads with little knowledge of their B2B buyer personas and realize that the data and ROI aren’t adding up, inevitably blame the channels or product. More likely, you aren’t reaching your target buyer, the person with the purchasing power. 


In fact, companies that develop buyer personas see a 55% increase in organic traffic and a 210% increase in website traffic. So if you haven’t created your personas yet, now is the time!

Continue reading “How to Create Your Ideal B2B Buyer Personas”

Why Understanding Your B2B Buyer Persona is the Crux of all Marketing Efforts

Do you fully understand your B2B buyer personas? If not, you could be missing out on some serious opportunities in your marketing campaigns. After all, 71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas. Understanding your B2B buyer personas is a vital part of any effective marketing plan.

Personas. Don’t have them? Make Some.

With the world of marketing becoming more reliant on data, relevancy, and personalization, there is no question whether you should sit down and create personas for your business. 

Having a persona allows you to plan and execute your marketing campaigns with some very valuable insights in your toolbox that can help you:

  • Maximize your ROI
  • Use your ad dollars efficiently 
  • Generate qualified traffic and leads
  • Create a great customer experience
  • Improve engagement across all of your channels
  • Collect data/insights on the right people

Establishing your B2B buyer persona is the piece of the marketing puzzle that allows you to narrow down who you need to market to and how you can tailor your messaging and strategy to the needs of those people. The last thing you need is to be marketing to someone who will never buy from you and has zero interest in your product or service. 

Master your B2B website strategy. Grab the guide here.

Researching Your B2B Buyer Persona

In order to understand your B2B buyer persona, you need to conduct some extensive research. Getting to know your persona is all about being open-minded and putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Throw away any bias thoughts, personal preferences, and assumptions about the industry that you might have and then ask yourself:

  • Who could benefit from my product/service?
  • Who might be looking for my product/service?
  • Where or on what channels are these people most active?
  • Who has used products or services similar to mine in the past?
  • What problems do these people have, and how can I solve them?

Facebook insights

Couple these kinds of questions with research on how your B2B buyer personas behave online and what their demographic might look like. Start by utilizing your current CRM system to see if you notice any kind of trends in your customer database. Maybe the majority are located in a specific area or have interacted with your business in similar ways. You can also use tools like Google Trends and Facebook Insights to get valuable analytics and data on what your personas are actively searching for and what they might look like demographically.

b2b buyer persona

Image Source: Amwyright.me

Buyers are naturally drawn to businesses that they know and trust. To build that trust, you must show a comprehensive understanding and concern for your B2B buyer persona. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, these are people, people who are very complex, educated, and typically have a long sales cycle. This means that your research should be based on a long-term, well thought out strategy.

Related Reading: How to Master B2B Website Strategy and Drive Growth

How to Create Your B2B Buyer Personas

It’s very common for businesses to have multiple personas, so don’t restrict yourself to just one. In fact, try to create as many as you can without going overboard. Distinguish your individual personas by things like their pain points, change drivers, and job status.

A great tool to use to create your B2B Buyer personas is Hubspot’s make my persona tool. This tool implements all the best practices of creating personas and gives you tips and tricks along the way. This tool includes metrics like your persona’s preferred communication method, tools they need to do their job, seniority level, and more. 

Understanding Your B2B Buyer Persona

Your buyer persona is the bedrock of your marketing strategy. It dictates which channels you will utilize, what kind of strategy you will create, how much you will spend — the list goes on and on! Learn how to speak your B2B buyer persona’s language and speak it fluently. Speaking their language makes your persona comfortable; it builds credibility and helps your company build that trust with them that will help lead you to success. The more you know about your B2B buyer persona, their industry, and their organization, the better equipped you are to market to them in an effective and personable manner.

New to buyer personas and incorporating them into your marketing or sales strategy? We can help. Chat with one of our experts today.

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5 Ways Lake One Uses Vidyard for B2B Video Marketing

The cameras are rolling around here at Lake One. While we don’t have our own personal glam teams (yet), we do have everything else we need to create solid content for our B2B video marketing efforts. How do we do it, you ask? Well, with the help of our trusty partners, Vidyard. If you haven’t heard of them, (which isn’t likely) Vidyard is an online video platform for businesses. From video creation, hosting, integrations, sharing, optimization, and analytics, they make it pretty impossible to have an excuse not to be doing video. 

Which, if you aren’t, you should include video as part of your sales and marketing strategy. B2B video marketing is a must and not just because we say so. The numbers speak for themselves. Content Marketing Institute found that 71% of B2B marketers use video marketing and 66% of B2C marketers use it. Not to mention the ROI. Optinmonster noted that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year and 93% of marketers say they landed new customers by using video on social media. 

B2B Video Marketing

Here are five ways that Lake One uses Vidyard for our b2b video marketing efforts:

Lead Generation/Prospecting

Ever feel like your lead generation efforts are the same old, same old? Looking to spice things up and even have a little fun? If only there was something that could help with that. 

Video is a great and often overlooked tool when it comes to lead generation and prospecting. A few ways to use video for lead gen: 

  • Add video to your landing pages 
  • Add video to other pages on your website, such as solutions pages, client testimonials and more
  • Add video to your thank you pages or send a personalized video to high-value leads who download resources off of your website 
  • Include videos in your prospecting emails 

Pro Tip: Be sure to include a CTA (call-to-action) at the end of your videos. Let viewers know what action you want them to take after watching your content.

Lead Nurturing

Since the goal of lead nurturing is to move someone through the buyer’s journey from the awareness stage to the decision stage, video is a great way to help achieve that. Especially for things like email nurture sequences (drip campaigns), it’s a nice way to break-up the content that’s in the emails and get your lead’s attention. Here are just a few types of videos you can use when nurturing leads: 

Related Reading: Turn Your Website Into a Lead Machine with HubSpot Lead Flows

  • Demo or explainer videos
  • Interviews with thought leaders
  • Promoting upcoming webinars or events your company is hosting or sponsoring 
  • Testimonials from clients that showcase the value they received from your product or service 
  • Educational videos that are relevant and provide value to your viewer 
Video Marketing stat
Source: Neil Patel

Client Management 

When it comes to managing client relationships, it can be easy to get caught up in an endless cycle of emails calls back and forth. While sometimes picking up the phone can solve for that, it doesn’t always accomplish everything you need it to. That’s where videos come in to play. 

Meetings 

It used to be commonplace to meet with clients in their offices for kick-off, monthly or quarterly meetings. That all changed virtually overnight, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While Zoom and other video conferencing tools are great, sometimes what needs to be accomplished can be done in a video. Whether it’s a training, showing a client where to locate something, or a simple introduction video, Vidyard is a great tool to be able to manage clients. 

Training

At Lake One, especially since we’re a virtual team, we love using Vidyard for training purposes, whether for ourselves or for clients. One team member, I won’t name names, even refers to their internal training videos as “Trainings with Tiffany.” We didn’t say you couldn’t have fun with the tool, in fact, we encourage it. 

With Vidyard you can record yourself on camera, record the screen or a combination of both, so people can see exactly what you’re doing when training. We’ve built up a library of sorts for training for both ourselves and clients. It’s a great way to go back and rewatch something or provide videos to team members who might have missed a live training session. 

Vidyard will also transcribe your videos too, whether you’re creating videos directly on the platform or uploading them from elsewhere. This is a nice feature for accessibility reasons, but also if you want to repurpose the video content, you already have the transcription ready to go. 

Outreach

Which would you rather receive in your inbox? A generic email with a bunch of buzzwords, going on and on about guest posts and how much someone loves your “most recent piece” all in an effort to partner for link building purposes. Or, would you rather get an email that features an engaging video that’s short and to the point, briefly touching on the topics and value this person could add to your site? I don’t know about you, but I choose door number two.

We use video to either replace or support the messages we send surrounding our outreach efforts. It’s a great way to humanize ourselves and get our message across quickly. It’s also sometimes easier to explain an idea out loud, versus trying to capture it in writing. Plus, with any luck, you’ll stand out from the other pitches that your prospects are receiving. 

Content 

We know that video is a must when it comes to B2B video marketing and creating the type of content that buyers want to consume. Considering that 85% of all internet users in the U.S. watched online video content monthly on any of their devices, it’s no longer an option whether you incorporate video into your content plan or not. Here are a few places to use and types of videos you can create:

  • Blog posts
  • Social posts
  • Sales emails 
  • Demo or explainer videos 
  • Website, in place of other graphics 
  • Email marketing campaigns 
  • Long-form videos/webinars 
  • Customer testimonials
  • And more! 

Related Reading: How Engaging is Your Content Marketing? 5 KPIs to Measure Content Engagement

Thanks to Vidyards reporting capabilities, you’re able to see who’s watching your videos, from where, for how long, and get insight into how your videos are actually performing. Like any content, video for the sake of video isn’t a strategy and won’t drive the results you’re looking to achieve. Be methodical in the videos you’re creating and putting out there. These are just a few ways that Lake One uses Vidyard. If you have any fun ways you use it, drop a note in the comments.

Interested to learn how Lake One can help you with video? One of our strategists would love to chat.

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7 Tried & True B2B Marketing Automation Examples

With marketing automation, you can serve the right content to the right person at the right time – at scale. You can also drive consistency and efficiency with internal processes. And not to mention, it just might be my favorite tool in our marketing tech stack. 

So, how does marketing automation apply in the real world? Here are some of our top tried and true must-have B2B marketing automation examples.

B2B Marketing Automation Examples

What is B2B Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is technology that allows you to automate, streamline, and measure your marketing tasks and workflows.

However, its true power comes through sales and marketing alignment combined with a well-utilized B2B CRM.

Sales & Marketing Alignment in Automation 

If it feels like your sales and marketing teams are on different planets, adding automation to the mix won’t solve that. Ensure your teams are aligned by outlining responsibilities, defining key terms like lead statuses and lifecycle stages and aligning your team goals.

Reaching total harmony among teams can be a process, but at a minimum, it should be an active joint effort. 

Recommended Reading: Lake One’s Guide to Sales & Marketing Alignment

B2B Marketing Examples for Sales Collaboration and Internal Processes

Marketing automation helps to facilitate collaboration between sales and marketing in real-time. It’s the conduit between the two teams. These processes within B2B businesses are centered around sales collaboration and the facilitation of internal processes. 

B2B Marketing Automation Examples

Automation for Sales Collaboration 

Sales collaboration takes place in a variety of ways, but the most common are some of the marketing automation examples outlined below. 

Lead Scoring

Not all leads are created equal and for that very reason, we leverage lead scoring.  Lead scoring is ranking lead readiness to convert based on the lead’s behavior. The idea behind lead scoring is that a lead can take specific actions or engagements which speak to their sales-readiness. For example, a user who is highly engaged on the site, downloading multiple offers visiting key pages (like pricing), and signing up for the blog, etc. is in theory, more ready to purchase than a user who visited one or two pages on the site a couple of times. 

Lead scoring allows a sales and marketing team to work together to develop criteria identifying leads likely to make a purchase so they can be followed up with by Sales. How to do this will be different for each CRM. In HubSpot, you set up your behaviors and scores and then create a workflow or a list to send all leads who meet your threshold over to sales automatically.

Setting Leads to Marketing Qualified & Assigning to Sales 

This next section really applies to setting any lifecycle stage or lead status, but we’ll focus on Marketing Qualified Leads because that lifecycle stage is a must and a big factor in measuring marketing ROI.

Again each CRM will be different, but in HubSpot, our favorite way to achieve this is by creating what we call, a MQL List. The list includes all of our specific MQL criteria like the following:

  • Role is (insert the desired role)
  • Company name is known
  • Phone number is known
  • Industry is (insert the desired industry)
  • And the lead source is none of offline 

Note: MQL criteria setting is part of the sales & marketing alignment process and should be revisited at a minimum twice a year.

Once your list is built with your set criteria, you can create a workflow that notifies sales or creates a task for the MQL to be reviewed by sales.

B2B Marketing Automation Examples

Recommended Reading: 5 Ways Marketing Automation Can Boost Lead Volume

Automation for Internal Processes 

B2B companies often have complex business processes. Marketing automation can drive efficiencies and allow for real-time routing, task creation, and follow-up across functions and channels. 

Lead Routing 

Is your sales team divided into territories? Or divided by certain products, services, or areas of expertise? If so, lead routing is your ticket to removing the manual review of leads and automatically routing by key differentiators. You’ll most always start with a form submission of some type and follow with if/then branches or conditionals to route leads. 

For example: If a contact fills out the “Demo Request” form and their country is set to the U.S., then assign Frank as the contact owner and create a task for Frank to review.

B2B Marketing Automation Examples

Data Governance/Management

It’s also common that workflows be used to ensure your CRM stays up to date and with as many properties completed as possible. Workflows can be used to manage some of the following: 

  • Subscription Types: If contacts fill out forms such as a newsletter sign up, a webinar, product updates, etc… you can manage their subscriptions on the back end with workflows.
  • Opt-Outs: If you want to keep a running master opt-out list, you can create a workflow that states if a contact opts out of communication, add them to a specific list. 
  • Contact Owners: Similar to the above lead routing scenario, you can use workflows to ensure all contacts have an owner.  Or if they don’t, use a workflow to create a task for a sales leader to review.
  • Copying Across Property Types: This might vary depending on your CRM, but you are likely using different types of properties or objects to store your data. For example, a company record or contact record. In some cases, the information should be the same in both places. Rather than duplicating efforts, use a workflow to copy the value from one property to another. 

B2B Marketing Automation Examples for Lead Nurturing 

Lead nurturing is the process of cultivating relationships with potential buyers at every stage of the sales process and through the buyer’s journey. It puts a focus on meeting buyers where they are at, listening, and providing helpful relevant information. 

Marketo

Marketing automation allows you to create lead nurturing campaigns, also known as email drip campaigns which are a series of emails spread out over time that help buyers move from awareness to consideration to decision. 

When it comes to what emails to include and how many and what frequency, it really depends on your personas needs and your buying cycle and the action the contact took. Nurturing campaigns are definitely not ‘set it and forget it’. Email open rates and engagement all the way through to marketing attribution reporting, will be your workflow gut check and point you towards areas for optimization.

Lead to MQL Nurturing & Beyond

Lead to MQL nurturing is a common point in the buyer’s journey in which nurturing can start. It’s likely initiated by a contact downloading a piece of content. From there, you offer the lead relevant information that you think may help them solve the pain point that brought them to your site initially. Along the way, you give them plenty of opportunities to convert with additional content and CTAs.

The goal is to nurture the lead until they become a Marketing Qualified Lead and meet your set criteria. From there, queue sales!

B2B Marketing Automation Examples

Form Submission Follow-Up

Depending on the type of form a contact submits, you might not need a full-blown workflow, maybe a simple thank you will suffice? If so, workflows are your ticket. They can easily go from a 10 email sequence as mentioned above, to a one and done thank you for your submission email.

Pro Tip: Take your ‘Contact Us’ form submissions to the next level by sending a follow-up email post submission letting your contacts know when they can expect to hear from you in response to their inquiry. 

Date Based Marketing Automations

If you have a CRM like HubSpot, workflows don’t have to be based solely on a contact property, they can be date-based too! This is perfect for webinars, trade shows, and other events. The following can be handled with date-based workflows:

  • Leading up to an event
  • During an event
  • Post-event follow up

Marketing Automation Optimizations 

Okay, you set up all of the marketing automations above, that means you’re done and can move on to the next initiative right?

via GIPHY

In case the ‘how about no sloth’ didn’t give it away, the answer is ‘no’. The setup is only the beginning. Sales and marketing automation tools typically come with better reporting capabilities and you should totally use them. Whether it’s lead flows, MQLs, or subscriptions, reviewing and optimizing your marketing automation workflows are a must.

Also, it’s worth noting there’s a part of the story that can’t always be seen in the data. Take the time to talk to the teams and solicit feedback. Are the automations working? Are they missing the mark? Meeting on a regular cadence will help uncover those issues too. 

So tell us, did you like the examples? Are we missing one of your favorites? Sales and marketing automation can save you time and help your B2B business scale. If you’re considering incorporating automation into your sales and marketing strategy, we’d love to chat.

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Cut the B.S.: Business Focused B2B SaaS Marketing Metrics

B2B marketers are flush with myriad data points to measure and report on. The problem is – most of them don’t mean shit to your P&L. For leadership teams getting into the minutiae of PPC impressions or social media followers – it just muddies your ability to see the forest through the trees. In B2B SaaS it can be really misleading because marketing could be burning cash under the disguise of driving leads – leads that aren’t doing anything. So what metrics matter? The ones that tie to revenue. There are a few core B2B SaaS marketing metrics every organization should keep their focus on. Before you freak out about other indicators and such, give this a read.

saas marketing metrics

Marketing Sourced Revenue

At the end of the day, marketing needs to be contributing to revenue potential. Is marketing sourcing revenue? I’m not talking leads, I’m not talking MQL. Are you able to trace back that a dollar came from marketing activity? This will inevitably require your organization to rely on adopting an attribution model since most every journey doesn’t go Email, Click, Buy or Ad, Click, Buy. (Wouldn’t that be nice?!) That said, find an attribution model that aligns with the goals of your sales and marketing activity and gets comfortable with it. 

Marketing Sourced Pipeline

In the same line as sourced revenue – how successful is marketing at adding new opportunities to the pipeline? In well-aligned sales and marketing teams for SaaS – it can make sense to give marketing pipeline targets and quotas just as you would sales.  

Related Reading: SaaS Inbound Marketing: Taking Your Business To the Next Level

CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)

The customer acquisition cost is one of the more straightforward SaaS marketing metrics. It tells you how much it costs to bring on new customers over a given period of time. Take your sales and marketing spend and divide by the total number of customers. 

Customer Acquisition Cost

Knowing this rate can help plan and forecast growth – but when combined with the next metric it’s powerful in assessing the return on overall sales and marketing activity. That return is where growth management truly becomes effective. 

Months to Recover CAC

The final essential SaaS marketing metric to monitor is how long it takes to recover the costs spent to acquire a new customer. This helps determine how quickly a customer starts driving a positive ROI. 

This can be calculated by dividing the CAC by Monthly recurring revenue times your gross margin (revenue – cost)

calculate Months to Recover CAC

Key Takeaways for B2B SaaS Marketing Metrics

At the end of the day – there is plenty B2B SaaS marketing metrics to monitor and report on. I’m not suggesting that other data points aren’t worth watching as an indicator of good or bad performance upstream from the revenue goal. In order to truly forecast out a revenue machine – you need those measurements.
What I am suggesting, is that when it comes to essential B2B SaaS marketing metrics- making a business impact is the name of the game and at the leadership level that’s what matters. Leadership that has bought into marketing, trusts a modern marketer to be keeping an eye on those downstream measures and to sound an alarm when needed. Measuring marketing’s impact on revenue, driving revenue opportunities, and making a positive impact on customer acquisition is job number one. 

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