Generating top-quality leads is the number one objective for marketers when devising SEO strategies, according to the 2016 State of B2B Digital Marketing report published by DemandWave this week.
Quality over quantity appears to be the mantra for advertisers this year, as 38% are focusing on delivering sales-ready leads while 28% are going for sheer volume. Lead generation is the main objective by a clear margin when it comes to marketing efforts, with improving brand awareness (14%) in a distant second. A further 10% are using digital content to increase marketing ROI, while 7% are aiming to boost website traffic.
B2B marketers also said that conversion rate was the leading metric they use to measure digital marketing performance. Epicor Global Marketing Senior VP Celia Fleischaker said: “Conversion rate to sales-qualified lead is probably our top metric.
“We look at spend relative to the sales-qualified lead and the cost per sales-qualified lead – that’s really important to us. We look at the funnel all the way to close and when it closes, but definitely sales-qualified leads stand out as the key metric for us.”
Mobile and video
DemandWave’s report also highlighted a growing use of video and mobile in marketing efforts. More than three-quarters of respondents said that they have now optimised their websites for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, which is up from 57% last year. Meanwhile, 80% are using video for content marketing, making this the most widely used tactic.
When asked about the makeup of their digital marketing strategies, both email and social media were almost ubiquitous among marketers, with organic search close behind. B2B marketers consider email to be the top channel for driving leads, ahead of organic search and paid search. More than half are planning to increase their budget for paid search in 2016.
Content creation was also a hot topic for marketers, with many now favouring a split between in-house and outsourced content covering a wide range of marketing tactics. Video (80%) is currently the most popular investment, ahead of blogs (77%) and case studies (76%), though white papers are considered the most effective for driving leads.