A Beginner’s Guide to B2B Marketing Strategies that Work!
Did you know that in the last two years alone, the amount of data that has been produced worldwide makes up 90% of all data ever made? This doesn’t mean anything except how important it now is to up your marketing game and keep evolving with the changing trends. You can’t stick to the same marketing strategies from the 90s, or even the early 2000s, if you want your business to flourish in the modern times.
You’re not going to make any improvements to your marketing strategies, or increase your sales and revenue, if your plan is to continue with the same marketing strategies that were in practice until the last decade. Everything is now online, so if you’re not up to date with the current trends, you could be using strategies that won’t succeed in any case.
Direct and outbound techniques were the initial form of business to business (b2b) marketing strategies that directly contacted potential buyers and clients. Their main aim was to find a selling message that was convincing and ensured buyers would be interested, or at least want to learn more. Now, the best b2b marketing strategies are far more complex.
Of course, with the introduction and reliability of Google reviews, as well as online reviews of almost all brands and services, businesses are far more likely to rely mainly on the reviews to decide whether or not they want to invest in your service. They are going to read reviews, do an evaluation and get the opinions of people that they know to have a history with your business, in order to come up with a conclusion.
Did you know that 77% of b2b buyers still think that buying products is difficult and lengthy, even when they have access to digital facilities that make the process easier? With the right strategies, you can avoid being one of the businesses that make the process more difficult than it has to be. Here at SEO Resellers Canada, we give our level best to provide you with marketing and SEO techniques that ensure your business has the most effective online presence possible.
Here are some important aspects of effective b2b marketing strategies that we’ll be looking into:
Do Your Research
You can’t go anywhere without a substantial amount of background knowledge in whatever your potential client base and service is. You need to understand the market before becoming a part of it. If there are any b2b marketing strategies that have not changed since the beginning of the business world, it is research. You have to do a market analysis, proper research on your brand, and determine who would be interested based on your optimal selling points. With the amount of competition out there, you have to keep in mind that you need to be up to date about everything that involves your brand and the market that you’re venturing into, or someone else will find a way to top your efforts.
It’s also important to get science involved. There are numerous studies on consumer behaviour and explanations for why people are more inclined towards certain products and services as opposed to others. There are also researchers that explain what kind of marketing strategies people can relate to and engage with more than others, and if you take full advantage of this knowledge that you have, you’re more likely to have a successful b2b marketing strategy.
Being able to have research to back up your marketing activities gives you the reassurance that you are not going into anything that will inevitably result in failure. You know that through the research that you have conducted, you have made a conscious, well-thought-out decision that is sure to have at least a 50% chance of working out.
These studies also give you a skeleton of what kind of marketing goals you need to keep in mind at all times. When you’ve conducted thorough research, you will be able to set a template for what all your future marketing strategies have to include.
Like mentioned before, being well-informed and equipped with the proper information means that you know your clients better than before. You aren’t guessing what kind of strategies they would like, or what aspect of your brand they would be more interested in because you will know based on the research you have conducted that they have been known to respond positively to these strategies in the past. The best b2b marketing strategies are constantly evolving and you need to keep researching to see how they’ve changed.
It also helps to conduct market surveys where you engage directly with potential clients. It not only gives you an idea of what they are most interested in and what they are most likely to respond well to, it tells you about what aspects of your brand they have already invested in. You will get an idea of what has been working, or not working, in the past. Regardless of whether the information you end up gathering is positive or negative, you have a more holistic idea of how your business has been performing.
When you know which of your services have been doing better than the others, it gives you a heads-up on what you should continue and what you should let go of in the future.
There is research to show that businesses that conducted proper investigations and analyses about their brand and client base were 3-10 times more likely to experience a major expansion. They’re also around twice as likely to get more profit through using smart b2b marketing strategies.
Think of Strategies Directed at Your Target Audience
It is now a known fact that businesses that think specifically about the clients they want to attract are more likely to succeed. You can’t just have a one-size-fits-all strategy, even if it has worked in the past. You have to think specifically about the cluster of clients that you are personally willing to design an entire marketing strategy around. For example, if your target audience is millennials, you should never cold call them because they’re not going to respond well to it. With 50% of b2b buyers being millennials, this could hurt your audience base.
The most successful businesses out there are ones that have spent time and money in finding marketing strategies that work directly for the clients that they are targeting and how to market b2b products. They understand the ins and outs of the field they are working in, which makes them the most informed authority in how to tackle this client base.
When you know exactly what will give you an edge over your competitors, you won’t hesitate to make the necessary adjustments or enhancements in your marketing strategy. It also helps to use your marketing to be specific about the clients you are targeting and the service you are providing because this will make you stand out in the market. Anyone who knows about you will know what your services are and what your client base is as well. It helps people make more informed decisions based on what they know of your pre-existing clients and which of the services they avail.
It may seem like a counterintuitive tactic, but it is actually far from it. While you may want to structure your business as being as accessible to all sorts of clients as possible, it doesn’t help in your marketing in the long run. When you define the group of clients that you want to cater to, it makes you easily identifiable among a crowd of other businesses. When people know who and what you’re about, you’re more likely to be remembered.
Even if you look at it from the perspective of a client, they should be able to think about your brand and know that you provide services that are designed specifically for them. People appreciate feeling like they have a brand that focuses on their preferences entirely.
One b2b marketing approach to build on your niche is to start generating large amounts of valuable content that appeals to your target audience’s interests. You can start publishing research and studies that talk about different aspects of the product or service that you’re interested in. For example, if you’re trying to build a niche in gardening appliances, you can regularly post content about soil, seeds and seasonal plants, along with studies, to gather a loyal following that knows they can trust in you to provide trustworthy and informational content.
Work on Your Website
We’ve already mentioned how important it is to have a strong online presence. Whether it comes to the images you share of your brand, or the amount of time it takes for a customer service representative to respond to a complaint, your online activities can become a deal breaker if not done right. The website that you design for your business is going to be the first impression that visitors get when trying to learn more about your brand. You need to ensure that it makes them want to explore further, and not leave the page out of disappointment.
The more information your website has, and the more you are able to convince people that you are an expert in this specific field, the more likely they are to trust your services. They’ll also get to learn more about topics related to the field, which gives them the assurance that you are an authority in your field.
Not only does a website create an impression, we all know how it plays a role in SEO as well. With SEO techniques being more important than ever before, you have to optimize your website in order to gain visibility. If you’re not showing up in search engines and not putting up the kind of content that is going to get you traffic, your efforts in creating an engaging website will go to waste.
There are thousands of websites filled with content that never see the light of day. They don’t use the right tactics to gain visibility, and hence their websites are pushed back into the latter pages of any search engine, never to be seen again. Even being on the second page is a major setback because people rarely go past the first page of any search engine.
With so many businesses switching to an online-only presence, if you can’t get your website to be noticed, it could significantly impact your sales. 80% of clients will first go through a brand’s website before making the decision to invest in it. This means that if they aren’t able to get the answers that they are looking for and the information that they need, they are guaranteed to opt for a brand that has a more updated and informational website than yours. That’s why b2b online marketing is so important.
With the right amount of backlinks and referrals from influential blogs and websites, you can greatly increase the number of people that come across your site. By posting quality content that reflects people’s interests and encourages them to engage with your brand, you are boosting your chances of turning those engagements into potential sales.
You’ll also have to think about the way your website is laid out. It may not have affected people before, but now, even something as minimal as a slight lag in your loading time can lead to a loss of clients. People don’t want to wait for your website to load when they can easily switch to another one that is much swifter than yours.
It should also provide opportunities to engage, which is essential if you’re looking to make the most effective b2b marketing strategy. For example, you can have guest blogs by people that have invested in your brand before, and have a comments section where people can ask one-on-one questions from you or the guest blogger in order to learn more about the product. They should also be able to share valuable information you have on your site, so you should have sharing options like buttons and links. This will also expand your audience.
One very important aspect that many people don’t take into consideration is making your website accessible across multiple kinds of devices. Many people now go through websites through their phones because they’re more convenient, and if your website doesn’t work on mobile devices, you’ve already lost them as potential clients.
Make sure your website also makes up for any errors or server issues as well. When people come across a page that isn’t opening, they’re less likely to hold a negative view about it when they are met with an apology and an engaging error page. For example, if your page isn’t loading, consider redirecting people to a link featuring sales and products from your company. This way, they’re likely to come and check on your website again.
Upgrade Your Social Media
Did you know that the average b2b buyer goes through at least 12 different searches, on average, in order to decide whether or not they want to proceed and visit your website? By the time they arrive at your website and want to speak to a sales representative to get more information about the product, they are already 57% closer to making a purchase. In order to stay on top of this, you need a b2b digital marketing plan.
This means that they had been building up their opinion through various social media before even coming to your official website. They may have been on a blogger’s page, or on your brand’s own Facebook or Instagram page. They might have been looking through comments or judging the quality of the products based on the images you have shared. They will also be influenced by the level of engagement that a social media representative will have with people asking questions or giving feedback.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to gather a client base, interact with them, and have an overall idea of people’s perceptions about your service. You can also manage negative reviews and feedback by contacting people on social media.
Typically, around 6-10 decision makers sit in a group together in order to decide on a b2b purchase. This means that you need to have a positive perception in the eyes of the majority of the group in order to be a candidate for investment. The best way to regulate your business’s reputation in the eyes of your clients is to maintain an interactive and regularly updated social media profile.
When it comes to b2b advertising techniques, one way you can do this is by having employees show up in your posts. Employee advocacy can sway people to feel a deeper connection with your service because they can see the people working behind the scenes for your brand. Humanizing your brand also shows that you care about the people that work for you and that they’re happy to be a part of your organization. It also encourages your employees to vouch for your brand as well, when they that they’re an important member of the organization.
According to statistics, more than 90% of clients will believe social media traffic that you’ve gathered through active posting and engagement, rather than paid advertising. They’re also more likely to become regular customers when they see that your brand has earned its reliable reputation with consumers. When it comes to digital marketing for b2b business, the kind of ads you put out there can change the way people see your company.
If you’re confused about the kinds of ads you should have in order to promote your brand, consider making buyer personas. These help you get a better idea of what kind of advertising will best resonate with the kind of audience that you’re aiming for. This can be done through analyzing people that have already invested in your brand before and have had a positive experience with your brand. You can note their key characteristics that you think may have influenced their decision to invest in your service.
You will first need to list down the people that have invested in your products on behalf of their business. Once you have a substantial amount of people that you can label as a reliable client base, you should note down aspects like age, gender, role in the organization, industry and the size of the business that they work for (is it a start-up or a multinational company?) A b2b start-up marketing strategy might differ from that of a larger organization.
This will help you decide what kind of advertisements you should be putting out, based on the characteristics of the people that have been investing in your service in the past. Knowing the people that are going to come across your ads plays a vital role in establishing the kind of content you create. Some platforms for having paid ads are places like Google ads and ads on other search engines like Bing and Yahoo.
Automate Your Marketing
Marketing automation is a new strategy to streamline your marketing and make your business more efficient. It isn’t a one-stop solution to having a better marketing strategy, but if you know how the proper guidance you can make your marketing automation work towards greatly improving your business’s success.
Many businesses that opt for marketing automation are not equipped with the knowledge or the expertise to utilize it to their full potential. However, now that more businesses are moving towards this process, it is essential to start implementing it in your business as well. Around 49% of marketers say that they don’t know how to measure ROI, and 36% say that their business doesn’t have the internal knowledge to know how marketing automation works. This places a barricade between businesses and their potential to become more efficient and incorporate more effective marketing strategies.
One way to make sure that you have an idea of how marketing automation works is to figure out what your end goal is. Make a b2b marketing strategy framework. When you know what you’re aiming for through marketing automation, you will have an easier time coming up with solutions and using the right tools to get you there.
Marketing automation makes it convenient for you to manage and analyze all your processes and campaigns from one system that oversees everything. There are different software for marketing automation, and you have to understand which one to opt for based on factors like the size of your company, the kind of solution you’re looking for, and how complex the process is going to be. This will help you in getting to a solution that addresses the problems your company’s marketing strategy is currently having.
You can also invest in CRM, which is a customer relationship management system that businesses use to manage their client base. They can interact with their customers, look out for an opportunity where they can provide services that their customers may need and take care of all client-related interactions in one synchronized place, so that other employees can go through the information if they have to interact with the client in the future.
The last part of marketing automation is about having a lead scoring system. As a b2b marketer, you have to interact with numerous different people from within a company in order to get the conversation going and getting the probability of a sale. When multiple different people are interacting with a representative, they need to be able to provide an overall assessment of what the perception of the entire team is as a whole. Without being able to come up with one unanimous decision, your ROI can be adversely affected
When you have an account-based management and lead scoring system, it makes this entire process much more efficient. Your team can collectively monitor all the relevant personnel from an organization to see how they feel about your service. You can score them based on their level of interaction and engagement and get a more accurate idea of whether it is a good time to approach them and talk about making a sale.
Make Sure Your Strategies Work
Last but not least, you have to keep your strategies up to date and keep analyzing and assessing them to make sure that they still work. With regular testing and optimization, you can keep updating the decisions that you’ve made and ensure that the strategies you are using are still getting you the maximum amount of traffic and sales.
Whether or not you feel like your strategies are actually working is secondary. Getting an analysis based on statistics will give you a clear idea of whether your strategies are worth the time and money that you have invested in them. Doing research at the initial stage doesn’t mean you rely on it to stay applicable for an indefinite amount of time. You have to keep reassessing your marketing strategies to see what the stats are telling you. The top b2b marketing strategies are bound to keep changing.
Some things you have to keep checking up on regularly are the website, social media pages and online reviews. Even a couple of negative reviews can sway your clients in the wrong direction. You have to keep checking if your website’s content is showing up on search engine results pages. This is an ongoing process because keywords and relevant topics are constantly changing with people’s changing interests. If you need a tool to help you audit your website, consider going to Moz.com or Ubersuggest, which will also refer more relevant keywords and tell you how you’re faring as compared to your competitors.
Your website’s critical pages, like your landing page, where people are going to determine whether they stay on your site or not, are also extremely important. If you have a high bounce rate, which means that people are frequently inclined to leave your website to go to another one, then your page will rank lower in Google’s page rankings. These factors are important to keep in mind when auditing your website because it’ll keep you in the loop about how your content is doing with the audience that you’re trying to target, or whether it is even reaching them or not.
Another way you can make sure your website is working to its full potential is by using Google Analytics to make sure you’re still using the most effective marketing strategies. This will help you measure how frequently people are visiting your website and where the majority of the traffic is coming from.
At SEO Resellers Canada, we know how important it is to maintain an updated, relevant online presence that keeps your audience’s interests in mind. There isn’t just one change or strategy that you need to apply in order to make the most out of your digital presence. It is a combination of strategies and constant renovations, analyses, research and audits that keep your business visible and relevant.
Hopefully, these marketing strategies for the business to business market are enough to get you started in upgrading the strategies that you are currently employing. To summarize,
- Do your research to make sure that the strategies you’re aiming to use will be effective and to get an idea of the market that you’re venturing into.
- Think of strategies directed at your target audience so that you can customize them to be the most effective.
- Work on your website because it creates an impression of your business for any first-time visitors.
- Upgrade your social media because people take social media reviews very seriously.
- Automate your marketing to streamline and make your marketing process much more efficient.
- Make sure your strategies work because the market is constantly evolving and what works now may not be as effective in the future.