On the outside, marketing may be perceived as a straightforward and smooth industry. Yet one of the biggest challenges marketers face is in the art of garnering traffic and leads. This was the case back then and it remains the case even now.
In reality, marketing is a pretty complicated field. Despite having constant objectives, the strategies adopted for accomplishing them remain pretty inconsistent. No strategy is a permanent weapon, only a temporary trend. What’s “in” today will probably be outdated in a matter of a couple of months while what seems passé now might just become the rage tomorrow.
This makes staying up to date on all the present and future trends imperative for marketers. In our previous blog, we’ve discussed some of the popular B2C Marketing strategies that companies generally employ. In this blog, we are going to highlight what the B2B Marketing strategies that businesses adopt are all about.
B2B marketing refers to the practices and techniques adopted by businesses to market their products and services to another business. This form of marketing is applied when the output of one business is necessary for another business to enhance and preserve their activities.
An example of B2B Marketing strategy includes Xerox.
Using humor as a tool Xerox was able to rebrand itself. No longer wishing to restrict itself to hardware, the platform also hoped to promote its business services. Its ‘Work Can Work Better’ campaign enabled the platform to advance itself and enter the digital age. The platform introduced an advertisement showing businessmen drawing under their workload and Xerox helping him by offering a range of business solutions.
Listed below are 10 effective B2B Marketing strategies and insights on how they can be executed.
Conducting competent research before introducing marketing strategies is a prerequisite for every B2B marketing process. This research sheds light on business on what their clients require, how their requirements are impacted by the environment and how their strategies can be hindered by the competition.
Researching multiple sources: It's lucrative to focus on every research aspect, including studies obtained through research firms, academics, findings gained from industry and government, interviews, or social media content. Reports highlighting PESTLE Analysis or SWOT Analysis can be developed for elucidating the discoveries.
Maintain a research archive: The more organized the research the more powerful it would be. Research should be systematized and made accessible via a cloud-storage library so that all the data can be accessed by the company.
Who isn’t partial to personalized attention? We are all likely to invest our time and energy into companies that make us feel special and offer us individual attention.
This makes niche targeting an excellent strategy for B2B marketing. Every consumer seeks to discover an area that offers us customized solutions and experiences.
The more specialized a platform’s marketing approaches are, the more effective they become an excellent differentiator, setting the business apart from the competition.
To make this strategy work it becomes integral for the company to :
Clarify how they stand out: The platform needs to determine how they can make their solution stand out from the remaining market and develop an intriguing experience to promote a long-lasting relationship.
Emphasize on thought leadership development: An excellent approach is adopting content channels such as industry blogs, podcasts or webinars to establish oneself in a leading position in your industry and sharing the content among different channels to make it popular.
No user is interested in scrolling through an outdated website. If they see that a company’s website hasn’t been updated in months, they might lose interest in the platform. So making the website engaging and interesting becomes a significant advantage.
Adding customized pages: Platforms can add additional pages, customized for particular audience segments. These pages can also display what new updates the platform has to offer, share unique reports or documents and even provide relevant offers.
Regularly add fresh content: The most obvious and important approach is of course to regularly update fresh content on the website. Be it new blog posts, or media content, the regular content publication should be done and a record of it maintained.
Updating the design: We can’t underestimate the power that a website’s design holds in shaping the perception and recall ability of the users and in making the platform stand out.
Enhance usability: The website’s availability across devices, from Android to IoS is one of the foremost considerations that need to be ensured.
The foremost goal is that your target audience should be able to discover your site, for you to gain leads and traffic. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works its magic.
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Although SEO primarily focuses on two components - On-site and Off-site SEO.
On-site SEO adopts targeted keyword phrases for conveying relevant concepts on your site to the website's users. These keyword phrases range from the company's expertise to their services.
Off-site SEO is basically the links taking users to the business's website, either via guest articles published in different publications or via external engagement. This can enhance the authority of the website.
Useful approaches for onsite and offsite SEO can be adopting website SEO plug tools such as WordPress’s Yoast. This tool offers a useful way of learning how to enhance the whole of the content appearing on the website of the business. Another approach can be leveraging other SEO tools like SEMRush which enable the users to gain knowledge of SEO’s best practices as well as on how keywords are being used by the competition.
Popular B2B Marketing Strategies
Although advertising may be a relatively more expensive marketing strategy, it is also a highly targeted one, enhancing its outcome.
Ranging from the more expensive approaches like Facebook Ads and Google Adwords to the tools offered by other social media sites like Linkedin, which is ideal for promoting relevant content within our network or Twitter, where content can be shared, news and updates can be given and even one - to one interaction can be carried out with customers, there are many sources that can be leveraged for carrying out advertising.
Some points to be kept in mind while carrying out online and social advertising are :
Examining the ad formats and channels: It is essential that platforms enlighten themselves regarding the choices they have available and examine the various channels, their prices, and features prior to investing in them.
Try out short campaigns: Choose a couple of ad formats and launch a small campaign within the range of the platform's budget and examine the outcome received. Make use of this research to compare and determine which of the ad formats produced the maximum outcome and to enhance success prospects.
This marketing strategy is all about searching among our professional network and determining where we can enhance our popularity and visibility. It is advisable to exercise customer referrals from the initial stage. Both paid and organic approaches can be adopted to gain referrals.
Certain time periods can be determined to discern customer satisfaction and to extract positive referrals from satisfied consumers.
These referrals can deliver a significant rise in reach and reliability.
Incentive referrals: Set up a referral program keeping in mind the available budget for offering incentives to customers for recommending our product or service to their family or friends. For instance, Disney plus Hotstar offers a one month extra premium incentive for users who manage to get their friends to subscribe. The incentive is offered to both the user and the friend that subscribed owing to their invite.
Expanding network: The more organizations we engage with the better. Platforms should engage with industry organizations and try to enhance their referral scope. Following up after each engagement to strengthen the impact you've made is also a crucial point to be kept in mind.
CRM softwares forms a unified platform, bringing together marketing, sales and customer support operations to enhance the company’s policy, process and its people, bringing them onto a single platform. Some popular CRM softwares include Zoho, Agile CRM, and HubSpot CRM.
This enhances both marketing and sales approaches allowing companies to properly track what their customers do, what they purchase, how they stand apart, so that a customized strategy can be developed for targeting them.
But how can we extract the maximum benefits from CRM?
Experiment with various CRM platforms: There’s no shortage of CRM systems, infact there’s an entire range of them which we can learn about to determine which ones would be the most suitable for us.
Make it a weapon to induce harmony: Rather than narrowing down the CRM system to be used for a particular department, it can be adopted as a weapon across the platform, offering data to help all areas from sales, marketing, service experience to product development.
While each of the above mentioned marketing strategies may definitely seem highly favourable yet they also require quite some amount of time. This is where automation steps in, allowing for removal of those monotonous manual procedures occupying our time and allowing for us to save our time and energy. In addition, even a centralized system can be introduced to keep track of all marketing strategies.
Yet there are many factors that need to be kept in mind to succeed through marketing automation.
Comprehensive research : With a range of marketing automation approaches, it is preferable to take out the time to carry out our research, learn and experiment with all these approaches prior to indulging in them. We also need to keep in mind that the approach we take up is in harmony with our marketing requirements and the size and state of our platform.
Detect the time saving areas: How about determining the best areas where we can benefit from saving time? From Customer Relationship Management to social media to email marketing, we can analyse and determine where exactly automation would offer the maximum perks.
There’s no use of making constant investments without having an idea regarding the outcome or result. This is where marketing analytics steps in.
Be it the platform’s website, their automation, social media or their online ad campaigns, the outcome needs to be measured for every investment made for B2B marketing. This can be done using analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Bitly or SEMRush.
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Establishing metrics for interpreting: It is best to determine a specific metrics set that we wish to measure to test for ROI prior to engaging in analytics tools. This can be the number of shares, click-throughs, website visits or views.
Incorporate alterations in relation to these insights: As per the response you receive by using the tools, you can incorporate relevant changes into your website and enhance the outcome.
You might assume that Influencer Marketing is all about making popular influencers make social media posts. Yet the strategy can actually prove to be a highly effective weapon.
The steps that need to be abided by are -
Identify the influencers: Firstly the influencers need to be determined. It's not even indispensable for them to have a massive social media following what’s more important is the way they are perceived. They need to be perceived as leaders.
For instance targeting micro influencers - i.e people having social media followers below 10,000, can be a lucrative approach for identifying people having an established community and a great degree of relevance for the target audience of the business.
Select the marketing activities: The next step after identifying investors is to determine the marketing activities that would be an advantage for both the company and the influencer. For instance, webinars is an interesting approach for making use of the present community of the influencer and expanding brand credibility within it.
One example of this influencer marketing strategy is Amex’s “Love My Store” campaign. Having bloggers Emily Henderson and Grace Bonney, both of whom hold a committed following of small business owners in the lifestyle sector, the campaign led to the distribution of almost 400,000 Amex store window stickers as well as nearly 5 million YouTube impressions.
This was made possible by both Bonney and Henderson developing designs and content for encouraging business owners to place Amex signage in their store windows. The project was documented through social media platforms by the influencers, leading to distribution among communities that were influenced by the network.
Instead of engaging in infographics or blog posts, Cisco introduced an interesting and refreshing B2B outreach experience by launching the SuperSmart Security graphic novel.
With this graphic novel, Cisco was able to relate to its audience the severe fact that security is speedily revolutionizing and there’s a requirement for advanced security without distressing them.
Being accessible in a range of different languages, the graphic novel wasn’t merely informative but also exclusive and artistic. The novel allowed Cisco to elucidate intricate tech concepts by presenting an easy to comprehend document that can simply be shared among the relevant people.
Instead of alarming the B2B clients into immediately connecting with Cisco, rather it merely prompts them into continuing to keep track of updates.
The end conclusion is that even with a dire and severe topic, it is possible to stand out and intrigue your target audience by adding an innovative touch to your content.
These are just a handful of the strategies that B2B Marketing has to offer. We hope that this blog managed to offer you an insightful overview of this topic.
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