When business-to-business (B2B) owners and leaders consider marketing strategy, they primarily address outbound messaging: the language used when communicating directly to clients or prospective buyers. Although outbound marketing strategy is essential in every B2B toolbox to compel and persuade prospects through the funnel, the world of B2B marketing and sales must include inbound tactics.
What is B2B Marketing
The landscape of B2B marketing has changed since the days of handshakes and brochures; it is a reasonable question to ask, “What is B2B marketing?”
According to Growl agency, a demand generation, and marketing agency, B2B marketing is marketing conducted with the goal of being heard, received, and ultimately acted upon by other businesses. Unlike B2C marketing, marketing strategy does not focus on the end-user. B2B enables the supply chain, distributors, and other decision-makers.
Key B2B terms:
Outbound marketing – when a company initiates the conversation and sends its marketing message out to an audience
Inbound marketing – a marketing technique to entice prospects through content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and branding
Lead generation – the process of attracting and converting an audience from strangers to prospects to leads, then to converting customers by using both inbound and outbound marketing strategies
10 Essentials for Successful B2B Marketing
1) Market Research
When it comes to gaining clients, the first and most important aspect is research. In B2B marketing, research is the foundation of strategy. Leveraging market research, including both secondary and primary studies, will provide insight on the prospects and the target audience. Market research data defines objectives that your strategy is built upon.
2) Find Your Tribe
More and more marketers are discovering the power of niche-driven B2B marketing. Gone are the days of successful, sweeping marketing strategies where one voice fits all audiences. Today, marketers find success through psychographics and data analysis. By translating analytics and SEO trends, compared with audience behavior, marketers can focus their strategies accordingly.
3) Fix Your Website
Today’s professional services marketplace is crowded and competitive – establishing and maintaining visibility is linked to a website in a way it has never been before. Your website is one of your most crucial assets to set yourself apart from your competitors. Instead of thinking of your website as an online brochure, think of it as the heart of your funnel. Consider how your brand should be represented, and what elements will turn prospects into leads, and leads into customers.
When rethinking your website, keep design at the forefront of everything you do. Your savvy, potential client has been to thousands of websites before yours, and they know what to expect from a well thought out site. Your homepage is often your first impression for potential clients – and 94% of these first impressions are design-related. And as a visual society, nearly 40% of visitors will quit engaging on a site if the content is not appealing and functional. Pay attention to clean and simple designs that speak to your potential clients while championing the best bits of your brand language.
Improve B2B Strategy with Thought Leadership
Content marketing, including educational content. Including content that is educational and thought leadership is vital in building credibility and driving leads. Position your company as an expert in your field and offering free downloadable content. Through gated offerings, your brand can capture email addresses for future marketing communications.
4) Create SEO Content
If your targeted businesses are unable to find you online, you run the risk of being muted before you’ve even had the chance to speak. Good content signals Google bots that your site is the place to go when potential clients are seeking answers. According to Hyper Dog Media, an Enterprise SEO agency, SEO optimization is the single most effective online marketing technique a business can utilize.
Building on-site SEO uses keyword phrases to showcase specific pieces of your website that your audience is currently searching for. These SEO keywords usually focus on your business’ particular services and expertise. The main purpose of proper SEO keyword utilization is to communicate to search engines what your website is about. The more strongly your communication with search engines is, the higher your website ranks when potential clients search for services in your particular specialty.
Another tool to utilize is Google My Business (GMB). With approximately 5.6 billion searches per day, Google is a vital platform for businesses to use. GMB is critical for SEO-related business, and a recent Bright Local GMB report saw that over 75% of all listings were found through organic search, many of which were achieved through direct and discovery searches. SEO continues to evolve as the end-all for businesses.
5) Engage on Social Media
Recent studies state that over 60% of buyers will preview the social media accounts of a new service provider before making a purchasing decision. This means that the majority of potential business clients think that your social presence is just as crucial as referrals and recommendations. Social media can be an accelerant for your business’s reach, perceived value, and personality. By interacting with clients and other companies on social media, you are humanizing your business while adding valuable connections in the process. You can also cross-reference content that lives on your website in posts on your social media accounts. The more cross-referencing and connecting that takes place on your website, the higher it will rank in SEO searches. Social media plays an integral part in B2B marketing.
When B2B marketing, it is essential to know what social medial platforms are used for. Understanding that Instagram and Facebook are primarily B2C platforms is important when considering what kind of engaging you do on those platforms. LinkedIn is the only solely B2B platform, but remembering that a potential client is also engaging on B2C platforms like Facebook and Instagram, can give you some creative flexibility when thinking about your B2B social media strategy.
When trying to snag the eye of a potential business, promoting your services and content can be easily achieved through paid media. The platforms and kinds of advertising in the digital age are as numerous as they are unique.
- Social media
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing) like Google Search Ads
- Google Display Ads and retargeting
- Publications and media buys
Each of these options offers a variety of challenges and rewards. It is important to consider what types of advertising are best suited to your targeted audience and marketing objectives. Does the business you are trying to attract spend hours on social media? If yes, then you’ve found what platform to engage on. Once again, research is the foundation of your B2B campaign.
Successful in advertising depends on specific targeting, structured budgeting, and audience-defined messaging depends on specific, structured budgeting, and audience-defined messaging. These elements must work in unison and be backed by a research -saturated strategy.
7) Gain Authority
Referrals are an essential part of lead generation, but today’s digital age has changed the nature of how referrals take place. Building a widespread reputation for your specialty (including audiences that haven’t worked with your company) will guide others when they are confronted with questions on where to go to find a specialist. Maintaining a strong Google My Business plays into expertise. Having a robust SEO presence on GMB can put your business at the top of discovery searches (searches that are related to your business and relevant to your area but not specific to your business’ name). This type of visibility can dramatically add to your company’s online profile.
Creating and possessing quality content is another huge key when it comes to maintaining a strong SEO ranking. Content is an asset that you create, and that’s the key, create. Increasingly, companies are outsourcing copy and content production as third-party production yields significant revenue. Being seen by a search engine as an expert in a field requires a commitment to quality SEO content.
8) Use Email
Regardless of technological advancements, email remains a dominant form of marketing communication. CTRs are 47% higher for B2B email campaigns than B2C email campaigns, and 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.
Email marketing must be strategic. Take time to craft a high-value, relevant email that is engaging and try incorporating gifs, videos, emojis, and images to showcase your brand’s personality. If you’re not adding value or considering the specific need of your potential client, you run the risk of being blocked or unsubscribed.
Considering the immense impact of email marketing on B2B strategies, it’s critical to earn addresses across your channels. Start by including a sign-up or pop-up on your website; if a prospect is taking the time to discover your business online, chances are they won’t be opposed to giving you their email. Offering a bit of relevant content, such as an eBook or webinar link in your triggered email prompt, yields a higher percentage of subscribers.
9) Test and Optimize
While research is the foundation, step two should be testing. Begin with qualitative methods to understand the scope of your audience and their needs associated with your research and marketing objectives. Then, determine common threads driving motivations, attitudes, and behaviors. Using this information, your brand should curate quantitative methods, such as A/B testing to optimize your strategy for conversions.
Testing, in conjunction with conversion optimization tools, can help keep your B2B marketing campaign on track. These platforms reveal which of two landing pages or emails are generating more conversion than their counterpart. Additionally, A/B testing can be utilized in SEM and social media ads. These findings will enable you to refine the language, designs, and content of your marketing.
10) Analyze Your Findings
All data tells a story – your job is to translate it into a marketing campaign. Platform integrations and pixels, such as Google Analytics, help monitor the customer journey. By monitoring and evaluating your tactics throughout campaigns, you can make adjustments to support the customer journey better. Monitoring and evaluating your tactics throughout campaigns allows you to better adjust to your client’s needs. All of your SEO, website, and content efforts need to be monitored to ensure they are fully optimized.
Using analytics will help take you from guessing to performing, effectively narrowing the target, and giving your company a better shot at hitting a B2B bullseye.
Constantly Improve B2B Strategies
In your B2B marketing efforts, the main takeaway should be to continue to improve on your processes and never become stagnant. Remaining competitive requires constant assessment and reassessment and should be done intentionally.
By using these ten tips, you can position your business for success.