B2B marketing is hard work.
Unlike consumer purchases, most buying in B2B involves big investments. The sales process takes longer, prospects want more information before committing to a purchase, and the competition is fierce.
This means that for B2B marketing to be effective, it has to provide value at every stage of the buyer journey, often with multiple pieces of content for each stage. It has to be adaptable to changing market conditions, it has to be more educational than the competition, and it has to stand out.
Here, we give you five easy to use tips to help you stand out and get your B2B Marketing on track and bringing in leads.
Be consistently visible
Making a big splash is great in the short term.
It’s why short-term, targeted, sales activations work so well. You go in big on a short-term campaign, make sales, and then it drops off. Then you repeat it again, and again, and again.
The problem is, short-term visibility gets you nothing in the long term. And you never know how high the peak in each sales activation is going to be.
Long-term brand building (getting your website in order, investing in content for search, SEO, social) is just as important, if not more so.
By being consistent with your activity you have a better chance of being in your prospects’ minds when they’re ready to make a purchase, rather than getting lucky with a short-term campaign.
You don’t have to be everywhere.
This is particularly true with social. Most people make the mistake of trying to be on everything, even if their prospects only use a couple of social platforms.
Nobody likes the person who turns up everywhere and is convinced to talk your ear off about them and the great things they’re up to. Your B2B Marketing should be about adding value to your customers and prospects.
Everyone talks about being memorable. You’d be surprised how memorable you’ll be to a prospect if you’re the one place they know they can turn to when they have a question or a problem because you focus on solving problems rather than just selling all the time.
Also just keep in mind that you don’t have to be boring while you’re being helpful.
You might not be selling the most interesting service or product in the world, but if you’re offering value and being a bit entertaining at the same time then you’ll stick out from the crowd.
You don’t have to come up with a stupid gimmick or write a comedy sketch around the value of accountancy software, but you don’t have to be dull either. Remember, you’re selling to people, not robots.
Did you know that to be successful at B2B marketing today you have to produce a lot of content?
It’s true. Most people today start looking for new products and solutions online, long before they think about talking to a salesperson. Many would prefer to cut the salespeople out altogether.
This means you need to be filling your website with loads of educational blogs, videos, guides, infographics and other things. But, you can cheat a little bit by repurposing your content across multiple channels.
Have a long guide that you’ve just done? Break it out into a couple of blog posts.
Have 5 blog posts covering different parts of the same overall topic? Turn them into a guide.
How about recording your blogs as a video? Or breaking up some key points into social media report?
All this repurposing means you can create a higher volume of content, but without all the extra effort.
Just make sure you’re still producing content worth publishing though.
As you’ve probably guessed from point 3, there’s a lot of moving parts to a B2B marketing strategy, so have to be organised.
Map out your 12 month strategy (as in write it down), map into that your campaigns (quarterly or however often you plan to run campaigns) and tactics, plan a content calendar so you can keep track of deadlines and publish dates, plan your social media posts.
Basically, plan everything and remember, if you haven’t written it down, it doesn’t form part of the plan.
Ideally you should have be able to create a single document which outlines every part of your strategy, goals, and the tactics you’ll employ to achieve them.
One of the biggest reasons B2B marketing campaigns fail is because they don’t have the customer in mind, and they aren’t focused on solving problems.
The “Product” P in the traditional marketing principles has been replaced by, Solutions.
Campaigns which focus only on product don’t work. You’re not the only one with a product, chances are it’s not the best one out there.
But, if your campaign and content focuses on how your customers can solve problems, and how you help them, then you’ll have more chance of being successful.
These are just five things you can do to make your B2B Marketing more effective. There’s loads more.
We’ve gone into more detail on planning, running and measuring successful inbound marketing campaigns in our updated “complete guide to inbound marketing”.
Download it below.