B2B marketing has changed in the past few years, especially in the last 2 years. With the onset of digital marketing, social media, and mobile platforms B2B marketing is no more what it used to be 2 decades back.
While many marketers have adapted, there are some old-school marketers who are still struggling to come to terms with these changes. Even some third world entrepreneurs are hesitant to try newness in their B2B marketing ideas.
Managing a full-fledged B2B marketing campaign might look daunting. You have content to create, publish it, and then promote it. Find and convert the leads. Send the details of sales qualified lead (SQL) to the sales department.
There is so much to do!
You cannot do everything perfectly. But you can shortlist the some of the best practices and try to implement them with perfection. Before launching your next B2B marketing campaigns, make sure these 5 B2B marketing ideas are part of it.
1. Get an inbound marketing strategy
What is it? It’s 21st century buyer centric marketing. The term was coined by HubSpot’s Brian Halligan and came into picture only in 2006. Since then, it has been adopted by several companies.
Unlike outbound marketing, where the total control was in the hands of the sales guy, inbound marketing follows a customer centric approach. 54% more leads are generated by inbound tactics than traditional paid marketing.
The users are smart and have access to a lot of information. 61% of global Internet users research products online. Buyers are looking for reviews, information, and answers to their questions that will help them make a better purchase decision. The whole inbound marketing idea is to be the partner of your targeted audience their quest for answers.
Inbound is advantageous in other senses as well. It costs less on your pocket. Inbound marketing costs 60% less than outbound marketing leads.
Inbound marketing is especially beneficial for small businesses. According to HubSpot, the inbound strategy works best for products and services that have long research cycles before purchase and are knowledge based.
When kicking your next B2B marketing campaign, make sure you do not miss on inbound marketing.
2. Start with a documented content marketing strategy
Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, and a marketer, said:
“Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.”
Content marketing is indispensable…whether it is B2B or B2C. From new startups to large MNCs like Coca Cola, Pepsi, P&G, Microsoft, and even Google, is investing in creating quality content for their audience. In fact, 69% of most successful B2B marketers have a dedicated content marketing team.
Content marketing is also an inherent part of inbound marketing. Inbound cannot exist without it. But still content need a separate mention owing to its magnanimity and wide applications.
71% of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads. There are multitudes of such stats that will compel you to make an IMMEDIATE investment in content marketing.
However, implementing a content marketing campaign is not as easy as it may seem. It requires skill and expertise. Simply creating and publishing random content that you may think is important can harm your business.
You need to have a documented content strategy. If you feel you are at a loss, do not hesitate to hire a content marketing agency.
3. Build on LinkedIn
A recent news suggests that even though Twitter is the most used for B2B marketing, LinkedIn stands as the most effective B2B social media marketing platform.
LinkedIn is undoubtedly the best B2B marketing platform available. It has professionals—managers, marketers, purchase guys, C-level guys, and everyone else important to an organization. Your B2B targeted audience is active on LinkedIn.
There are 2 LinkedIn parts that you can use to give leverage to you and your brand: your company’s LinkedIn page and your personal LinkedIn profile.
While the obvious strategy is to bring in more LinkedIn followers, it is difficult and takes time. On the other hand, you can increase your LinkedIn connections far more easily. These connections can then be exploited to promote and market your product and services.
You can also join LinkedIn groups. By discussing regularly and providing helpful suggestions, you can establish yourself as an industry expert. It will help you to get more leads and prospects.
4. Get influencers in (or influencer marketing)
If you are a business-to-business marketer, you must have heard of influencer marketing. Unconventional in its very foundation, it’s an idea most marketers do not want to indulge in.
Who would want to market to an audience—the influencers—who are not in your target? It is not related with sales or brand promotion, is it?
It turns out that influencer marketing can be helpful in more ways than you can imagine.
You start by promoting your content to a selected group of individuals who are experts and are not your buyers. These people can be analysts, consultants, bloggers, journalists—all dealing in the niche of your product or service.
The idea is to build relationship with these influencers and build creativity using them. These influencers can write blog posts, eBooks, or reviews that will help build authenticity and credibility. This in-turn will help build your brand and expand your reach.
5. Go for guest blogging. Be a contributor!
Well, you can be an influencer as well. Why wait when you can be an influencer yourself?
Guest blogging helps you in a variety of ways. It would probably take another blog post to fit. I will try to list a few of them.
First of all, guest blogging get quality traffic on your own website. The audience is also wide. You can include link to your company’s web pages in your guest blog posts. This will help you get higher Google ranking as well.
On a personal level, you are increasing your online influence and developing authority in your subject matter. If you are guest blogging on major websites, you’ll also get to know what audience think about you and your views.
However, guest blogging is not easy. It takes time and strategy to make the right pitch at the right time. You can check this ultimate guide to guest bogging by Kissmetrics.
B2B marketing is changing with the technological advancements. The way marketers reach audience and communicate with them is taking shifts. It is becoming important to start conversations with the audience and offer them solutions rather than simply selling the products.
By taking these changes into account, B2B marketers need to scale their marketing strategies to fit the need of the time.