In this article…
- What Are B2B Marketing Strategies?
- Seven Benefits of B2B Marketing Strategies
- The Most Effective B2B Marketing Strategies
Attracting customers for your B2B business differs from attracting customers for a business to consumer or B2C business, although you may use the same distribution channels and digital strategies. This means your marketing strategies must follow a business buyer’s journey and using new B2B marketing strategies make it easier for your business to target the correct market.
Here is a condensed guide to the most effective B2B marketing strategies that focus on what is best for your consumer and their journey from prospect to customer.
What Are B2B Marketing Strategies?
B2B stands for business to business. It refers to a business that doesn’t involve the public but involves working directly with other businesses.
For instance, if your business needs help with social media marketing, you may contact a marketing company and pay them to assist you. The marketing company makes a social media marketing plan for you to use that helps you to achieve the marketing goals you have. This exchange is considered business to business.
Marketing strategies are a collection of a business’s long-term plans to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, reach customers, and close deals. Well-executed marketing strategies should help a business achieve strong brand awareness. The key components of a good marketing strategy, often called the marketing mix, are:
- Market selection
- Product planning
Seven Benefits of B2B Marketing Strategies
Here are seven reasons you should apply B2B marketing strategies:
- Attracts B2B buyers: Effective B2B marketing strategies offer useful information to their audience to help them solve their problems, which helps attract more prospects.
- Helps you to build confidence: Having B2B marketing strategies as a part of your marketing plan confirms your direction, provides insight into your current standing, and reminds you of where you are heading.
- Maintains alignment between your marketing efforts and corporate objectives and goals: Marketing strategies help you and your employees to prioritize tasks that directly contribute to achieving goals.
- Allows your marketing plans to remain proactive: Marketing strategies help you to define what you need to achieve your goals and help you remain in control, which adds to your productivity.
- Keeps your entire organization on the same page: Sound marketing strategies help employees remain in alignment with goals and objectives.
- Bridges the gap between you and your consumers: Using the right marketing strategies can help your prospects to get more familiar with your business products and services. This makes it easier for potential customers to reach out for more information, which gives you an opportunity to close more deals.
- Increases brand awareness: Applying effective brand marketing strategies helps your business to make impressions on its prospects and this may help your audience to trust your brand.
The Most Effective B2B Marketing Strategies
B2B marketing strategies typically make lead generation a priority. Here are some of the most effective B2B marketing strategies you may consider using:
Partner With a Marketing Firm
As a small business, you may be short on outcome-driven marketing resources. Over 60% of B2B marketers use marketing agencies to handle a part or all of their marketing programs. Marketing agencies may help you to achieve your corporate goals in a fast and efficient manner.
Marketing firms give small-to-medium-size businesses a competitive advantage by providing them with access to the best marketing capabilities while applying techniques that help use their internal resources more efficiently.
You can also gain an outside perspective of how your business appears to customers and how it compares to your competitors. A marketing firm’s extensive marketing knowledge can help you identify what is working with your current marketing strategies and what isn’t.
When you add visuals such as videos, images, graphs, and charts to your content, it helps to promote brand recall and brand awareness. Visual content is often easier for customers to remember than audio or text information. In fact, adding pictures to content can help individuals recall up to 65% of the information after three days.
Captivate your audience using customized images across all platforms consistent with your brand. The best images for marketing contain an ample amount of white space and follow a theme that your brand follows. The goal is to provide images that relay information in a way that is not overwhelming or too busy. In other words, you want visual marketing materials that are quality rather than quantity. Your target audience is more likely to click on and view the content you produce with relevant images than content without images.
Graphs, charts, and infographics are the best images to use for conveying data and statistics. Adding facts and data to images gives readers something tangible to use as a reference and it can contribute to your authority as an expert on certain topics. Infographics are also three times as likely to be shared on social media platforms than any other form of visual content.
The type of content you produce as a business may directly affect your customers’ view of your brand. Content that only informs prospects about your products, services, prices, and unique value may make your customers feel as though you are consistently trying to proposition them for your benefit only. Most prospects want to know what benefit they get out of using your products and services rather than feeling like you are selling them something.
Valuable and relevant content should focus on what your buyer wants to hear. B2B organizations should begin by shifting their content to reflect the buyer’s interests rather than their own interests. There isn’t one central decision-maker in the B2B sales process. Typically the prospective business you are trying to close has a team of senior-level executives that make the decision together. This means you must sell each executive to close a deal .
Because of this, you must tailor your content creation process to reflect the interests of multiple decision-makers. Start with marketing content that creates a discussion around challenges and issues specific to the buyers. The idea is to offer the buyers a short education through your content on how they can solve their problems using your products or services.
Ask yourself if you are producing the right content and if it is relevant. When you focus more attention on the right content rather than how elaborate it is or how much of it you produce, the value of your content is likely to increase.
B2B marketing research is a great way to develop marketing strategies. You can do this by surveying aspects of your business, customers, prospects, and competitors. Research and analyze marketing that has and has not worked for your company, and adapt your marketing efforts according to new or existing goals.
There are two ways to collect data from conducting research:
- Qualitative: This research method involves having conversations with people to gain a better understanding of what their opinions and experiences are with your business. The most common ways to conduct this research are through surveys, phone interviews, focus groups, and face-to-face interviews.
- Quantitative: This research method is based on the volume of responses rather than the quality of feedback. You can send out surveys online, through the mail, or by telephone with the same set of questions to analyze a large quantity of data about your business.
You may use both forms of research because each of them has a special purpose for marketing. For example, quantitative research helps you to understand what is happening in the marketplace, and qualitative research helps you to explore why it is happening.
It is important to understand that markets change consistently, and with that knowledge, you must conduct research regularly to stay ahead of changes in the market. Researching allows you to adjust your services and messaging to keep up with the needs of your customers. This helps your business to grow and become more profitable.
A B2B niche is a clearly defined segment of a larger market. Typically, these niche prospects have particular needs that most of the market does not have. These needs are not widely available or accessible to the market. The goal is to minimize competition and gain loyal clients through services that only your business can offer.
To achieve this coveted spot in the B2B market, you need to appeal to your customer base through careful marketing efforts that position your company as an unbeatable leader and expert in your industry.
To remain successful in niche marketing, pay close attention to the needs of your target market while solving their problems and providing excellent customer service.
You also must be open to new opportunities that allow you to expand your services and make them better for customers. Once you secure niche customers through your marketing efforts, they are likely to become lifetime customers due to your expertise, dedication to improvement, and willingness to meet their needs.
There are two ways to market with social media. The first way is to include paid ads on social media. The other way is to produce unique, brand-consistent content for social media. Focus on social media sites that work best for your business. Some valuable social media channels beneficial for B2B marketing are:
- LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms for B2B marketing. It allows you to establish connections and build relationships with prospects. With LinkedIn you may also post targeted ads to individuals within specific demographics, industries, and companies.
- Twitter makes it easy to start conversations with your customers. Using this platform allows you to answer your customers’ questions, solve their problems, and communicate with your customers.
- YouTube is great for any video content your business may have. You can use YouTube to increase your site traffic by running an ad campaign, viewing insights, and inserting links into your videos.
- Facebook pages help customers connect with your business and prompt them to action.
Using Social media can improve your branding and authority, which helps reel in buyers unsure about using your services.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Many B2B marketing campaigns do not have email messages filled with images or designs. Instead, B2B emails contain text that is informational, engaging, and powerful. Include easy-to-read words in your email and give the prospect a call to action (CTA). Be sure to include your logo in your marketing emails for brand recognition.
According to the Nielsen Norman group, only 16% of online readers read text word for word. Most users scan for important information only. Practice making your emails scannable by using these following suggestions:
- Use meaningful subheadings.
- Include bulleted lists.
- Include one idea per paragraph.
- Add half the word count or less than conventional writing.
Image via Flickr by Nicholas Tart
A Professional Website
Building a professional and easy-to-use website is essential for B2B businesses. Your customers want to see how you can solve their problems and what services or products you offer when they visit your website. Successful B2B websites need copy that is pertinent to the customer’s needs, offers that are valuable, and a structure that is highly functional. A professional website is about your buyer’s needs, and your buyer’s needs will change and develop, which means after you launch your site you have to continue testing it.
Here are things that your professional website should provide your prospects so they can determine what value you provide to them throughout their buying process:
- What your business is about
- Who your services are for
- What’s included with your services
- What makes them good
- Answers to your buyers’ frequently asked questions
- An explanation of why they should choose you over your competitors
Although a professional website doesn’t automatically result in sales, you can increase your chances of attracting more qualified leads using SEO principles for your website. Optimizing your website helps lead prospects to your business who are already looking for services that you offer.
Here is an example of a B2B landing page that is simple yet effective:
Image via CopyPress.com
Search engine optimization (SEO) is key to the number of leads you generate for your business. Your website and other content should show up on the first page of search results so that your leads can begin the buying process and enter your sales cycle. You want people to know about your brand and the best way for them to learn about your brand is through your website. This means they need to be able to search and find your website easily.
When you optimize your site, you will need to review your pages and add tags, keywords, titles, meta descriptions, and other optimization tools. The results pages that capture the most traffic are the first three search results pages, which is why it is best to show up on one of these pages. It takes time to optimize your site correctly through trial and error. Many B2B businesses also opt to have a professional to search keywords for them and optimize their sites.
B2B referral programs should be formal and offer your most satisfied customers the chance to recommend your services or products to their business associates.
Your marketing team should create a cohesive referral program that implements new streams of revenue and high-quality leads. For example, you may consider adding a referral bonus for current clients when they refer an interested prospect who pays for your services.
Include information about your referral program on your website and on other marketing materials to entice your clients to submit referrals.
According to Influitive, customer referrals are often the best source of B2B leads because people are four times as likely to purchase a service or product when referred by a friend.
Good referral programs allow customers the chance to:
- Connect to your company.
- Engage with your product.
- Get excited about referring their friends.
A good way to do this is through advocate marketing that consistently engages your best customers and offers them rewards for supporting your brand. You can think of this as a special community for your top users.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Your ad can pop up the moment someone is looking for your products and services by using pay per click or PPC search ads that make your website easy for prospects to find. Over 70% of B2B customers research their purchases using search engines. This is an easy way for your company to attract potential buyers and gain them as quality leads. PPC motivates individuals to visit your site using short targeted ads that grab the attention of your target market.
PPC campaigns work for you and your company 24 hours a day, and they allow prospects who are already looking for your services to find your company.
Spend 10% of Revenue on Marketing
According to a Sagefrog report, B2B companies should spend an average of 10% or more on marketing efforts. As market demands become increasingly more competitive, companies devote more resources to marketing and sales efforts.
Marketing may also be more expensive as the digital world continues to develop with automated and advanced marketing strategies, interactive content, personalization, and new user experience requirements demanding a larger piece of a business’s budget to accomplish.
More than 50% of web traffic takes place via mobile devices, so using a mobile-first strategy can help your business to gain a significant number of leads. There are billions of mobile users that you may reach using mobile marketing strategies. Your business may take advantage of the opportunities mobile media consumption presents such as:
- Ability to reach a broader market: People of all ages use mobile devices with about 3.6 billion worldwide accessing the internet through various mobile devices.
- Accessibility: Mobile devices such as cellphones and tablets go where the user goes. This means they may access the internet at any time, multiple times a day.
- Interactive mobile advertising: Mobile apps ask for the user to get involved by sharing links, commenting, “liking” a post, or clicking certain areas of a video.
To make sure you are using the mobile-first strategy, you first have to make sure your webpages are accessible on any mobile device. Optimize your webpage for the biggest screens down to the smallest devices.
If you are interested in reaching out to your existing customers and prospects, you may invest in mobile apps to increase client engagement and boost sales. Plan ways to re-market your app to engage clients continuously.
B2B buyers use a variety of channels to explore their purchasing options. The web, social media, and email are the go-to channels marketers use to produce and market content. These channels are popular and can be effective, but there are more channels and methods of distribution that you can use to reach your audience.
For example, you may use additional channels such as:
- Content marketing
- Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
Your organization should determine what content your buyers prefer to consume and focus on how to make your content accessible on those channels. Marketing messages become more effective when they are available across many channels. Ensure that your business uses the channels that your buyers use. Using multiple channels increases your organization’s visibility, and you are more likely to gain prospects using this marketing strategy.
Addressing Your Customer Journey
Use customer insights that you gather to create buyer personas and curate content valuable to customers at every stage of their journey. Each buyer persona should have a marketing strategy created for it to connect, engage, and convert prospects effectively.
To do these things, you must deeply understand your customers, including their specific pain points, challenges, and their content preferences. You can take most of these items from the research and analysis portion of your marketing tactics and develop a strategy that addresses your customer journey.
For those in B2B marketing, market demands and tactics shift almost daily. To keep up with the complex world of B2B marketing, you need marketing strategies that adjust to your customer’s needs and journey. Though there are several types of marketing strategies, you may adapt these ideas to fit your business’ unique objectives. This may accommodate your needs and the needs of your target audience.