Things are changing fast in B2B marketing. The arena’s more intense, more saturated and more competitive than ever. Competition is employing the newest marketing strategies. Budgets are rising. The B2B marketing world is tough. It’s easy to fall behind. But with the right direction, you can do right what most B2B companies do poorly – or not at all. Netpeak compiled its 6 most valuable that can be put into practice immediately.
1 – The Cardinal Rule of B2B
There’s one rule that can never be stressed enough when reaching out to your target demo – and that’s understanding your customer. Here’s an easy ABC you can use to understand who’s really behind the credit card, and ultimately how you can find out exactly what your customer wants.
- Have some empathy. Put yourself in the shoes of the decision maker on the other side. Take a pen (this always brings out our creative juices) and write down as many answers as you can for the following questions: What are they looking for on Google? What would they like to see from a seller? What triggers make them buy?
- Ask your customers. Ask them why they buy from you and play up these factors while ironing out the kinks.
- Find out where they’re hanging out. YouTube? LinkedIn? Forums? See their most commonly asked questions. This will clue you into their psychology.
2 – Easy to Find, Easy to Look at
B2B buyers do their research and judge accordingly. There is little faith involved. That’s why first impressions matter, especially on your main website and how easily it’s found. Getting an up-to-date website tailored to your target consumer and amped with the latest SEO technology doesn’t hurt anybody. In fact, it helps a lot: an optimized website gets more traffic, plain and simple.
3 – Content Magic
According to MarketingProfs, 71% of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads. HubSpot says businesses that blog get 55% more website visits, and B2B companies that blog gain 67% more leads. That means get your content out ASAP. Tell your story on your blog and share it where your consumer base hangs out. That could be LinkedIn (most likely), SlideShare, Instagram or wherever. What medium you choose depends on how well you followed the cardinal rule (see the first point above). If this seems overwhelming, remember that you can recycle content into different mediums. A year-old blog can transform into a brand new video, or presentation. Or better yet, a whitepaper, which is an increasingly credible source for B2B buyers.
4 – It’s All in the Numbers
Like we said before, there is little faith involved in this game. You must always go back to numbers. How many visitors went on your site last week? How many converted? How many bailed the last minute? Install Google analytics to get daily stats that answer all of these questions and more. The right stats help push you in the right direction – seeing what works and what doesn’t. Half the battle is finding an analytical-minded team member who can practically make use of the numbers. The other half is having the patience and motivation to use those numbers and A/B test everything till it’s actually producing a profit.
5 – Human Engagement
A trusted in-person referral still trumps the most expensive ad campaigns and marketing strategies. Humans trust humans, more so than machines . That goes with calls and in-person meetings as well. While your online presence can build trust, a subsequent human interaction often solidifies the deal. Get on the phone and get talking, or have an in-person sit-down. That means don’t skimp on a good sales person who can literally represent the face of the company.
6 – The Intelligent Outsourcer
Marketing is a huge effort. That’s why we’re in this business. Companies don’t have the time or the energy to get into every aspect of their marketing strategy. That’s why you leverage what you’re best at, and outsource what you perform poorly at – or simply don’t have the time to employ yourself. But before you reach for the $7 per hour Odesk virtual assistant slash PPC expert, consider doing some detective work. Look over their jobs, their testimonials, give them a test-run, and conduct a phone (and preferably in-person) meeting. See if they understand your direction and if they’ve worked with your consumer base before. The right individual or company can save huge amounts of time, money and energy.