Marketing your B2B company can often seem hectic and confusing. This is especially true since marketing is evolving at such a rapid pace these days. As a marketer you need to have a clear idea of what direction your strategy is taking your company. This means being as well educated as you can when it comes to the various marketing options you have. Below you will find the top five B2B marketing ideas you can utilize to fill your marketing funnel, increase leads, and keep sales growing…
1. Content Marketing
Content Marketing is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing for B2B companies for one simple reason – it builds trust. As a business, especially in B2B, you are looking to build a relationship with your customers. Every successful relationship starts with trust. By giving away content for free, you’re able to let potential customers know three very important things…
- You care about them being educated on the industry.
- You’re transparent on the issues.
- You’re a thought leader in your industry.
While you may know that Content Marketing is an effective form of B2B marketing, it’s another thing entirely to develop and implement a Content Marketing campaign. It’s important to start by taking a step back and evaluating your current marketing plan. What part of your marketing funnel is lagging? Maybe you have great conversions but awareness of your service is lagging. You will want to use this information to guide what type of content you’ll be creating and promoting.
Infusionsoft is a SaaS product that many small business owners use to simplify their marketing and sales efforts. They know that once they get a business owner to understand their platform, the sale is easy. But therein lies the hard part – increasing awareness of the viability of their product for business owners. To solve this problem, they created a remarkable piece of content – a quiz for people to see what type of entrepreneurs they are. With this content they could use it to spark the initial conversation and, more importantly, gain the prospects email. With that email address, they could send a drip email marketing campaign educating the potential lead on the benefits of Infusionsoft and how it could help improve their business.
Types of Content
Now that you have a good idea of how Content Marketing can help your B2B marketing strategy and how to use it, it’s time to start thinking about the types of content you will be creating. This is guided by many things: your marketing budget, team resources, brand, etc. Here is a list of types of content many B2B companies have successfully used in the past…
Get Them Aware of Your Service
- “101” Style Content:This can be incredibly valuable in educating new prospects as to how and why your service helps them.
- Templates: HubSpot (a marketing automating SaaS company) does a great job of successfully utilizing this strategy.
- Fun Content: WhenIWork (a business scheduling app) leveraged this strategy by making an “Employee of the Month” certificate builder.
- Quizzes: As mentioned in the above example, these can be a great way of helping potential customers better understand an issue they’re facing.
- Infographics: These are visually stimulating and highly sharable pieces of content that can effectively educate a prospect in very little time.
Persuade Them to Buy
- Video Testimonials: Testimonials increase brand trust and video has been proven to keep visitors on your website 2 minutes longer.
- Client Interviews: One of the best ways to brag about your company is to let your satisfied customers do it for you. They offer what you cannot – an impartial, non-biased opinion.
- Service Comparisons. These can be especially useful in convincing potential leads why they should go with your business over a competitor.
Get Them to Convert
- Webinars: Live videos are one of the top ways businesses convert customers on the web. The trick is to offer pure value from the start all the way to the end and then pitch them.
- Demo/Explainer Videos: Creating a video for potential customers to see how your service works goes a long way in convincing the lead to become a customer. DropBox was one of the first tech companies to leverage this strategy to help expand their business. Here at Digitalux we use explainer videos to quickly and efficiently explain the benefits of our different services.
- Frequently Asked Questions Section: When leads are in the final stretch of the marketing funnel, they usually have a lot of questions before becoming a customer. Quell their fears with an FAQ section on your website.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, also known as “SEO” for short, is the process of optimizing your website to rank on the first page of major search engines for keywords your target demographic is searching for.
What makes SEO an incredibly powerful tool for your B2B marketing strategy is that it blends perfectly with Content Marketing. Let’s say you were looking to increase awareness for your B2B marketing automation platform. Your target demographic is probably small business owners who are having a tough time marketing themselves but also have small budgets. What do you think those small business owners are most commonly searching for (in relation to the service you provide)? Here are some examples with search volume data from Google…
- “small business marketing ideas” – 590 average searches per month
- “marketing tips for small business” – 590 average searches per month
- “online marketing for small business” – 390 average searches per month
Now imagine creating content around those topics and getting it to rank on the first page of major search engines. Not only would it be bringing in a large amount of free traffic, that traffic would be hyper-targeted.
Steps to a Successful B2B SEO Campaign
SEO is no simple task. B2B companies hire entire internal teams just to handle the SEO portion of their marketing. Whether you decide to handle it internally or outsource it, you will want to be well aware of each step you need to take for success.
- Keyword Research: The first step of any successful SEO campaign starts with keyword research. This first entails getting a deep understanding of your target demographic and what they are looking for in relation to the service you provide. Then you can use the Google Keyword Planner to begin looking up keywords and the amount of search volume they receive.
- Choosing The Right Keywords: Not every keyword is created equal. Some are much harder to rank on page one for because of their competitiveness. You will want to dive in and make sure that you’re going to create content around keywords that have a decent amount of search volume and aren’t overly competitive.
- Creating Content: This is as simple as it sounds. Use your keyword to guide the topic of your content. For SEO, long-form written content is best. If you’ve decided to create the content internally, be sure to reference Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
- Optimizing Your Content: Once you’ve finished creating your content, it’s time to optimize it. This comes down to making sure that your keyword is in three critical places: the page title, the meta description, and once in the first 100 words of the content.
If running an SEO campaign for your B2B company sounds like too much to handle internally, contact us. We’ll design and develop an SEO campaign that’s tailor-fitted to your business.
3. Trade Shows
Event research firm, Exhibit Surveys, found that 38% of attendees visiting events say that it influences their purchase intent and 73% say the value is excellent to very good. Trade shows and exhibitions can be a great way to connect with potential customers. This is because you’re certain the people at the event are interested in what you have to offer. Or else, why would they be there?
While trade shows can be a lucrative marketing venture, you have to know how to take advantage of them properly and that comes down to three ways…
- Determine Your Goals: Much like content marketing, you can use trade shows to bolster a portion of your marketing funnel that is lagging. Let’s say you’re a new B2B company, you can use your booth to educate potential customers on your service. Maybe you’re a well-known B2B company. In that case, you can let potential customers know what separates you from the competition.
- Pick The Right Events: Your ROI is only as good as the quality of the event you go to. Make sure that you are picking reputable events where you’re sure your target demographic will be active at.
- Market Yourself Prior: Don’t put effort into planning and putting on an event only to have no one show up to your booth. Use every channel at your disposal to let people know when and where you’ll be, and most importantly, why they should visit you (give them an incentive).
- Create An Experience: Your first instinct at an event or trade show might be to start pitching new leads. However, you’ll want to hold off. Trade shows and events are more for marketing than sales. Use this opportunity to gain valuable face-to-face time with prospects and spark a relationship. Remember: all successful relationships are built on trust – gain their trust and you’re that much closer to closing the sale.
- Measure: Unlike digital marketing, which can be simple to measure, trade shows and events are not so simple. Many B2B companies hire event measurement firms such as Exhibit Surveys for this purpose only.
- Have A Post-Show Plan: Once the trade show or event is over, your work as a marketer is just beginning. You’ve most likely collected a generous amount of lead information. Now it’s time to follow-up and get them back into the marketing or sales funnel.
4. Thought Leadership
The phrase “thought leader” has been slowly increasing in popularity over the past few years and for good reason. Thought leaders are people who are looked to in specific industries for their expertise. Their opinions are valued higher than others. Having this kind of influence can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy because you will have the power of influence.
What separates thought leadership from other marketing strategies is that it tends to come from a single person at the company. This is usually the founder, CEO, or someone else who holds an executive-level position at the company. Why? Because they are usually the ones that are the “face” of the company.
Becoming A Thought Leader
Becoming a thought leader in your industry may seem intimidating but it isn’t necessarily as hard as one might think. In fact, all it takes is a little time and effort. Here are four ways to get started as a thought leader in your industry…
- Get Published: You don’t need to write a book but you do need to write about your industry. Start by writing informative articles on your company blog about your take on specific key industry issues. After a while you will be able to use this portfolio of work to pitch a blog or news website in your industry to become a contributor.
- Speak: Giving a presentation in front of others exudes authority. You are giving your expert opinion to a group of willing listeners.
- Network: Building your network leads to becoming the person others look to in order to be connected with people. This is a powerful tool to have and can open doors that no marketing strategy ever could.
- Host Events: You want to be the one people look to when it comes to key industry happenings and that includes events. Bring people together in your industry and they will start to look to you as an authority.
Co-marketing is one of the least used marketing strategies in general (between B2B and B2C companies). Despite that, it could be one of the most lucrative. At its core, a co-marketing relationship is referral marketing and referral marketing (AKA “word of mouth marketing”) is one of the highest ROI producing marketing strategies there is. Why? Prospective customers trust others who have dealt first-hand with your company rather than anyone or any marketing material from your company. This is because they are well aware that your company is trying to sell them. However, a 3rd party review is impartial.
How do you go about creating a co-marketing relationship? It’s not that hard. First, think about complimentary services to the one your company provides. What companies provide those services? Can you offer anything in return to those companies if you were to join a deal together? There are many ways a co-marketing relationship can work…
- The business you’re working with can upsell your service to their current clients.
- They can directly refer their clients to your business.
- They can whitelabel your service from you and offer it to their clients.
The above are just some co-marketing relationships that B2B businesses could join together in. The important thing to remember is that there is a value exchange between both companies and that the value being exchanged is balanced.