Guest post by Sumeet Anand.
B2B marketers are expected to wear many hats. They must manage multiple campaigns simultaneously, while working effectively with partners across the globe. They need to know what content is promising results and what isn’t. They need to manage their marketing budgets prudently and make sure every dollar is spent wisely.
For B2B marketers, staying on top of the latest digital marketing strategies is not just a job requirement, but a matter of corporate survival. Fortunately, there are some strategies that are so effective they’ve become, or remained, relevant and useful across industries.
Here are eight B2B marketing strategies that can make a big difference today.
1. People won’t buy what they don’t understand.
With B2B marketing, it’s all about value.
People have lots of choices. An enterprise customer who needs to purchase a new piece of equipment or software, evaluating similar offerings, will (most often) go with the vendor who can prove they’re the best.
So, before pitching your product, your first step should be to establish your unique value proposition.
- What makes your product or service more valuable than your competitors?
- How can you prove the quality of your product?
- What about the customer experience?
- Do you provide a warranty, or other way to make your brand the “safe” choice?
Whatever it is, make sure that your B2B marketing strategies are centered around explaining how and why your company provides more value than any other option.
Once you know your value proposition, make sure that it comes across in every aspect of your B2B marketing strategies, from social media posts to email marketing automation.
Don’t beat around the bush or try to be too clever; just be clear about what makes you stand out from the competition and what makes you worth choosing.
2. Take your launch seriously.
Your B2B brand launch is a big deal. (So is every new product launch thereafter.)
You’ve spent months, maybe years, polishing the brand you want to put out into the world. So, when it comes to launching your business, it’s vital to be strategic about how you handle PR and media relations.
Develop a comprehensive media blitz and public relations plan to get the word out to influencers and decision-makers in your market. Integrate your PR plan with a blog or other content that can help drive credibility and trust among visitors.
People now expect instant access to whatever information they need—the sooner they can find what they’re looking for at any given time, the better for your brand.
Also, make sure you have a backup plan for potential snags.
Build in time to test your product or service in real-world situations. Launch early enough so that you can make adjustments based on initial reactions from customers and identify potential problems before you have a full rollout.
Finally, establish a system for tracking progress and identifying opportunities for improvement as you go along. Your launch is just the beginning of an ongoing process of continual improvement.
3. Influencer marketing is a bigger deal than you realize.
Sure, influencer marketing is more common in the B2C world, but it is still a powerful tool for B2B marketers.
It is different from the consumer version because it focuses on creating trust between brands and influential people in their industries. The goal is to connect with industry leaders and have them recommend your service or product to their network.
One common form of influencer marketing in B2B is a collaboration with knowledge leaders. We often see specialists or experienced professionals deployed to recommend a service or product. This is especially common in the SaaS world—you see experts in the field recommending and endorsing products all the time!
But it’s not just about getting someone famous to endorse your product; you want to get someone who actually understands your product and its value proposition, which means they’re able to speak authentically about why they use it and recommend it to others. For example, if you sell design or animation software, you will need to work with professional graphic designers because they have the capacity to understand your product and audience.
You also see certain collaborations arise between industry leaders and brands, as well as the development of joint ventures. Additionally, you may consider organizing a webinar or masterclass together with an influencer whose audience you want to reach.
More and more B2B marketing companies choose to place guest blogs or use sponsored posts or interviews on high-authority websites that have been around for years and already have a large following of engaged customers ready for conversion.
4. Don’t ignore the rising power of voice search.
That means your website isn’t just competing with other websites for search results—it’s also competing with Amazon products and Google listings. To stay ahead of the pack, look for tactics to start optimizing your site for voice search results now.
Here are some ways to get started:
- Voice searches tend to be more sentence-based than text searches. Therefore, include long-tail keywords—keywords that contain three or more words—along with shorter ones.
- Make sure that your brand has a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube as well as video sharing sites so businesses can find you when they conduct voice searches through those channels, too.
5. Account-based marketing is here to stay.
With account-based marketing, you target only high-value accounts upon email verification. You can move decision-makers through the funnel faster by presenting them with messaging that speaks directly to their needs.
For complex, high-value products and services, it can be much more effective than traditional marketing tactics that require you to reach hundreds of people to get ten interested buyers. And because ABM is so highly targeted, it also aligns your own internal processes better. Once you’ve identified your target accounts, everyone across your organization can work together toward converting them.
However, remember—from sales to marketing to product—all departments need to be on the same page when it comes to your most important accounts.
Here’s how ABM can help you:
- Sales team: By focusing on your most valuable accounts first, your sales reps will spend less time chasing low-quality leads and more time with high-quality prospects who are more likely to convert into customers.
- Marketing team: By targeting specific accounts with hyper-relevant messaging, marketers can build more meaningful relationships with those organizations and move decision-makers through the funnel faster.
- Product team: Having insight into which features and functionalities are most important to specific account types allows product managers to build a roadmap that will not only delight current customers but also attract new ones.
6. Omnichannel can be a game-changer in B2B marketing.
Omnichannel success, like web presence optimization, isn’t just about being present on as many channels as possible—it’s about fully integrating them.
When your sales, marketing, and service teams work together to create a seamless experience that meets customer needs at every touchpoint, that’s when you’ve achieved true omnichannel success.
The key is to focus on speed, transparency, and expertise.
- Speed: It involves giving customers instant access to information when, how, and where they want it—from always-available video and live chat, to convenience such as one-click purchases. Don’t waste your customer’s time or make it hard for them to complete a purchase. If you make it easy and eliminate friction, they’ll reward you with loyalty.
- Transparency: It helps customers understand all their options and the total value of a solution, including the cost and benefits. Transparency can be as simple as offering an online product comparison tool. That way, you demonstrate that you’re not just trying to sell them something but educating them so they can make the right choice for them.
- Expertise: Offering expertise will help your customers trust you as a go-to partner for advice and solutions.
Showing off your expertise can include case studies, customer success stories testimonials, industry research reports, product white papers and guides, videos with real experts talking about what matters most to your customers, etc.
7. Predictive analysis is changing the B2B marketing landscape.
Predictive analytics are changing the B2B marketing landscape and for good reasons. Predictive analysis is a form of artificial intelligence that uses statistics and data mining techniques to forecast the likelihood of future outcomes. In today’s data-driven world, B2B marketers are using it to gain a deeper understanding of their customer’s buying behavior and how to increase sales.
Here’s how predictive modeling can benefit your B2B business:
- Enhanced productivity: Predictive analytics allow you to make informed decisions about what content will resonate best with your target audience. Having a solid understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences can dramatically improve your productivity and increase conversions.
- Reduced costs: Investing in predictive analysis can help you save a lot of time, money, and resources. This is because you won’t have to spend time addressing customer issues or problems that might occur in the future. This, in turn, reduces training costs for employees and increases their job satisfaction.
- Fewer resources: You need fewer resources to implement predictive analytics than traditional marketing strategies. Predictive analysis allows marketers to track, manage, analyze and optimize customer interactions across different channels, which means they no longer have to rely on multiple tools or platforms.
- Optimized marketing: Predictive analysis allows you to better understand individual customer behaviors and patterns. By identifying which customers are most likely to make a purchase, you can optimize your marketing efforts. For example, you can share content that resonates with the customer on the channels they prefer, in turn boosting your sales collaboration and improving ROI.
- Better quality: Using predictive analysis, marketers are able to identify high-quality leads much more efficiently than before. This helps them focus on prospects most likely to convert into paying customers.
- Better risk management: Predictive analysis helps you identify risks. It allows you to examine your brand reputation and customer sentiment, so you can better predict future trends along with potential threats or opportunities.
8. Augmented reality can generate more B2B leads.
The concept of augmented reality is fairly simple. You use high-tech visualization to show off what your product can do or how it works. AR is a great way to improve your marketing by offering 3D experiences to let your customers try out products without leaving their homes.
Here’s how you can use AR to generate more leads:
- Showcase your product in 3D: You can incorporate AR into your website, ads, and social media posts in order to give potential customers a better idea of what you offer.
- Make your product interactive: You want people to be able to see what you’re selling, but it’s much more compelling if they can actually interact with it. With AR content on your website, potential customers can move around your product and get a feel for how it works before they buy.
Finally, don’t forget to send thank you emails to customers when they buy from you. There are many platforms that provide you with responsive email templates that you can use to send emails.
It all comes down to understanding your audience and providing them with what they’re looking for. The more clearly you define your B2B marketing goals, the easier it will be to reach them.
Sumeet Anand is a B2B Marketing Expert and Founder at Marveta. He helps brands and businesses generate leads with his top-notch content strategies and is featured on various major media publications across the globe. You can connect with him via LinkedIn and Twitter.