The B2B world is a unique one when it comes to sales and strategy. It takes some unique marketing efforts to increase your presence in this type of market and many businesses take a swing and completely miss. Instead of striking out, consider using some of these B2B marketing tactics as a way to increase your chances of hitting a home run.
1. You’re missing 95% of your B2B website traffic.
Most B2B buyers are on your website anonymously right now. They are researching what you’ve got, the advantages that you can provide, and if you really have something of value. The modern B2B buyer can be 90% of the way through the sales process before they even reach out to engage your organization. If you are sending out emails to generate prospect contacts, then you’re only reaching 5% of the actual traffic your site is receiving. Communicate value up on your site instead of using it as part of your ongoing sales funnel.
2. Your value products are being seen as valuable.
How many times has a B2B website told you to offer whitepapers and free downloads as a way to get personal information from a prospect? That’s bad advice. 95% of B2B buyers say that they will not provide information in exchange for more information. Even if you do get in with a B2B buyer who does provide information, 8 out of 10 of them aren’t going to open up any emails from you. As a result, don’t try to exchange information for information. Provide upfront value instead.
3. Content marketing needs to become your #1 priority.
In 2013, about 60% of B2B marketers were using content to bring buyers into sales funnels. In 2014, that went up to around 70%. In 2015, 93% of B2B marketers are saying that they are using content marketing. 3 out of 4 marketers are using more content this year than they did last year. Half of all marketers, however, feel like their content is ineffective. Make content your #1 priority and you just might find more B2B buyers headed your way. ‘
4. A presence on social media matters.
The most successful B2B marketers are using their fresh content on social media. For those who are using content the most successfully, B2B marketers have an average of 7 different platforms that are being utilized. In comparison, those who are the least successful with their content marketing are only using 4 different social media platforms.
5. You need to provide solid evidence.
The most effective method of B2B marketing will always be in-person events. That’s because you can provide evidence and build relationships at the same time. In comparison, when it comes to online marketing, case studies have been found to be the most effective. This is because a case study provides solid evidence of value. Prospects can begin to form a relationship if value can be proven. They won’t bother if all you’re doing is making up statistics to sound important.
6. Don’t forget to use all of your tools.
B2B marketing needs to include a wide variety of content options to be the most effective. Videos, blogging, newsletters, and webinars are all common ways to help draw in more prospects. One of the most overlooked forms of B2B marketing, however, is the podcast. Podcasts can be setup like a webinar and their transcripts can help to provide you with some extra written content.
7. You need to know when the best time is to engage.
Most B2B marketing plans have the engagement plan reversed. They attempt to engage buyers during the summer and then qualify their leads in the winter months. To get higher conversion raters, the opposite is actually true. The best conversion rates actually happen in February. Why? Because February is boring, people want winter to end, and the spring sales season has yet to arrive. Buyers have time to burn and they need to make purchases for a strong summer of sales. You’d better skip December too – B2B buyers avoid engagement during the end of the year celebrations like the plague.
8. The time of day you engage with B2B buyers also matters.
Most advice will tell you to engage people at the start of the day to increase B2B sales for good reason. When you can reach someone that has buying decisions in the morning, then you’ll be able to have your ideas percolate throughout the day. When the responsibilities of the day wind down and there’s not much left to do, then conversions are going to happen.
9. Why have you not embraced SMS marketing for B2B buyers?
Nearly half of all B2B marketers say that they have no plans to use SMS messaging as part of their campaign. Considering open rates are often above 80% for an SMS campaign and conversion rates are through the roof, one has to ask why this method of engagement is being avoided. The problem is this: an SMS marketing effort requires an established relationship. Many marketers are focused on creating new business. Sometimes your focus needs to be on creating repeat business. This type of marketing will help you do that.
10. Don’t ignore the structure of your content.
How you structure your content matters. We could talk about bullet points and other copywriting strategies, but there are two primary points of focus that must be address. The first is your intro. Most conversions come from your first 50 words of content. Spend less time worrying about subheadings and H1 tags and put a solid sales pitch into those first 3-4 sentences. The second emphasis is within your transitions. You need to keep people engaged. Let the content flow naturally so that B2B buyers want to read everything.
11. Be passionate.
You don’t have to be a professional marketer to be an effective B2B marketing specialist. All you need is an authentic passion for what you’re representing to others. It is often the passion that creates a sale more than the structure of the content or the strategy that has been employed. If you don’t care about what you’re offering, then no one else is going to care either.
12. Tell your story.
What makes a story compelling is its journey. A great book lets you get to know the characters, become engaged with the events that are happening, and feel satisfied with the conclusion. The same is true with a great B2B marketing tactic. Tell a story that amplifies the problems your B2B buyers are encountering and then emphasize the problem solving abilities that you can provide. Provide that combination and your toughest task is going to be proving the value of what you’re story offers.
13. Eliminate the paid links you’ve got right now.
Many B2B marketing strategies involve multiple paid links from numerous sources to encourage the appearance of niche expertise. The only problem with this strategy is the fact that the modern B2B buyer already know what you’re doing. 70% of the links that are being used by B2B buyers to find the average seller are organic in nature.
14. Don’t be aggressive, pushy, or impatient.
Only 3% of B2B buyers are ready to make a purchase the first time they encounter your business. It is more important to manage your leads than it is to emphasize the quick sale. That doesn’t mean you should ignore your calls to action or the user experience of your website. It just means that you need to make sure that the follow-up processes are in place so that you can keep your opportunity at the top of your prospect’s mind.
15. Don’t delay your response.
Half of all B2B opportunities that are generated by marketing efforts go to the company that responds first to a question or inquiry. This means any hesitation on your part could reduce the chances of a sale happening. Even an automated response that is generated from inquiries that happen during your off hours is better than no response at all. Just make sure to follow-up each automated response with a personal one as soon as you get back into the office so you don’t leave someone with a bad taste in their mouth.
16. The color of your content matters just as much as your words.
93% of B2B buyers are looking at the visual appearance of your goods, services, and marketing efforts as one of their primary deciding factors to purchase. You have just 90 seconds to make a good first impression before your B2B buyer will make a subconscious decision about the value your products have to provide. Pick the wrong color and you’ll potentially communicate an incorrect message.
You can’t be everywhere at once. You can, however, maximize the channels you already have that have proven to be successful. Use these marketing tactics to improve your next B2B campaign and you may find that your sales funnel will be packed full of prospects.