A position of a b2b marketer means following trends, testing hypotheses, always being one step ahead of the competition, and using advanced marketing tools. The most important task, though, is continuously working on highly competitive b2b marketing strategies.
Marketing strategies for the business-to-business market is about applying a unique set of methods and tools which leads to increased sales and total profit. But how do you define the approaches which will work for any concrete business case?
Well, we’ll find the answer together by learning about b2b in detail, namely:
Let’s jump on the topic right now.
In its essence, b2b marketing covers the methods and practices that one business applies to sell its products to other businesses. This means that b2b marketing strategies are focused on building relationships with other businesses so that its customers are business entities.
On the contrary, the b2c organization is aimed at the production of goods or providing services directly to the final consumers. Thus, b2c companies’ clients are individual people. Consequently, b2c marketing is based on completely different principles and approaches.=
These differences imply some significant b2b features, such as:
This is how the typical b2b sales funnel looks like (keep it in mind when forming your b2b marketing strategies to ensure that you catch a client at the right time, at the right place):
Some business problems (eg. low productivity, a lot of manual work, etc) can exist for years and your task is to indicate those “pain points” via competent and nonaggressive awareness methods.
The b2b marketing examples for this stage are blog posts, cold emails, social media, webinars, search results and so on.
The company understands that it’s time to solve the problem and it starts to seek contractors (in Linkedin, Google, business platforms or asks for recommendations).
At this stage, you need to demonstrate your company/service/project as a solution in all its glory to grab the interest of the client, via catchy b2b advertising, b2b email marketing campaigns, video overviews, impressive presentations and brochures, and other promotional materials.
Always remember that you’re not the only candidate who applied for cooperation. To be chosen in the final round, you should offer something unique that distinguishes you from the competition and proves that you possess expertise and skills required to fulfill the project at the highest level.
Such convincing b2b marketing examples as customer testimonials, white papers, case studies, and free trials will work in your favor.
In case of successful negotiations, you get a client which means that the applied marketing solutions have worked. However, don’t rush to breathe with relief once the contract is signed. You approached the most responsible stage – project implementation. So do your best to meet client expectations and try to retain him/her for future orders.
Make the client eager to refer to you with the next project requests and advocate your company again and again.
For this, use motivational promotions, helpful blog posts and tutorials, and exclusive cooperation terms for regular customers.
Such a complex sales cycle shows that b2b marketing is a fast-changing and intellectually sophisticated area. Although, you’re still able to work in the b2b sector with pleasure, getting great results and incomes. The only thing you need to do to succeed is to compose the right b2b marketing strategies for every stage of the customer journey.
Luckily, there are some universal channels and methods that will work great in any case.
On your way to choosing and implementing b2b marketing strategies, you have to do some significant preparatory work. It includes the following steps:
1. Market research
What is the point?
Companies conducting research before launching advertising campaigns are able to double profits.
2. Strategy & Planning
In continuation of the market research, at this stage, you conduct a deep SWOT analysis. This approach will reveal market gaps that your brand can fill with its offer and values.
3. Marketing budget
It’s necessary to have one common budget that will be distributed to specific marketing channels and goals. It’s recommended to allocate at least 10% of the company’s annual revenue for marketing tasks.
4. Setting goals with time frames
Start with quarterly goals, being guided by the OKR goal-setting system so that your goals are achievable and relevant at a concrete stage of the company’s development.
Don’t neglect the opportunity to hire a digital marketing agency to get qualified marketing support in case you don’t know where to start and how it generally works.
According to statistics, only 37% of b2b marketers use an internal marketing department to implement b2b advertising, b2b email marketing and other b2b marketing strategies. The remaining 63% work with specialized agencies.
By signing an agreement with external executors, you pick up long-term, mutually beneficial cooperation which allows you to concentrate on more important, strategic tasks.
It’s crucial to use profitable marketing strategies for the business-to-business market to remain competitive in the b2b field. How many strategies should you include? Which of them are the most effective?
We suggest mixing and experimenting. And these are our must-have solutions that you should definitely apply in 2020 and the years to come:
SEO isn’t dead, it’s a fact. Almost 90% of b2b representatives do the organic search through Google to find contractors for their projects. 57% of B2B marketers say that SEO brings more customers than any other type of b2b advertising.
By doing SEO, including keyword selection, on-page optimization, link building with grey hat SEO hacks and mobile-first indexing, you have an excellent chance to be noticed by the incredibly wide range of Google users with minimum financial investments.
Add SEO power to your content – create unique SEO texts, graphics, videos, and actively distribute them. The content becomes outdated slowly and works longer for your reputation in comparison with direct advertising.
The oft-expressed view that social networks are for b2c only is unforgivably outdated. Look at LinkedIn. Company pages work here as prestigious business cards with the possibility to display vacancies, the latest updates and blog posts. A lot of C-level executives prefer Twitter. Why not target them?
Here is one of the b2b marketing examples that deserve your attention. Amazon impresses the audience with nontrivial customer feedback:
Opinion leaders, represented by bloggers and niche leaders, nowadays have a powerful voice in favor of brands. It will be beneficial for you to make some reputable influencers loyal to your company, thus, they can recommend you to an extremely large audience.
Think about what you have in common and how you can be useful to each other. For example, if you’re a software development firm, you can suggest free development of some helpful app in exchange for the advertising. Believe me, the payoff for such an investment of your time and resources will not keep you waiting.
By the way, influencers aren’t just individuals, but entire business entities, startups, event groups, etc.
That’s how Tyler Garcia Posey, a famous American actor, advertised H&M: Tyler Posey H&M Christmas Ad.
The same as SEO, do you think email marketing is dead? No. It just has changed. Keep in mind the fact that company employees spend 13 hours in their mailboxes. Can you ignore this factor? A few years ago, $1 spent on newsletters generated almost $40.
Today successful marketing email campaigns look like personal letters and have these important features:
Don’t know what types of letters to include in your b2b email marketing strategy? Think about sending promotions, discounts, life stories of your customers or company founders, company updates and news, and educational blog posts.
By the way, we’ve recently listed some immortal newsletter types in our article 8 Must-Have Company Newsletter Types Suitable For Any Business [With Examples and Tips For Creation].
To place paid advertising, you are provided with numerous platforms:
A good idea is to start by looking at Native advertising which appears less annoying and obvious.
Chatbots are virtual assistants which perform the role of a company manager. By adding the chatbot to your website or Facebook page, you will collect valuable data about your customers for future sales and increase the conversion rate by 3 times. 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent by 2020.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a technician to develop your own chatbot. You can easily implement it with no code and technical skills using such tools as ManyChat, AirChat, or ChatFuel. To get more ideas for chatbot conversational flows, you can use the ready-made templates from Botmakers.net designed for various industries.
This approach implies adapting your strategy and sales mechanics to the particularities of the accounts you are interested in (your ideal customers). Today, it’s not the number of subscribers that matters, but their quality. It’s necessary to focus on the interests, geography, involvement, and other parameters of the target audience, which can increase sales an average of 35%.
That’s where you can’t go far without big data. Applying big data in your advertising campaign means constantly collecting and analyzing information about each user so that you can use it for successful targeting and personalized sales.
According to McKinsey’s report, 75% of what users watched on Netflix, and 35% of what they bought on Amazon, was done thanks to recommendations based on the results of smart algorithms.
Grammarly are obviously using the Big Data to make their marketing campaigns more personalized, too.
More than half of global traffic is mobile. This fact cannot be ignored. Without the mobile-first strategy, you lose almost half of your customers. We described how to adapt your site to the needs of mobile users and to boost sales in our article Mobile Optimization Strategy And Best Practices That Will Get Your Site On Top Of The SERPs.
Here are some bonus tips which will help you avoid failure with your b2b marketing strategies.
What do you do if you’re afraid of wasting money on implementing ineffective b2b marketing strategies by yourself? The ReVerb team will gladly support you by forming an actionable plan based on your business specifics, goals and requirements.
Contact us now to find details on how we collaborate with companies and the results you can achieve by working with us. We are here to make your b2b marketing strategies even more effective and profitable.