4 tips for B2B businesses to manage new age marketing activities smartly
B2B businesses overcome considerable challenges when trying to market to customers. You have to focus on the attributes of your product and define how they help solve problems your potential customers may be having. You cannot overdose on tech jargon but at the same time cannot keep it too simple.
This is not as easy as B2C marketing because industrial consumers expect marketing outreach to be targeted, deep and highly information-dense. The decision makers in companies do not have time to consume fluffy advertising, they need to get to the crux of the matter without wasting time.
The CEO of your target company will need to know how your product or service will be able to fix a problem he/she experiences in running his/her company and how much he/she will have to invest. And most importantly you must have data to prove that there will be good ROI.
Here are a few tips for B2B marketers to get their message across clearly and lucidly, leverage the power of social media and walk away with the best results.
1) Invest in Content
For a B2B business, the business website is a very important marketing tool. It is one of your earliest investments in customer outreach, and provides you measurable engagement metrics. If you want more people to visit your site you need to give away high quality content and resourceful advice for free. This will help you rise to the status of an ‘expert’ who influences opinion and sets trends.
B2B blogs are written for insiders, people who are familiar with the line of work and the products and services on offer. Blog posts dig deep and flesh out technical details and specifics, and speak authoritatively.
It goes without saying that you will need to have experts on board to provide in-depth and informational content. As opposed to the early years of SEO, expert bloggers on niche subjects are not easy to access. You may have to hire a full-time technical writing team or rely on expert freelancers to contribute with blog posts, updates, tweets and tutorials.
Do not take on the full responsibility for content creation as it may take up all or most of your time. Delegate content creation to team members who have a wealth of knowledge to share, enjoy content writing and also do it well.
2) Manage Social Media Accounts Wisely
Social media accounts give immense push to your SEO efforts. They have the power to amplify your message and get it across to your audience.
The potential of social media can be leveraged only if you know which the most suitable platforms for your business are. According to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report published by Social Media Examiner, Facebook and Twitter were the preferred marketing platforms for B2C businesses whereas LinkedIn was the top choice for B2B businesses.
B2B businesses do not consider every person on the planet as a potential customer. They have a very limited, defined and targeted niche which is far easier to locate on LinkedIn than on Facebook. B2B customers like buyers, facilities managers, project managers and technical officers are more active on LinkedIn where they read news, reports and developments in their industry and network with peers. This is exactly where B2B businesses find it most profitable to be active. Engaging with targeted groups helps improve visibility and build brand value.
Do not jump onto the social media bandwagon if you do not have the time or resources to manage it wisely. Poorly executed social media marketing campaigns can bring you negative or poor publicity, drive unhealthy user engagement, and will be a waste of valuable marketing money.
Adhere to the basics of good social media marketing. Post/tweet/update regularly to drive positive user engagement. Also, you cannot forget about social media activity when you get busy. You owe it to users who like you or follow you to keep things interesting, rewarding and engaging. Your social media presence defines your brand personality and identity, so you cannot afford to adopt a lazy approach.
3) Spend Where You Must
Many startups and small businesses, especially those in B2B sector, choose to spend the bare minimum on marketing activities and essentials. But this may not always be the best option.
Spending on critical marketing tools will help your business build traction and provide you with solid basis to build better marketing campaigns.
Invest in a good Charlotte web design partner who will build a robust, flexible, scalable, aesthetic and quality business website that caters to all your needs. You also need to have marketing materials like flyers, business cards and brochures well-designed and printed on quality material. They have to reflect the business standards you aspire to achieve and stick to.
You also need to invest time and effort in planning a comprehensive marketing strategy. You have to map out your marketing initiatives and find a way to tie down everything including expenditure on website, marketing brochures, cards, ads, campaigns and branding efforts to a set of measurable objectives. You need to test each and every thing and make changes to bring you closer to the desired result.
There are various tools like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, CubeSocial and TrueSocialMetrics that help you analyze social media engagement and ROI. Free tools like Buffer, SumAll and BuzzSumo are great and give you thorough, insightful and detailed social engagement metrics. You can also automate a great deal of online activity and opt for tools like Feedly to schedule and share content.
But do read this post on Copyblogger on social media activities you must never ever automate.
4) Act Local
Unlike big corporations small B2B businesses have more stake in local marketing dynamics. You do not usually outsource key business functions like marketing, customer service or R&D to faraway countries.
Since small businesses mainly operate and function in local market settings, it will be highly beneficial if you build strong connections with the people you team up with. This includes your customers, vendors, dealers, marketers and suppliers.
If you have your ear to the ground you will be able to pick up local trends and market sentiments early on. You will also be in the know about pricing trends and payment practices. You will know who the best people are to get your job done. Armed with market knowledge you will also be able to negotiate on price and strike better deals with vendors and suppliers.
Small business will be able to drive more effective and informed local marketing campaigns when they share the same experiences and ecosystem as their customers and it will also give you a better ROI on your marketing expenditure.
Online B2B marketing efforts become easier and more profitable when there is a targeted effort to reach the right customers. If you channel your investments wisely, track user engagement closely and make necessary tweaks to your online campaign at the right time there is no reason for you to not reap rich dividends.