Generating business for a B2B company is fundamentally a relationships game. B2B sales and marketing often have a big job, with closed deals commanding a much higher price tag than the average B2C transaction. B2B marketing activities can take numerous forms, with traditional channels more recently being vastly augmented by digital and automated components. In this article we’ll discuss reliable B2B marketing tips for building a smarter marketing strategy that converts.
What Is B2B Marketing?
B2B marketing is simply the strategic use of marketing materials and sales tactics to further the goals of a company selling a product or service. It relies on the basic principles of all marketing, using branding and value to create relationships with potential buyers. B2B presents a different question to the marketer than B2C however, needing to convert customers based on tailored functionality and price points to a much higher degree than the average consumer goods strategy.
A sound B2B marketing strategy includes components of tried and true methods of lead generation and communication, while constantly evolving as the marketing world continues to offer increasingly diverse tactics for reaching higher quality contacts
Who Uses B2B Marketing?
Whether a company is an enormous corporation, or small local firm, B2B marketing is used by all. Larger companies will have marketing built into their hierarchy, usually side-by-side with sales. These big teams may include individuals to manage social media, digital advertising, traditional media and advertising buying, and even internal graphic design or content creation roles.
A smaller team may have just one person responsible for all marketing activities. Even an individual working to sell a B2B product or service will use B2B marketing to promote and convert their clients.
How Can B2B Marketing Help Your Business?
B2B marketing is hugely important to building a sustainable stream of new and return business. It’s potential is endless! A strong marketing strategy can give the sales team a spectrum of tools to use when working through leads, and offer materials that a client can use again and again – reminding them of your service and bringing them back when they’re ready. Implementing the right tacts can:
- Create a database of warm leads to communicate with
- Build a knowledge base of content
- Generate long term brand awareness
- Promote executives or the company as an industry thought leader
- Develop relationships with potential clients
5 Tips for a Sure-Fire B2B Marketing Strategy
1. Develop a Self-Renewing Marketing System
Writing down a marketing strategy is a great first step. Outlining each channel, planned tactics, and intended effects greatly increases the understanding of key concepts and responsibilities. But, it’s just as important to implement a few additional steps to this process – analyzing the effects of your marketing activities, evaluating their success, and repeating the process based on results.
2. Sharpen Your Buyer Personas
Building out appropriate and exacting buyer personas can be key to creating relevant and well-aimed B2B marketing tactics that will drive higher quality leads. This means not only understanding the industry you’re angling at. Make sure to lay out specific pain points each persona struggles with, where they are active online, what industry gatherings they might attend, and what products or services are most tailored to their needs.
3. Identify Key Targets for Account Based Marketing
The B2B marketing world is buzzing about ABM, and it’s time to jump on board. The concept is basically selecting high value, warm leads that are ideal for your service or product, and marketing to them as a market of their own. Through research and artful communication, this tactic can allow you to engender deeper relationships with existing accounts or to prove your service creds to a potential new client.
4. Expand Your Thought Leadership Strategy
Much of thought leadership these days is focused on generating owned content or contributed articles in industry publications. Think bigger! A phenomenal tactic for gaining high visibility and offering the opportunity to show off your expertise is applying to speak at conferences. Instead of paying for a booth on a trade show floor, spend some time writing high quality applications and speeches for gigs to speak directly to the audience you are trying to reach.
5. Invest in Great Design
No matter what marketing activities you’re undertaking, if the materials or presentations you give are ugly, it can make an immediate, negative impression on your audience. Finding professional design help will give your brand the look and impact its missing. Whether you use a freelance graphic designer or are looking for a more holistic creative solution, finding someone who can take your ideas and review your activities to create useful and beautiful materials will make a significant difference.
6. Get Started With Marketing Automation
If you feel like you’re constantly emailing the same information to leads at the same point in the sales process, automation is perfect for you. Marketing automation systems give you the ability to upload lists of email addresses, or ideally they client will upload their info on a well-designed and optimized landing page, and then automatically communicate with that client based on their position in the funnel. When evaluating marketing automation systems, choose a system that is right for the size of your company, and that offers a level of complexity that is manageable but effective.
B2B marketing is a hugely diverse topic, with an incredible level of opportunity for your business. Leave us some comments about what’s been working for you! What B2B tactics are you excited about right now? There are so many options, no matter what product or service you’re selling, B2B marketing has solutions for you.
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