B2B (Business to business) marketing strategies are often described in terms of direct and outbound techniques – messages that you might send straight to clients or prospective professional buyers that you’ve identified. These kinds of techniques still have a place in your marketing strategy, however the world of B2B marketing strategies has evolved and expanded. Professional services buyers are much more likely to do a Google search to find and evaluate a firm than to check personal references.
Let’s take a look at some fundamental B2B marketing strategies that will help your business get ahead.
From marketplace research to brand research, detailed studies will help you make more informed decisions and give you an objective basis for your marketing. Through your research, you’ll know your clients better — which puts you in a position to continue to engage with them.
2) Niche-driven Strategy
One of your most important business considerations is niche targeting. Research has repeatedly shown that the fastest-growing firms tend to be specialists in a carefully targeted niche. This should be an area of the industry that you understand thoroughly, a space in which you can become a leader and an expert.
3) A High Performance Website
A successful website is the hub of your online presence and an information-rich projection of your expertise into your industry. It’s also a critical tool for building visibility and the power of the design of the site need not be underestimated. Web and graphic design can influence your audience’s perceptions and quickly differentiate a business from others.
4) Search engine optimisation (SEO)
It’s critically important that B2B companies understand the modern search engines. SEO is no longer how you can optimise your site rank by using keywords, instead it is now how about you optimise your company to be found by your target audience using different searches and on various sites throughout the search engine. This means you need to be ever-present on paid search, organic results and digital placements. It is an art of positioning your brand at every stage of the buyer journey, throughout the search results.
5) Social Media
The clear impact of social media on business has been growing for quite some time. The reason for this growth is simple – Facebook and other social media networks represent a large source of potential clients for businesses. Of course, the majority of these users won’t be B2B clients, but still, no other platform offers the same opportunity.
Business-oriented networks like LinkedIn have even more benefits for B2B and there is absolutely no shortage of opportunity to connect with potential partners and clients. For example, LinkedIn had 467 million active users in the third quarter of 2016, according to Statista. For marketers, this means that it is a goldmine of potential leads.
6) Referral marketing
Studies of referral marketing strategies in professional services have shown an emerging practice – over 81.5% of providers have received a referral from someone who wasn’t a client and the vast majority are based on a firm’s reputation for specific expertise.
By using content marketing alongside your B2B marketing strategy, you can build a brand with a widespread reputation for specialty in your area. This brand recognition can lead to referrals and new business.
8) Marketing Automation & CRM
Marketing automation replaces repetitive manual processes with automated ones through Marketing software. It brings together all of your online marketing channels into one centralized system for creating, managing, and measuring programs and campaigns. Make sure the size, complexity, and scalability of a prospective solution is a good match for your needs.
Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) is software that you may also want to invest in. Many firms use a CRM to track and organise opportunities, leads and client information. A CRM will help you stay organised and connected not matter how your business changes or grows.
9) Analytics and Reporting
A survey of 246 senior B2B technology marketing executives showed that 86% thought measuring and monitoring their marketing analytics to take appropriate performance-improvement actions was extremely important to the success of their digital marketing plans. Utilising analytics tools, technologies and detailed reporting across all your marketing activities can help you achieve a number of objectives such as improving your marketing performance, gaining better visibility into your sales funnel and understanding your conversion ‘best practices’
Analytics and testing help you truly understand what is working and what is not. Embrace them, use them.
The most important message is not to stand still – in order to remain competitive, you must constantly assess your B2B marketing strategies and find ways to improve.