If you’re a business owner and you aim at other businesses as clients, you can and should utilize your full array of skills and knowledge embedded in the set up of your own business. The idea you should always think is how to capitalize on things which are easy for you to engage in, and can possibly become quick wins.
5 Tips For Creating B2B Marketing Campaigns That Work
As a small business, it’s not easy to get noticed. The internet has made advertising easier, but in doing so has flooded every field. All businesses are now competing with thousands of others just like them, whether in the region or around the globe.
Inbound marketing was created to counter this problem. Instead of spamming potential leads with adverts, you have to give them a reason to do their own research about your company. And it works really well, not only when marketing to customers (B2C), but when marketing to businesses as well.
Nonetheless, business-to-business (B2B) marketing requires different strategies to B2C. Instead of trying to draw in customers who are less informed and more subject to suggestion, you’re targeting trained employees tasked with finding the best fit for their company. They’re not going to come across you while casually browsing the internet. They’re actively looking, and will see past all B2C tricks.
The following 5 tips will get you started on a B2B marketing campaign that works.
1. Targeted advertising
When marketing to customers, you can cast a wide net and hope to bring in as many leads as possible. This is because most companies have a diverse customer-base. You’re targeting a large pool, and by aiming for the many, you’ll catch a fair amount.
A second reason is that the target market is more likely to come across you without looking for anything too specific. They’re curious, and will be drawn in by a large variety of aspects.
B2B marketing requires something different. You’re aiming at a much more niche target market. A much smaller target market. You’ll find them in specific places (physically or electronically). And they’re not curious. They’re more likely to find you because they’re looking for what you have to offer.
Your B2B marketing therefore must be targeted only at businesses you know need your service or product. Content needs to be written with them in mind, and “located” where they will find it.
2. Professional conferences (networking)
Networking is one of the most crucial aspects of B2B marketing. If you’re already connected to the sort of businesses you’re targeting, the job is already half done. They know you and will think of you when they need whatever it is you offer.
Networking events, such as professional conferences, are an important way to get your brand out there. Business people pay to go to conferences because they believe them to be of value. They know that others at the conference are there for the same reasons, and are likely to trust fellow attendees because of this. Also, if you make a good impression on a personal level, they will be inclined to call you before anyone else.
If networking is difficult for you, the solution is not to avoid these events. You need to learn how to make the most of them. Networking skills come with practice, but there are also many resources available that offer great advice and helpful tips.
3. Utilise professional publications
Traditional “outbound” advertising is on the way out, but in certain places it still works like a charm. For instance, adverts on authority websites or publications are seen to be reliable. This is especially true with publications containing in depth material aimed at professionals.
Marketing in medical and psychology journals, reputed economic journals, etc. will earn people’s trust almost immediately. Professionals use these journals to be educated, and assume that companies being promoted in them carry the same weight as the expert articles.
4. In-depth content
Content marketing is a highly effective B2C and B2B strategy. However, when it comes to B2B marketing, the content has to be in depth. You need to design articles that are informative and interesting, even to those who have a level of expertise. Your B2B content needs to provide value, and not just perceived-value.
Customers might not recognise when your content lacks value, but those in the industry will. High quality, in-depth content, will place you in the position of an expert. Drudged up content will diminish people’s trust in you.
5. Don’t irritate your leads
Following up is crucial, but make sure you don’t irritate your leads. So, instead of sending them emails, prodding them to make a decision, continue to provide value to them. Send them links to more in depth content with each communication. Let them know of any new offers.
If you simply keep calling, trying to make a sale, they’ll sense desperation. After all, since you’re marketing to a business and not to a customer making impulse decisions, you need a reason to call. If you create a good campaign, you’ll make the sale without constant cold calls. If your campaign is a flop, the cold calls will only make it worse.
Take this very page for example.
Background: Our website MoneyTransferComparison.com is all about international money transfers. We are geared at both individual clients making personal international transfers, as well as businesses. Obviously, larger businesses have the potential to make recurring high-volume currency trades, and thus are considered a lucrative target audience for us. For more information on our business model you are welcomed to scroll below or hop over to the about us page, but in short we send potential clients out to reputable, regulated, money transfer companies, and we get compensation for that. The better the client is (better means they make more money off of this client in its consumer lifetime), the higher the compensation.
Our array of skills and knowledge: Just by setting up a website (and in accordance, an LLC), connecting with some of the currency dealers reviewed on this website, making a market research, and structuring the content, we already learnt a great deal of things that could be useful for other business owners (especially ones setting up a similar operation).
In addition, before we have formulated this project, we have gained a lot of knowledge on how to make small businesses successful (senior positions in startups that grew from practically nothing but an office and a chair to publicly traded companies).
How we utilize it? Besides using our business knowledge to create a hopefully great resources for people looking to compare and review different money transfer providers, we are also utilizing our knowledge by creating easy-to-make no-BS business oriented articles (and this is just one of them). You can view all the articles under our business magazine section.
This is just one of many pages we added into the website because:
1. They can serve value to our target audience, being businesses.
2. They can attract people looking for advice on B2B issues. These people can browse through the site and actually reach a conclusion they are better off using one of our top business Foreign Exchange companies, rather than using banks which overcharge on FX.
3. It can help with SEO results. This one is a tad tricky because the Google Panda algorithm is not very keen on sites creating content outside of their core and overdoing it (Google views this as someone piggybacking on its authority by trying to “spam” search engines and target things that aren’t necessarily relevant for him). There are ways around it, the most important thing is to focus on long comprehensive, unique in essence, articles, and the second one being proper distribution of them (both, when done properly, should eventually attract quality links which are a very strong signal for Google on determining on the domain/page level which is worth inclusion in search results).
How do replicate this in 3 easy steps
1. Brainstorm and decide which area you can write about, which is most intuitive for you and easiest to produce content in, but on the other hand should be applicable for B2B clients.
2. Find the platform to distribute these articles. You can put them in your site, if you know how, or in your blog (safer from the SEO perspective), or just find external platforms and post it there. If it’s superb, you better off approaching magazines, if it’s not that good, then “free submission” places are your only choice, but bear in mind they don’t tend to attract much traffic or Google juice, and often become penalized (hubpages and ehow are the best examples).
3. Place within your articles links to your squeeze pages where you make most money, and hope you can do the old switch and bait, and basically get their attention hooked on other things like business Foreign Exchange 🙂
How Hubspot got it right
An example of a company doing excellent B2B marketing is Hubspot. Hubspot provides marketing products to companies of all shapes and sizes. They’ve marketed themselves so effectively that they’re considered by many to be an authority on digital marketing. When you search for marketing ideas on any topic, you’re going to come across some Hubspot content.
The site does not have a long, illustrious history that has given them this perceived authority. Rather, they’ve built it up over the last 12 years by following the above tips.
- Although Hubspot has a huge target market, they market to each sector separately. Some content they’ll send to big agencies. Other content they’ll send to small start-ups. They have different content for contractors and freelancers as well.
- Hubspot no longer needs to get its name out there. However, in the early days they found investors, customers, and partners through networking at professional marketing conferences.
- Being featured on what were, at the time, the most trusted marketing websites did their reputation a lot of good. They have long surpassed those who once featured them, to become the trusted name businesses look to.
- Hubspot offers a huge array of content from in-house experts. Not only do they provide in depth articles, they also host webinars and even professional certification for freelance marketers looking to become experts.
- Every so often I get an email from Hubspot. It does not annoy me, as it usually contains content I want to read. When they send through details about new products or courses, I’m interested in finding out more. They’ve convinced me they know what they’re doing – not by spamming me, but by bringing value every time I hear from them.
One Last Tip: Don’t fluff it
The key to getting B2B marketing right is not to “fluff” it. Don’t throw a wide net in the hope of catching a few. You need to be focused, be decisive about who you’re targeting and how, and provide real value.
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