B2B or business-to-business marketing is the process where one business markets their products or services to another business as opposed to individual customers. The decision-makers of this business are usually the target market of a marketing campaign instead of ordinary people. Whether you’re a micro-business or an SME, you need to employ the right tactics and strategies in order to have a cohesive marketing approach that will land you the much-needed sales you’re after. This approach should involve a variety of factors which are considered simultaneously. Wondering what they are? Let’s take a closer look.
Website design and build
Most small businesses start with a website. And in this day and age, where digital tools are at practically everyone’s fingertips, this is the right approach to take. Think of your website as the proverbial sign above your front door or your business card. It needs to be attractive, catchy, informative, user-friendly and functional. It would be best if you had calls-to-action (CTAs), a flawless design, informative copy, and most importantly, your website’s various functionalities (e.g. a booking form) should work optimally each time. You can track your website’s performance through various available mapping tools to see how much time users spend on it, which pages they visit most and where they may get stuck in a process.
In addition, ensure that your website is well-optimised for keywords and performance in terms of loading speed so that you not only rank high in search results but also don’t alienate or lose out on B2B customers who are visiting your site for more information. Finally, you need to optimise your website for mobile use because the business world is primarily online, and thatwill ensure that you catch every possible customer.
Social media is a huge marketing channel to exploit in your B2B endeavours. It has a massive global audience and an ever growing number of individuals and businesses are keeping up with their favourite brands online by following their social media accounts. The critical point here is to ensure you use the appropriate platforms for your business, as not all will suit your purposes. Whereas a micro merchant will use Instagram to showcase their goods, these merchants are typically not B2B but are rather B2C (or business-to-consumer) organisations. Working B2B, you need to be on the right platforms. These may include LinkedIn and Q&A sites like Quora, where professional exchanges can take place.
Remember the 80/20 rule: publish as much as 80% of informative content on your selected social media platforms and leave the remaining 20% for promotion, marketing, special deals and more. That is because customers (even B2B ones) get fatigued by marketing that simply tries to sell to them. The name of the game these days is adding value, which comes through high-quality content. Offering content such as white papers, downloadable resources, blog articles that answer particular queries, and more can be a great way to strengthen and solidify your social media offering.
Paid ads / Google AdWords
Paid adverts should be another part of your marketing toolkit, and that involves paid advertising on places such as Google and social media. You necessarily need to set aside a budget for your targets, and you also need to ensure that you refine, measure and monitor the success of your ads while revising them where possible to ensure maximum efficiency for your marketing spend. Google ads appear at the top of search results on a Google results page and compete with other businesses’ ads for certain keywords.
Therefore, you need to target the right keywords and prior research is essential. In addition, there are paid social media ads which you can implement as well. However, keep in mind your target audience and where they spend most of their time. Some may be found on platforms like Facebook, whereas others are most likely on LinkedIn. Having a clear ideal buyer persona will help ensure that you tailor your ads to your audience more effectively to ensure you make the most out of each marketing cent you spend.
Public Relations was typically linked to advertorials and media coverage in traditional media sources such as newspapers and magazines. While this is still the case, current PR has evolved to include the fact that most news and publications these days take place online. As a result, you need to build backlinks to news sites from your own published content so that you are viewed as a more authoritative and trustworthy source of information and a credible business.
Another part of the foray of PR is hosting or attending events and trade shows. Being invited to speak at events will give you more credibility and greater exposure, while trade shows are another way of raising brand awareness for your business by your target audience.
Local and organic SEO
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is generally performed under two hats: local and organic. Local SEO refers to your business ranking and appearing in the top three “map packs” in Google search results pages whenever a prospective customer conducts a local query. That means having a completely optimised online offering with consistent information, positive reviews, images where possible, and valuable links.
On the other hand, organic SEO is more of a long-term game. It requires publishing valuable content regularly to help create trust in your business. It also entails using targeted, high search volume keywords in your content, which is strategically positioned not to sound “stuffed” or unnatural. Remember that search engines have algorithms or spiders that crawl sites. They can easily pick up if a piece of content is not valuable and has done too much keyword stuffing to try to get to the top of the rankings in a way that will be unhelpful for your audience.
It would be best if you also had a clear email marketing strategy. That will entail segmenting your audiences into smaller groups and sending them relevant and targeted content. The primary purpose is to ensure they stay on top of your company news, get notified whenever they take a specific action or interact with your website in a certain way, whenever you’re promoting a new product or service and in many other instances.
As a rule of thumb, successful emails are usually between 200 and 250 words long (maximum). Your subject line is possibly the most essential part of your email, and it needs not only to be catchy but not overly salesy or spam-like. Many email providers can quickly sift out a spam email simply by its subject, which is why you must keep it short, catchy and relevant at the same time. While it’s a fine and quite tricky balance, email marketing remains one of the most important ways of reaching your audience.
A successful B2B marketing strategy is a multi-pronged process that requires careful planning, analysis, implementation, refinement, measuring and testing. However, if implemented in the right way using the tactics and tools mentioned above, you’re ready to compete effectively in your marketplace and industry vertical.
If you need assistance with your overall social media and digital presence, let us know and get in touch. We’d be happy to help.