Marketing strategies in many businesses are handled like war tactics. Some business focus on their competitors in order to develop marketing strategies to kill them off. While some small business basically focus on developing great product.
Great product sells itself. Right?
In tech space, marketing strategies may not sound so exciting because many great products have truly done well with less advertising. But, bank-breaking deals rarely happen without letting your target audience know what you have to offer via personal selling, by sales people, or grand salesmasters.
I was featured on an industry round-up recently -50 Experts Reveal the Best B2B marketing Strategies in 2017. I learnt a lot from other marketing experts and their hands-on contributions, which I would love to share with you.
Here are ten of the marketing strategies shared by top B2B, digital, traditional marketing experts, CEOs, CMOs and agency founders across the world. I chose them because I believe small businesses can strengthen their arsenal with these weapons for selling more almost immediately.
Inbound Marketing Strategies
The strategies we employ with our B2B clients is an Inbound Marketing Strategy using the website’s marketing (including blog posts), content marketing, and social media marketing.
With Social Media Marketing we focus heavily on LinkedIn. In order to make LinkedIn effective you have to complete daily activities and develop relationships.
Melih Oztalay CEO, smartfindsmarketing.com
Marketing Strategies Driven by Content
Content marketing: Content in the form of blog posts, guest posts, videos and podcasts are all fantastic ways to position yourself as an expert in your industry.
Podcasting is a highly effective way to reach other businesses and create a meaningful connection with a large audience, as they have you in their ears with them for up to an hour at a time. Content will also drive your marketing efforts through other channels.
Social media: Instagram and Facebook are less effective at generating awareness with B2B than with B2C, however it can be worth maintaining a presence on these platforms. Linkedin and Twitter are both very effective ways of reaching B2B customers, particularly by sharing authoritative content.
Paid Linkedin advertising: Linkedin allows you to target people based on the company or industry they work at, which means you can get your content in front of the key decision makers at target businesses.
SEO: It can take a while to achieve any meaningful results, but SEO will provide high quality traffic to your website as the visitors are actively searching for what you have to offer. A successful SEO strategy is highly dependent on the content being created and shared on your website.
Steph Taylor Founder & Director, wearewildbloom.com
Lead Nurturing to Strengthen Marketing Strategies
By focusing the sales team on the right leads and arming them with intelligence on what the leads were looking at and browsing on their site, our clients have achieved record sales volume and recaptured what would have otherwise been lost customers.
Website analytics tools such as Google Analytics have evolved quickly, become highly robust in functionality and in 2017 I anticipate this will continue. I expect Google will come out with new enhancements to Google Analytics to help companies drive more engagement online, increase leads through their websites and provide B2B users with a more customized user experience.
Social media advertising through Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest will continue to grow as companies realize their audiences are more engaged on social than other digital marketing avenues.
However, I predict Twitter will experience double digit decline in active users, become irrelevant to advertisers, and will get bought by another digital media company.
There will be a growing trend in personalized display & intelligent B2B online marketing through the use of session and user identification tracking technologies. As marketers find it more difficult to engage prospects through email marketing, it will be important to drive interest through re-targeting and capturing user online behavior to inform targeted display advertising.
Cyril Lemaire Managing Director, traktekpartners.com
Digital Marketing Tools to Strengthen Marketing Strategies
There are some great digital marketing tools that can help B2B’s in their marketing strategies. Google Trends allows you see the latest trends, data, plus visualizations on what’s trending in your area right now.
It’s a great option for planning a strategy when starting a business, researching competitors, or when you are creating a new campaign.
Another tool worth mastering is Ahrefs Site Explorer, a SEO tracker you can use to see exactly where your competitors traffic is coming from. You can see their ranking for specific keywords in Google Search, and exactly how many backlinks are going to their site. Their “Content Explorer” allows you to find the most shared content on the web as well.
Lindsey Havens Senior Marketing Manager, phishlabs.com
Facebook Advertising for Lead Generation
Facebook lead ads are one of the newer and least utilized ad formats on Facebook. They are especially valuable for those in the B2B space.
The real advantage of using Facebook Lead Ads is the ability for potential leads to fill out a form within Facebook without having to click through to a lead generation form on an external website.
Facebook will also pre-fill the user’s’ information (name, email, phone, etc.), so the amount of friction involved to complete the form is greatly reduced.
I have seen clients reduce their cost per lead by as much as 300% without a drop in the quality of leads. In addition, Facebook’s platform allows companies to automatically import their leads directly into other CRM tools like Mailchimp, Zapier and Salesforce.
Bottom line: With a mix of good ad copy and targeting, B2B companies can dramatically reduce their cost per lead while taking advantage of this still relatively new channel.
Keith Baumwald B2B Maarketer, leverag.com
Using Automation to Increase B2B marketing ROI
We use Dynamics CRM and Click Dimension to automate lead nurturing. Aside from saving marketing and sales from repetitive tasks like following up, data entry and email marketing, we also were able to improve ROI and increase MILs to MQL conversion rate.
There are few tactics that are very common in email nurturing and yet still so many marketers overlook those:
Follow-up sequence that builds upon the content they’ve read on the site or assets they downloaded. We include a call to action to bring them back to our site to watch a webinar or read the use case. Develop separate follow-up sequences for different personas — one for prospects and one for customers — because the focus changes after their first purchase.
Think of the experience you want each visitor to have before and after they make a purchase or become your customer.
Setup and monitor lead scoring that tracks every prospect’s action on the site, email opens and clicks and digital assets downloads. Once the leads hit a Lead Score threshold, pass them to the sales team for a call, chat, and closure.
These are simple in principle and at the same time remarkably powerful when taken together. It will help to nurture your new-found leads into customers, and once that happens, upsell/cross-sell with more products and services!
Mike Khorev Integrated Digital Marketer, mikekhorev.com
Buyer Personas Key to Marketing Strategies
Digital marketing in 2017 should start with developing personas for the target markets. A thorough analysis will reveal data on items such as firmographic trends, pain points that customers experience, features that they’re seeking, service expectations they have, familiarity with the product or service being offered and how soon they may purchase.
Next keyword research should be performed to understand what queries users are making in search engines. These keywords should be prioritized by search volume and opportunity they present to bring in a qualified web visitor.
Armed with personas and keyword research a marketer can begin to develop a strong content marketing campaign. The content should answer questions users have, speak to their pain points, and have a strong call to action to get the users further into the funnel.
Chris Allen Founder, firmtree.com
Growth Hacking Technique Unknown to Marketers
Sneaky trick: Here is a little trick that works extremely well. The major difference from B2C to B2B is your potential client is often mentioned on public media..
Look up your industry trade papers, blogs, social media, and read up on people or companies that are being featured. See if there is any information you can use as a way to communicate with them.
Often times there is a call to action that can provide direct emails, phone, or even social media contact info.
The most effective method is read on their particular pain point or any other difficult problems they are currently working. Then simply mention how you have the solution to their issues. This way your leads are not cold but warm.
Knowing your leads and trying to build rapport without actually meeting them will greatly increase your chances of converting them into sales.
Thomas Wooldridge Thomaswooldridge.com
Email Marketing Strategy Used by Gary Vaynerchuk
One of my favorite B2B tactics for gaining new leads was brought to my attention by Gary Vaynerchuk. Surprisingly it’s a cold email tactic but if done correctly it really works. We’ve tested this approach with several of our B2B clients.
This is it.
Most cold emails make two key mistakes. 1) the content is self-centered and does too much boasting about the sender, instead of the value it brings to the prospect. 2) the target is often a busy person who will rarely open cold emails: CEO, Founder, etc.
Using Gary’s approach, it’s far more powerful to: 1) focus your content on value. for example, send a strong case study that shows how your product helped another company. 2) target lower level execs like marketing directors or managers who are eager to impress their CEOs by helping the company grow.
Lead off the email with a statement like, Does your CEO know… and fill in the blank with the value your product offers and link to a video or case study. Make the email short and sweet and close with a polite request for 15 minutes to discuss how your product or service can benefit your target.
Allen Greer Founder &Lead Digital Marketerr, fuzeinc.com
Influencer Marketing Strategy
The best approach is to a successful digital marketing campaign today is Push/Pull Market Influence: Push your differentiation message out via digital/social marketing channels and then Pull in feedback, buy-in and loyalty from your audience by listening, engaging and creating relationships.
This two-way conversation is much more relational and collaborative than transactional.
Push/Pull Market Influence is a slower process but develops deeper, more loyal audiences who are more likely to become repeat consumers, brand influencers and ambassadors.
When you reach that level of marketing relationship, the Push is less important (lower external cost) and the Pull (increased internal effort) becomes very powerful.
The benefit to a business is you can control brand image by staying true what got you to this point: being authentically who you are and actively listening to/engaging with your audience. All factors you have complete control of.
Kyle Golding Chief Strategic Idealist, thegoldinggroup.com
These marketing strategies contain loads of insight for growth of small business. They are quite actionable. I hope you get to work promptly after digesting this piece.
Read up full article: 50 Experts Reveal the Best B2B Marketing Strategies in 2017
Catch you later!