Essential B2B Marketing Strategies
In B2B marketing, it is common practice to mainly consider direct and outbound strategies for lead generation and pipeline fill. The approach is targeted, but takes a lot of time, energy, and a very dedicated sales and business development team. Although this strategy is recommended, your go to market plan for B2B should expand passed traditional outbound.
In B2B, todays prospective buyers of your product and/or service are searching on Google, LinkedIn, and social media. Having a strong web presence in both paid and organic search will pay dividends in the future in your lead generation and extend your sales pipeline, not to mention shorten the sales cycle as the prospective buyer is already searching for a need that you can fulfill. Below we examine a few more tips for strengthening your B2B marketing strategy:
1) Website Optimization
Your website is one of your most crucial assets. This is where your customer goes to vet you versus your competition, where you can build trust and credibility, and also where they can quickly eliminate you as a candidate to solve their want or need. A website is never complete. Consistent optimization to improve bounce rate, time on site, and ultimately conversion is critical to your overall lead generation performance. Update your site content weekly with new articles, update your home page and inner pages every 2-3 weeks with new looks, and test your conversion, bounce rate, and time on site with each test to continually improve your conversion rate optimization.
2) Social Media Presence
In B2B marketing, many have a lackluster social presence due to their focus on outbound campaigns and direct messaging. However, even with just taking the outbound approach, a prospective customer still will look at your site and may look at your social media presence – especially within LinkedIn and Facebook. Just as we have stated with being active in content, ensure you are posting your content within your social media pages. Be consistent with 2-3 posts a week, post articles, post thoughts on any newsworthy events, and ensure your voice is on brand.
Advertising is a good transition from social media. Over 80% of companies use social media or social media advertising, but this is avoided many times with B2B marketing. Social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, allow you to target specific industries or verticals, sizes of companies, and roles within the company. And this is just one of the spokes of the wheel with an omni-channel approach. Ensure you identify referral traffic opportunities, paid search, social, programmatic, as well as traditional marketing strategies such as tradeshows, sponsorships, radio, TV, and yes . . . even print with certain thought leaders and trade publications that have a strong digital presence.
4) Referral Marketing
Referral marketing is essentially word of mouth advertising, and it has never been more effective and more important. Utilizing referrals from both you current customers as well as thought leaders can be one of your most cost-effective ways to increase your customer base. Develop your current customers as advocates through not only great customer service, but incentives as well. Outside of your current customers, develop relationships with other thought leaders in your industry, see where there are fits for referral relationships, and provided content that the respective thought leader can use for their own purposes as well.
5) Messaging & Unique Value Proposition
We covered the importance of testing and optimization in part one of our Essential B2B Marketing Strategies, which directly ties into your customer personas and how they interpret your offering, your value, and how you are different versus the competition. Take a hard look at your offering, what makes you differentiated within your industry? Build out your unique value proposition as to why customers should choose you and add different angles on how to deliver your message. This is where you can test what type of message resonates with your customer base.
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