This guide has everything you need to know about B2B marketing.
I’ll cover from the basics to the critical B2B marketing strategies in 2019. You’re going to see my proven tactics that you can take right after reading this post.
So if you’re wondering how you can dominate in B2B marketing, you’re the right place!
Lets’ jump right in!
B2B Marketing Fundamentals
As a marketer you need to know how to run your business properly so as to get the most out of it. Though in order to do it, you will need to know some information about the market, the latest trends and many other things.
In this chapter I’ll cover the basics of B2B Marketing. You are going to learn what B2B Marketing is all about – its marketing types, who uses it, B2B vs B2C, and much more!
These B2B marketing fundamentals will definitely help you to run your business better. What’s more, I will talk about some statistics you cannot ignore in 2019!
Let’s have a look at it!
What is B2B Marketing?
In B2B marketing a company sells a product or service to another company instead of to consumers. So, a B2B company sells the raw materials, services or advice that other companies need to work, grow and get benefits.
B2B marketing has quite a long history, though nowadays it depends more and more on the Internet. Thus, B2B marketers need outstanding strategies to generate leads and address customers.
So, you should adapt your marketing strategies and be up-to-date to survive. Otherwise, your competitors would beat you.
Let’s look into the statistics that will help you to get a better understanding of B2B marketing in 2019!
B2B Marketing Statistics
There are so many marketing statistics any B2B marketer should know. The marketing industry is constantly changing, so B2B marketing statistics change too.
Below, I ́ll deal with the most reliable ones for 2019.
- According to the Content Market Institute, 89% of B2B companies use online content marketing strategies.
- Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as paid search. This is because content increases trust, loyalty and brand awareness.
- The average person spends only 37 seconds reading your content. So, this means you don’t have a lot of time to convince them to buy your product or hire any of your services. Thus, it is vital that the content you provide is high quality and accurate.
- 71% of B2B consumers engage with blogs during the shopping process. So, if you don’t have one already, you should take it into consideration.
- Content marketing costs 62% less than other marketing strategies. But, it generates approximately 3 times more leads than traditional marketing.
- According to HubSpot, B2B enterprises that publish more than 16 blog posts per month get 3.5 times more traffic than those which don’t.
- According to Orbit Media, longer content performs a lot better than shorter one by 40%. So, you ́ll get more traffic if you provide quality content in a long format.
- 78% of buyers prefer trustworthy sources. This means that trust in your brand, product or service leads to more sales.
- 47% of consumers are likely to read between 3 to 5 pieces of content before they talk to a sales rep. That’s why any B2B company should have a blog and some case studies in their official web page.
- According to Pardot, 72% of consumers turn to Google whenever they need help with a problem they’re facing. So, it ́s important that your content gets to the top of their search results.
- 85% of buyers don’t pay attention to paid ads. But, they focus on organic search results. This means that marketers should focus more than ever on SEO strategies.
- According to Backlinko, 93% of B2B content gets zero external links from other websites.
- In 2019, 52% of consumers prefer mobile optimized content.
- 95% of consumers don’t mind sharing some personal information to download content.
- More than 30% of marketers believe that social media is more powerful at driving traffic to their content.
- Bloggers who work with influencers and do some paid promotion get better results. So, if you are not working with any influencer yet, you should consider hiring them to get better results.
I hope these statistics for 2019 were useful for you.
Now, I’ll focus on the business system of B2B marketing.
B2B Marketing Types
There are lots of B2B marketing types and its number grows every year.
But, which ones are relevant for your industry? Which ones should you focus on and use to promote your business?
These seem difficult questions to answer.
The best thing to do is to know your target audience before making a decision. Some of them would be better than others to target your audience. So, it’s vital to test them and go for what works for you.
Here there is a list of the main types of B2B marketing for 2019:
Blogs are a must for almost every content team. If you update your blog on a regular basis, you will be more visible to your clients and drive more traffic into your website.
There are different blog formats: written copy, infographics, case studies, etc.
Yet, there is no doubt that as a B2B marketer you should have a blog as it is one of the best channels to promote your content.
What is more, blog posts are shareable, so if you allow your audience to share your posts, you will be able to reach a wider audience.
B2B strategies depend quite a lot on SEO practices. Nowadays, the focus is no longer on keywords and metadata, but on searcher aims and purposes.
3. Social Media
Social networks allow you to reach and engage with your audience. B2B buyers use these channels to look for information about your product or service.
You can have business accounts to promote your business. If you want, you can even integrate with each network. For example Instagram and Facebook. This will bring more traffic to your website or blog.
These downloadable documents are very useful in B2B marketing. When someone wants to download them, they have to provide contact information like their email address.
Emails are still an effective channel to send relevant content about your business. Yet, it is true that these days lots of them don’t get to its receivers because users can classify them as spam.
Videos are an essential tool for any B2B marketing campaign. They might form part of various of the types mentioned above. Needless to say, they are very important nowadays as they are not only trendy, but really easy to consume.
7. Case Studies
Case studies are a must among B2B marketers. This is because in this type of marketing the buying process is quite long and complex.
What is more, in B2B marketing case studies usually convert at a very high rate. This means that buyers use them more than any other content type when they are thinking of buying.
8. Online Courses
Online courses are a useful resource for any B2B marketer. There are lots of them available online.
B2B webinars give companies the chance to target a specific part of their audience. Also, they make it easier for you to educate them on the benefits of a product or service.
Using webinars has many unique advantages to any B2B marketer, such as streamlined and affordable production, dialogue with interested participants, and live demonstrations.
There is a wide variety of podcasts from live interviews to panel discussions, monologues, and more.
Podcasts are an ideal channel for high-quality content since part of your audience already spends some of their time listening to them. This means that they are likely to continue doing so. Even if they are multitasking when listening to a podcast.
Infographics take complicated information and simplify it into a visual representation. The mixture of images and short texts is easy to digest and delivers information effectively.
This channel has proved to be extremely efficient these days since audience attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.
12. Business Social Media / Expert Groups
The first place B2B consumers check when they are considering buying is your web page. So, in this type of marketing, social media is very important.
There are some channels which seem more suitable than others in B2B marketing. Most businesses use Twitter and LinkedIn to promote their services, build relationships and share expertise. But, other social networks such as Facebook or Instagram are less common in this type of marketing.
This is because what business people want is specific information at specific times and about specific issues. Taking all this into account is essential to establish relationships and build trust.
Knowing about the following associations is essential for any B2B marketer. Getting involved in these organizations could be positive to make connections.
In B2B marketing is not only important what you know, but who you know.
- American Marketing Association: an international organization that serves all levels of marketing professionals.
- Association of National Advertisers: gives its members insights, collaboration and advocacy.
- Association of Strategic Marketing: focuses on the enhancement of the marketing profession.
- Business Marketing Association: is a professional resource for B2B marketers and communicators.
- Direct Marketing Association: is a business global association.
- International Association of Business Communicators: is an organization for people in corporate, marketing and employee communications.
- New England Direct Marketing Association: supports all forms of direct marketing media.
- Web Marketing Association: focuses on internet marketing and web development.
Forums are a pivotal channel for any B2B marketer. Their main function is to solve problems and answer questions. But, the truth is that they also generate leads.
You shouldn’t try to promote your products or services in these forums. Instead, you should focus on trying to solve their problems, gaining their trust.
And then, it would be them who would look for you whenever they need your services or if they want to buy your products.
For B2B companies, there are three very well-known forums: LinkedIn Groups, Quora and HighTable. You might either use them for gathering information or show your knowledge.
15. Speakers / Presentation / Teaching
Any of these channels is quite useful in B2B marketing. Offering speeches, preparing a presentation and teaching your audience are clear examples of how to deal with your customers.
However, it’s vital that the information you provide in any of these 3 channels is relevant. So, let them guide you and go for what is appealing as well as useful for them.
16. Community / Social Responsibility
Community refers to a small but powerful group of fans and colleagues that make up your client base. In other words, it’s a group of people who share ideas. So, this is the perfect channel to engage with your audience and peers.
Social responsibility goes hand in hand with your community. And, it affects you straightaway. Whenever a company is considering doing business with another company, it’s always preferable to do so with one that has a good reputation.
The benefits of social responsibility are endless. Though, you should use this channel respectfully or you might get the opposite effect – damaging your reputation instead.
17. Public Relations
These days, public relations depend more and more on social media. That’s the reason why identifying real influencers is determining in B2B marketing.
Apart from that, providing quality content is key to reach your audience. Without public relations, it would be difficult to engage with your audience and build trust in your company.
As in any other business, branding is a pivotal factor in B2B marketing. There are some steps you can follow to improve your branding, and thus grow your business:
- Optimize your website experience – By improving your website, you will look more professional and trustworthy. So, it’s crucial you spend some time having it up-to-date.
- Increase your social media presence – By using social networks, you can engage with your audience, generate trust and increase your brand’s awareness.
- Test your brand performance – Most brands check their performance yearly to test if they have improved. Also, to take measures for the next year, to decide if it’s the right time to grow, re-brand or diversify their business.
- Standardize your branding activity – Make sure all your brand communication is consistent both within your team and with your audience.
- Define your branding strategy – This is crucial for any business. It helps you to establish who you are as a brand and also where are you going.
Thus, it’s vital to stand out from your competitors and make decisions about your company.
You might think calls are an old fashioned channel. But, the truth is that they are still relevant nowadays.
Yet, the way you should deal with these calls has changed. Most successful B2B marketers still have sales reps calling potential clients on a regular basis.
20. Free Samples / Trials
By offering either free samples or trials, you ́ll get your audience attention. If you offer them the opportunity to try what you sell, they will have the chance to see how it works, its quality, and more. Also, this will cut down the risk they have to take if they decide to buy whatever it is what you are selling.
B2B marketing depends on long term relationships and trust. So, it is reasonable to spend some of your budget offering your customers free samples of your product or service since this will convert on future sales.
21. Conferences / Trade Shows / Expos / Summits
If you are in the marketing business, every year you will receive lots of invitations to professional events. But, what is the difference between them? How can you decide which ones to attend?
Let’s sum up their main differences:
They are formal meetings where professionals meet to talk about a specific topic or problem of the industry. Yet, these events are not always the best place to discuss your own ideas and promote your product or service.
Their main purpose is to gather information and learn from industry leaders. So, make sure you take notes of what specialists say.
Attending these events is highly advisable either to get new insights or to learn how to solve problems related to your industry.
It’s an exhibition which is organized so that companies can show their latest products or services. These are perfect occasions to see what your competitors are doing and to check the latest trends on the market.
These kind of events are beneficial not only for sellers, but also for buyers of your industry. So, there is no doubt you should attend were you invited to them.
They are global events with varied objectives:
- Educating the public
- Sharing innovation
- Promoting progress
- Fostering cooperation
Thus, they are great places to meet people. You will have the chance to learn about interesting topics and to promote your product or service within many attendees from all over the world.
It is advisable to go to these events as they combine the characteristics of both a Trade Show and a Conference.
It is an extremely formal event in which only top executives and heads of companies take part. In these kind of events, the aim is to discuss relevant issues related to the industry and make decisions about the future.
If you are invited to such an event is because you are a leader in your industry. People who attend often gather information beforehand.
22. Digital Advertising
In B2B marketing, digital advertising is key. This advertising focuses on the needs of the company you want to sell your product or service. Your ads should address your target audience at the right times and in the right places.
It’s crucial to establish relationships with your potential buyers in B2B marketing. You need to deliver helpful content to drive engagement with your brand and guide prospects through the marketing funnel.
Also, you should be as reliable as possible. Offering your buyers transparency and helpful content so as not to drive them away.
Direct mailing may seem to be an old-fashioned channel. But, it ́s proved to be quite effective in B2B marketing. The main reason why it is important is because it gives a good impression.
As a matter of fact, it’s always good to build lists of old and new clients to reach them easily.
You should try to be as specific as possible when you write emails. For instance, you can target a specific group of your audience or offer special discounts to a group of clients.
If you are using this channel, bear in mind that automation can save you a lot of time and work. Though, it is always advisable to have someone in charge of mailing.
24. Press Releases
Believe it or not, press releases are still worthy marketing tools. But, as it happens with most of the other channels I have mentioned before, you must focus on the content.
Successful press releases are a brilliant way to get better SEO and gain credibility. Were you to use this channel, you should have in mind that creating valuable content is key. If you do so, it will be easily distributed and shared.
25. Learning Camps
Learning camps are good for training your employees or even yourself. Thanks to these learning camps, you will have the chance to join in courses and workshops. And also, you will get to know relevant people in your industry.
These type of learning courses are vital if you are starting in your industry or even planning to expand your business.
Marketing channels are great communication tools to generate brand awareness and deliver your marketing value. You can use different B2B marketing channels to put your message across and check which ones work better for you.
Whether you should use one channel or another, or a combination of them, which is more usually the case, will depend on your industry.
However, there are some aspects you should consider to get the most out of B2B channels and decide which ones to use in 2019:
Digital channels are on the rise due to various reasons:
- They are cost-effective
- They are easy to monitor
- They will help you with your brand awareness
- They generate more leads
1. Digital advertising
- Paid-per-click ads can help you to rank high in search engines
- Paid social media will help you to target a specific segment of your audience
2. Video is key nowadays
- Video content is easy to consume that is why it’s so appealing for your audience
- Not only videos, but also podcasts and webinars are useful too
- You can create engaging and creative content to leave a lasting impression on your audience
- It’s easy to share
3. Email marketing
- It is one of the cheapest ways to address your clients
- It will help you to build and strengthen relationships with your clients
- It can be automated or more personalized depending on the message you want to convey
4. Social media marketing
- Many people spend loads of hours on their social media accounts
- So, as a B2B marketer you cannot miss the chance to reach them in their favourite places
- The content you post on social media is easy to share
- It can improve your brand awareness
- It can be useful for engaging with your audience
- Though, you have to be prepared to get both positive and negative feedback
I hope this information has been useful for you. Remember that the best way to know which channels are better for your brand is to test them.
What works for one company does not necessarily have to work for another company. However, all the channels that I have just mentioned above are worth trying.
What is more, one channel on its own is not enough. So, if you want your B2B marketing strategy to be effective, you will have to find a perfect channels combination that works for you.
Who uses B2B Marketing?
Now that you know what B2B Marketing is as well as its types, it’s time to focus on who uses this type of marketing.
B2B Marketing happens when a company sells products to another company. It can be raw materials, tools, security, office supplies, varied services, and more.
B2B companies deal with the individuals who have enough power to make purchasing decisions. For example: CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CIOs and more.
Indeed, companies fall into two different categories: B2B marketing or B2C marketing.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
It’s time you distinguish between B2B and B2C marketing.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing focuses on the logic of the product and its features. So, companies selling B2B marketing need to understand their buyers. This type of marketing focuses on how people take advantage from using a specific product, instead of focusing on the product itself.
Sales in B2B marketing are far more expensive than those of B2C marketing. This is because these kind of transactions usually have a lot of people involved. Besides, there needs to be a trial in which buyers check if purchasing the product is profitable.
But, business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing aims at the benefits of using the product in question. That is to say, consumers make a more emotional decision based on their interests and convenience.
So, what consumers want is that sellers show them the benefits of the product itself.
These days, you should be aware of the main differences between B2B and B2C marketing. The first thing that differs between these two types of marketing is their buyers.
In B2C marketing what buyers want is to meet their immediate needs. But, in B2B marketing you need to convince more than one person that whatever you are selling will be beneficial for them, which is more challenging.
In B2C and B2B marketing buyers have different needs. So, the selling process, the cost, the purchasing decisions and even the market are different too.
Let’s sum up their main differences:
1. B2B marketing
- More complex
- Small markets
- The selling process might take several months
- The sales process requires more work. It is necessary to convince several people and it is based on trust
- The cost is generally higher than in B2C marketing
- Purchasing decisions depend on the budget and the long-term benefits of buying a specific product
- Aims at establishing personal relationships with their buyers and long-term sales
2. B2C marketing
- More straightforward
- Large markets
- The selling process takes less time, usually from a few minutes to a few days
- Vendors sell directly to consumers. So, they need to convince them about the necessity to buy their product
- The cost varies quite a lot, it depends on the product itself
- Purchasing decisions are driven by impulses and based on expectations
- Depends on advertising and social media to sell their products
There are many reasons why you might be facing difficulties in B2B marketing. To avoid the issues that are making it difficult for you to achieve success, I ́ll deal with some of the most common B2B problems below:
1. Time management
Many sales reps spend more than half of their time working on non-sales related activities. For instance, checking their email or looking for information about potential clients.
If this is your case, there is an easy solution: automation. Your employees ought not to spend their prized time searching for new clients.
There are tools available in the market that can do it, while your sales reps focus on their job. There is no doubt that using this software involves spending some of your budget. But, it’s proved to be profitable in the long-term.
2. Targeting the wrong customers
This is quite a typical mistake. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend creating content if you send it to the wrong customers.
So, you should focus on potential customers that are likely to buy your product. This sounds a lot easier than it is. Yet, if you identify your audience and know exactly what they need, there are more chances to reach a deal. And thus, sell your product.
3. Miscommunication between departments
Sales need active cooperation and communication between departments. If your teams don’t ́t work together, your sales would suffer the consequences.
Marketing teams that work together, generate more revenue for their marketing campaigns. Thus, increasing sales.
4. Inability to reach out to leads
This is one of the most common problems of B2B marketing. Because many customers are not likely to provide accurate contact information when they buy online.
The best solution for this particular problem is to work with a reliable B2B data provider. This way, you will be able to create an extensive database of potential future clients.
5. Lack of Training
Many business owners are unwilling to train their employees. They are afraid that their employees might use this training to get experience and then move to another company.
In this case, training would be a waste of money.
But, if you train your employees, they would be able to do their job better and in less time.
What most employees want is to feel valued for what they do. So, if you respect them and treat them nicely, most of them will stay with you.
Training your employees implies that they would work more effectively, which implies an increase in sales.
As you have seen in this chapter, it is vital to gather some information to succeed if you are a B2B marketer.
B2B Marketing Markets
These days being aware of the market in which you work is vital. Not to mention the fact that B2B markets differ from B2C ones. That’s the main reason why in this chapter, I ́ll focus on B2B marketing markets.
As a marketer you cannot underestimate the chance of knowing your clients better. Indeed, in B2B marketing it is even more important to know who your clients are than in B2C marketing.
You’re going to learn how to analyze your business and its market which will help you to get better results.
As I have said before, B2B markets are different from B2C markets in many aspects.
In B2B markets, there are fewer customers who tend to be geographically concentrated. But in B2C markets the number of customers is higher and they tend to be dispersed. Besides, there are more transactions in B2B markets, and they are more costly and complex.
In B2B markets, the demand for products depends on a derived demand. There is a secondary source who buys a product or service, generally consumers. So, any change in the demand can have either positive or negative effects in the business chain.
Thus, B2B markets differ from B2C markets in various aspects:
- Market structure
- Industry size
- Buying behavior
- The marketing practice.
B2B Industry Size
In B2B marketing it is vital to measure the size of the market to check the potential of a product or service. So, it is a must for any marketing plan that intends to be successful, thus profitable for a selling company.
If you want to check the marketing size of a product or service, you should consider two aspects:
- The total available market
- The served available market
The former refers to each competitive product available in the market. While, the latter refers to the specific part of the market that you serve across a specific channel.
Whether you want to test one or the other, you need to know what level of precision it needs. Sometimes an approximation is enough. Although, in other occasions it is necessary to have an exact level of precision.
Methods to calculate your market size
There are several methods you can consider if you want to test the size of the market of a specific product or service:
1. Total Market Potential method
It’s a very well-known method which focuses on evaluating the possible sales value of a specific service or product. The results you can get from using this method are not scientific. But, they are useful to assess the potential value of a B2B marketing opportunity.
2. Segmented Addressable Market method
It focuses on evaluating the possible sales value of a specific segment. This method depends on the availability of the demand of a concrete service or product. You will need to understand which segment of the market could be addressable according to your business.
3. Total Addressable Market method
This one focuses on evaluating the possible sales value of a specific segment considering the demand of a product or service. To use this method, you will need to gather some information through various surveys.
It focuses on evaluating the possible sales value from which you expect to get benefits by selling a specific product or service. To use this method, you will need to do some market research. Although the information you might get will be as realistic as possible.
5. Top-Down method
You can use this method to estimate a potential marketing opportunity. This method focuses on evaluating the marketing size from a general picture to a more concrete perspective.
6. Bottom-Up method
This one focuses on evaluating the marketing size from a concrete perspective. For instance, your own business. So, you will need to gather information from your own customers.
Now, you are familiar with the most well-known methods available to check the market size in B2B marketing. By using these methods, you will be able to make better business decisions.
For instance about the potential value of a specific product or service, and whether to invest in it or not. And also, if it would be profitable to introduce a new product in the market.
B2B clients have changed over the last years. This is due to the fact the era we live in has influenced B2B markets. In other words, technology has dramatically changed our buying habits.
So, it’s vital that you understand your clients and their buying habits.
Indeed, there are several things you should take into account:
- B2B clients usually prefer a more personalized treatment that meets their needs. So, it is necessary to establish a certain relationship of trust and loyalty.
- B2B clients prefer dealing with companies with a clear message. Companies that are transparent and do what they say they do. Don ́t forget that in B2B transactions trust is a must.
- B2B clients prefer simple products or services. Even when there is a high complexity behind the process, clients experience should be as simple as possible.
- If you want to do business with a B2B company, you also have to bear in mind their clients. Even though you won ́t have any contact with them, they are key elements of your success.
- There is lack of transparency in the B2B2C relationship. Although B2B clients love simple and straightforward relationships, whenever a problem arises, it’s difficult to know whose fault is it.
- Before you look for new clients, you need to understand your current ones.
- In B2B marketing, it is quite common that you sell a product or service to the same client more than once. So, it seems reasonable to continue the relationship with them for future partnerships.
Closely related to B2B clients is the next section of this chapter where I’ll focus on buyer behavior.
Buyer behavior in B2B marketing is constantly changing. Though, there is something which you need to take into account from the very beginning.
Instead of trying to convince your customers about how outstanding your product or service is, you should try to focus more on them. By doing so, you will definitely show them not only your value, but also that they can trust you.
These days the B2B buying process is quite a lot demanding in comparison to the past. Besides, buyers want to have a certain control of what is going on and who they are working with.
Indeed, the buying process is complex because during it you will have to deal with and please many people. Therefore, to succeed in this fairly complicated process, it is vital to know your clients buying habits.
One of the major trends nowadays in B2B marketing is that most B2B purchases are digital. So, if you are not already on the web it is high time you go for it.
It is advisable to be on the social networks and have influencers to promote your product or service. Also, it is necessary to promote your brand and reach your clients.
Long before your customers find you and you establish a productive relationship with them, they will probably do a lot of research online. So, being aware of what they need and how to solve their problems will make a difference.
Once you have understood your clients and their needs, it’s time you show them you are the right choice.
To do this, you need to provide the right content. So, whenever they are researching they see your potential value for them. If you provide high quality content about your product or service, you will give them a sense of trust. And this can convert into not only a partnership, but also a long term relationship.
Currently most B2B companies offer a trial period of their product or even some training. This way clients have somehow a guarantee and this creates a certain level of trust.
Channels that work for B2B marketing
There are many channels available in B2B marketing. So, one might feel somehow overwhelmed when choosing which ones to go for.
Don’t panic! It is not necessary you use all of them, that would be such an ordeal.
Yet, there are some that work better than others depending on the type of industry. So, you should try to choose those that work for your marketing strategy. This way you will reduce the amount of budget you need to spend in each channel. And at the same time, you will make a better use of it in the ones that work for you.
Nowadays there is a tendency to go for digital marketing channels. This does not mean traditional channels such as direct mailing or printed adverts have disappeared.
The following are some of the reasons why digital marketing is increasing:
- Reach a higher and the right target audience
- Show the value of your business effectively
- Deal with those who are already looking for your brand online
- Helps your brand to improve its appearance in search results
- Gives your business the chance to get more exposure
- Increase your brand awareness
- Easier to track its effectiveness within your audience
The truth is that each of these digital marketing channels helps you to generate more traffic. Don’t underestimate the power of channels where you can show content.
Depending on your industry there are some channels that work better than others. So, it is up to you to choose which ones work for your business.
You will have to go through a process of trial-error at the beginning. Bear in mind that what works today, might not be the best tomorrow. The number of channels available is continually growing.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis is an internal evaluation that most B2B marketing companies carry out to check what’s working and what’s not in their businesses.
Being aware of this kind of information is of vital importance. For instance to make future decisions, understand what’s going on in your company, launch a new B2B marketing campaign, and more.
To carry out a SWOT analysis, you ́ll need to ask and answer questions such as the following:
- What makes you stand out in comparison with other companies?
- What are you good at?
- What makes your product better?
- What makes you a leading company in your industry?
- What are your advantages according to your audience?
- What things could you do better?
- Are there any common complaints by your customers?
- Is there any problem with your product?
- Is there something that you are failing to do in comparison with your competitors?
- Where can you make the difference as regards your competitors?
- How can you stand out?
- Is there anything you would like to achieve soon?
- Are you exploiting your potential to the fullest?
- What scares you the most?
- What is the worst possible scenario?
- What are you failing to do in comparison with your competitors?
- What do your competitors do better than you?
Once you have gone through all these questions, you shouldn’t rush to take prompt decisions. The aim of the SWOT analysis is to gather information. If you want to make any changes in your company, you should consider them carefully.
After carrying out a SWOT analysis, it is necessary to analyze what came out of all this data. You should think about how to preserve your strengths, accept your weaknesses and try to solve them by prioritizing the most urgent ones.
Besides, you should consider how can you benefit from any available opportunities in the market. And finally, how can you get rid of and survive whatever threats you may be facing.
I hope all the above mentioned was useful for you.
Then, it’s time we deal with how to create a B2B marketing plan that works for your business.
Create a B2B Marketing Plan
When it comes to creating a marketing plan and strategies, being aware of what’s going on in 2019 is crucial for any B2B marketer. By knowing the trends for this year, you will be able to create a better B2B marketing plan and succeed.
In this chapter, I ́ll talk about how to develop a B2B marketing plan.
B2B marketing trends in 2019
B2B marketing has changed over the last years. Understanding the market trends helps you to develop a better marketing strategy and leave your competitors behind.
The tendency for 2019 is that it will keep on changing and adapting to the new era.
Below, there is a list of the most common trends for B2B marketing in 2019:
1. Long-form content
These days, long-form content is becoming more and more popular among marketers. Customers prefer this type of content because it ́s educational. And for B2B marketers, it’s proved to be worth the effort because it gets better ranking in Google.
So, investing a part of your budget in creating long-form quality content is not only a tendency, but also a necessity nowadays. By doing so, you ́ll get a better brand awareness, develop a long-term relationship with your customers and attract new ones.
Personalization is no longer only valid for B2C marketing. Currently, it ́s also applied to B2B marketing. B2B customers prefer more detailed, specific and personalized content that matches their needs. So, no matter the channel you use, you should try to create personalized content.
3. Account-based marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM) is on the rise as most of the B2B marketers use it to get higher ROI. ABM focuses on quality, using specific and personalized initiatives. Hence, you will be targeting a specific group of your audience and reduce your expenses.
The use of chatbots in B2B websites is increasing since it’s an easy way to solve basic customer requests. Indeed, it is an excellent way to help your customers to improve their users experience and enhance your customer service.
Automation plugins, tools and platforms are more and more common among B2B marketers. Because automation is practical, and at the same time quite a lot profitable.
Podcasts are pretty popular these days. This is because they are easy to consume in comparison with other formats. By using podcasts, you will achieve your audience trust. Indeed, they are one of the best cost-effective channels you can use to promote high level content.
Video is one of the top content formats used by many marketers these days. Why? Because it generates leads. Videos are even more trendy in B2B marketing since LinkedIn has developed new video solutions for advertisers.
8. Voice search
Thanks to voice assistants such as Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Home, consumers no longer need to type keywords in search engines. So, B2B marketers need to adapt themselves to appear in these voice searches. Indeed, these are becoming more and more popular among consumers.
9. Customer experience
Nowadays, what consumers want is friendly content they can have access to as quickly as possible. Consumers have a tendency to go for high quality content in long formats. And also, content that helps them solve any doubt which they might have.
By means of creating a better customer experience, you ́ll foster your existing relationship with them and attract more people to your business.
I hope all the above mentioned trends for B2B marketing in 2019 were useful for you.
Then you’re ready to move onto how to create a B2B marketing plan that will help you to succeed!
How to Develop a B2B Marketing Plan
Carrying out a B2B marketing plan is crucial, but it ́s quite a lot complicated these days. Actually, what might make you stand out in front of your competitors today, may well be common practice in a matter of months.
The internet makes it difficult to tell your company apart from others since it provides a lot of information. On top of that, not all the marketing plans work the same way for all industries. So, you need to find one that works for yours.
However, companies which have a B2B marketing plan get much better results than those which don’t.
There are several aspects that you should consider from the very beginning. These will help you to grow your company and your profits.
The truth is that planning is key to succeed. So let’s get to it!
1. Develop your B2B marketing strategy
Creating a strategy is vital to control your business effectively. The first thing you need to do to build up a strategy is establishing your goals.
You may want to achieve these goals:
- Raise your brand awareness
- Tell your brand stories
- Gather prospects or customers data
- Increase more traffic on your web page
- Differentiate your business from your competitors
- Convince people to register for an event
- Generate leads
- Convince your audience to buy a product or service
- Improve customer retention
Then, you should think about how can you achieve them. For instance: creating content, promoting your product or service, etc.
Indeed, if you want to achieve your goals, you must consider your audience and how to reach them. With these questions:
- What’s the best channel you can use to engage with them?
- Who are they?
- Where do they come from?
- What are their needs?
Once you have chosen a channel, you should check if it would work before publishing. Only afterwards is when you can run a marketing campaign.
As I mentioned before, a very good way of testing a strategy is by using a SWOT analysis. Yet, you ́ll need to do a lot of research if you want it to be as accurate as possible.
2. Define your target audience, focus on personas
One of the very first things you should do when you start your planning is to define your audience. If you classify your audience as personas, you will focus on their behavior as customers and the reasons they have for buying from you.
That is to say, you have to focus on their specific needs. This information is priceless as addressing the right audience is key to succeed.
Here there ́re some tips on how to develop buyer personas:
- Research your audience
- Check what type of people are buying from you
- Research your prospects too
- Check what issues are they suffering with and what can you do to help them
- Check what ́s what your competitors are doing
- Think of how can you beat them helping your personas
- Define your personas as much as possible
- Apply the data you have found to design your buyer personas
- Establish your goals
- Remember that each persona represents a segment of your audience, so they do not necessarily need to have the same characteristics
- Whenever it comes to create a new message think of how your personas will understand it, this will help you to do your job better
3. Design a powerful website
Whatever it is your B2B marketing plan, it is crucial to have a powerful web page. Nowadays, many B2B customers are millennials. This means that before they reach you, they compare and check lots of different websites.
Apart from offering relevant and valuable content, there ́s something any B2B site should do to engage better with customers. By focusing on how they use it, you should have a website design as customer-centered as possible. This way, they would feel they matter and that you care for them.
Currently, B2B customers value that web pages answer their needs and give them solutions for their problems. Besides, customers prefer long-format instead of short-format content.
4. Focus on SEO
By using specific keywords and key-phrases for specific segments of your audience, you ́ll get much better SEO results. It will give you a higher exposure that will bring more people to your web page.
Pay attention to SEO practices and target specific groups. This will help you to have a better brand awareness with a clear message.
5. Invest some of your budget in content marketing
Investing some part of your budget in content creation can be quite a lot beneficial for you.
There is no doubt that those companies that have a blog and post regularly generate many more leads than those which do not. It also generates more traffic to your site. Thus, more visitors; and they usually imply more customers.
Interestingly, the content you post in your blog can affect the decisions of possible customers. So, it is vital that the information that you post in your blog is relevant, educational, entertaining, updated and useful for your audience
Apart from blogs, you can also provide premium content to your audience. For instance: eBooks, webinars, whitepapers, etc. This type of content should be highly educational. And also, content that solves your customers problems, questions, issues with a new product, etc.
It is a must to use social media platforms to have a better brand awareness, interact with your audience, and promote your product or service.
Indeed, using social media platforms will bring the opportunity to drive more people to your web page. What’s more, you may gain clients and develop future partnerships.
7. Leverage influencer marketing
Nowadays, using social networks is not enough to promote your business. If you want to succeed, you need to promote your product or service with influencers.
But, finding influencers that generate leads is not an easy task. So, here is where planning, research and a period of trial will tell you who is better for your brand.
If you advertise your product or service with influencers, you will not only have a higher exposure, but also achieve a certain kind of trust.
8. Analyze your company on a regular basis
If you analyze your company, you will be able to check if you have achieved your initial objectives. Also, you will have the chance to see what is working and what’s not.
To make sure you are getting the most out of your efforts, analysis and evaluations are necessary. Besides, they are the best and quickest way to detect any kind of problems that you might be facing.
9. Get feedback from your customers and from your audience
There are one thousand reasons why you should be collecting feedback from your customers as well as from your audience. This information will significantly help you to improve your marketing strategy.
How are you going to know what your clients think and how your audience perceives you if you do not ask them?
There are many ways by which you can collect some valuable information: surveys to website visitors, sending emails, making phone calls, asking them to fill in a questionnaire once they have already done business with you, etc.
Gathering this information can prove to be extremely beneficial for you. For instance to strengthen your relationship with them. They will also feel valued as you are asking them what do they think. What is more, they will trust you more as you are worried about their satisfaction.
Not to mention the fact that feedback is vital so as to improve your products or services. Bear in mind that you are trying to sell something to other companies, so they will value high quality.
Indeed, the best way to improve your services is by asking them what are their pains and think of how can you solve them.
10. Put your strategy into practice
Before you decide to run a new campaign, it’s necessary to test if it would work, if the channel is appropriate, if you have addressed the right audience, etc.
Thus, even though you decide to follow a strategy, it does not mean you can’t learn from it. Getting feedback, or solving whatever problems that may arise. A process of trial-error is a key element of planning.
Automation strategy is key in B2B marketing. Besides, it will make your job a lot easier. Yet, you will need to be very careful as automation can be a double edged sword. If you use it too much, your messages can turn out to be really impersonal and you might lose some of your contacts.
However, if you decide not to use it, you might get yourself into a tedious and hard task which is writing all your emails one by one. The latter these days is almost unthinkable as marketers are really busy and cannot afford to spend loads of time emailing.
You can use automation for instance after an event you have organized to thank participants and ask them general questions related to the event.
Another example when automation would be appropriate is after a webinar. You could ask questions to participants and keep the conversation going.
To make the most of these aspects and succeed, you need to consider that just planning is not enough. Indeed, if you are thinking of developing a B2B marketing plan, you should combine all the above mentioned with research.
Not to mention the fact that it’s vital that you define your goals and foresee how you can achieve them.
B2B Website Strategy
Nowadays having a visually appealing and easy to use website is not enough to generate leads. It requires lots of work to think and carefully plan to produce your best performance. From SEO to webinars, there are many ways to make your B2B website functionable and profitable.
In this chapter, I’ll focus on the B2B marketing strategies you can use for your website to succeed. Then, I’ll explain you all you need to know about SEO, downloads, webinars, blogs, subscribers, CTA, popups and more.
How to improve a B2B website
There are one thousand reasons why you should keep a close eye into your website. A website is a must for any B2B marketer.
Though, not any website generates lots of leads. Thus, you should try to adapt yourself to new trends and have your website updated.
Websites should focus on providing a good user experience. That is to say, you need to give essential information that can meet your clients needs and solve their problems.
There are certain things you can do to have a powerful website.
First of all, you should use an image that is interesting and appealing for your audience. This way, you will be able to attract more visitors to your homepage.
In the company description should be as user-friendly as possible.
Last but not least, another way of generating leads is to post blog updates. That is to say, giving useful and educational content to your audience.
Anyway, below there are some tips you can use to drive more traffic into your B2B web page:
- Update your website on a regular basis
- Post fresh educational content related to your industry
- Make your site attractive for your target audience
- Make your web page user friendly for various devices, such as mobile phones or tablets
- Use calls-to-actions
- Make use of showcase pages to have a better customer engagement
- Optimize your SEO
- Create a blog
Unbelievable as it may seem, lots of B2B buyers fill in web forms to download content. So, it is vital to create educational and useful content to convince your audience to download it.
Since each time they download a piece of content, they have to provide contact details. This information will be useful for you to build a contacts list.
Besides, downloadable content generates leads. Because potential buyers might want to get information without having to talk to you straight away. But, they will be happy enough to provide some personal details.
Yet, to convince your audience to download content, you will have to be careful when you design your contact forms.
Below there are some tips you can use to get the most of your contact forms:
1. Provide your customers short contact forms
Try to ask for essential contact information in your contact forms. Do not force your audience to fill in many details to download a piece of content. Too many fields might drive them away.
Bear in mind that the aim is that they give you their contact details, so try to make it easy for them.
2. Make your contact forms smart powered
If you use smart powered contact forms, your audience will not need to fill in some details they have already provided you in a previous download. Thus, downloading a second or third piece of information will be a lot easier and faster for them.
3. Create an email list
With the details your audience has provided you, it is a good idea to create a contacts list. Once you have your contacts list, you might want to use it as a blog subscriber list or an email newsletter list. It’s up to you how to make use of this information.
Yet, if your audience has provided you some of their personal details is because they fancy whatever content you have in your website. Thus, this means they are potential clients. So, you might want to contact them sooner or later to provide them information about a campaign, special offers, etc.
A Call-To-Action is short phrase in the form of a link or button. Marketers use CTA to ask their audience to do something.
It is a way of drawing your audience attention to something you want them to focus on. You can also use a CTA to tell your audience what to do or what the next step is. Such as in your emails, on your blog and on your web page.
There are lots of examples of CTAs:
- Buy now
- Contact (call/email)
- Free quote
To design compelling CTAs, first of all, you need to make them stand out in comparison with the rest of the content. A good way of highlighting a CTA is with colors.
Besides, you should try to place them wherever they make sense with the rest of the content. Try to be crystal clear with the words you use and do not use too many words. Simplicity is key.
If you want your CTA to be more effective, you can add a sense of urgent need. This way, your audience will be more tempted to click on them.
Pop Ups are very common these days. The truth is there are lots of different formats of Pop Ups. So, I ́ll deal with the most typical ones below.
1. Exit Pop Up
An exit pop up is the one that appears when the user is about to leave a page. The aim of this pop up is to convince the audience not to leave the site.
You can use them to persuade new visitors with special offers. Most researchers believe that exit pop ups increase conversion rates. Thus, they generate more leads.
2. Survey Pop Up
You can use survey pop ups to gather information from your audience. They are very useful to get feedback.
Besides, you can address survey pop ups to different segments of your audience. I mean, you can make them visible only for mobile devices, or for the speakers of a language, etc
If you want your survey pop ups to be more effective, you can offer your audience a reward. For instance, a free video or an eBook. You can even give them the chance to win something.
3. Slide-in Pop Up
Slide-in pop ups are the ones that appear when users scroll down the page. They are good for catching readers attention without disturbing them so much.
4. Time delayed Pop Up
It is a pop up that appears after a certain time considering when the user logs in a web page. Usually they appear more or less by the end of an article.
Though the perfect timing varies depending on your audience and the content that you are writing about.
5. Bar Pop Up
Bar pop ups are similar to slide-in pop ups. The main difference is that bar pop ups are larger. So, they are more visible for users.
But, they also appear when users scroll down the page
6. Two-step Pop Up
This kind of pop up, as it name suggests, asks readers to do something in two phases.
In the first phase, a pop up appears to ask users to click on it. While, in the second phase, readers are asked to do something else. For instance to provide their email in exchange for downloading an article.
7. Mobile Pop Up
Mobile pop ups are the ones that are specially designed for these devices. To make it work, you must carefully design them to be user-friendly in mobile devices.
As the size is different, and the device is different too, do not have the same design for desktop pop ups as for mobile ones.
Blogging is on the rise because it boosts credibility, trust and brand awareness. It is not only trendy, but also easy to use, and it can be up-dated as many times as you like.
Besides, it’s reasonably cost-productive. And, it will help you to improve your web page ranking in search engines.
Blog also makes it easier for you to spread out information through different channels. What is more, it’s essential whenever you are running a new marketing campaign. It can help you to generate more leads and catch the attention of your audience.
But, having a blog it’s time-consuming. Though, if you follow the steps provided below, it will be easier:
1. Find out what topics are engaging for your audience
What topics should you write about in your blog? Think about issues that are interesting for your audience. You should pick up topics that for whatever reason are interesting for your audience. Thus, you will be either helping or educating them.
2. Provide valuable information
It is vital that you provide high-quality content in your blog. As well as writing for your audience, you should write valuable information. This way, you will generate a certain level of trust among your customers.
Apart from being interesting, the content you produce in your blog has to deal with the problems your audience has. This way, your blog will be profitable for you. That is to say, it will increase leads, trust, engagement and conversion rates.
3. Bear in mind your web page design and SEO practices
If you want your blog to be successful, you need to pay special attention to SEO practices and the design of your web page. You have to design your blog and website in such a way that they look friendly in any device.
As regards SEO practices, you should make yourself familiar with aspects such as keywords, linking, and more.
4. Work with influencers
Influencers are very useful to promote your blog. Yet, not any influencer is a right match for you. You should try to work with people who are experts in your industry.
And, at the same time, people who share your values. But also, influencers that matter for your audience. So, if you gain their approval, you will probably gain the recognition and trust of their audience too.
5. Write for your audience
Apart from bearing your audience always in mind, you should also pay attention to their comments. Here is where you will have the opportunity to communicate with them.
You can learn a lot from their questions, concerns, suggestions. Thus, you can use the information you get from the comments section of your blog to write new posts.
Social media platforms are key to promote your blog. So, if you have business accounts on social media platforms, make sure you have a link there that drives visitors straight away to your blog.
Besides, it is also possible to have clickable links in your blog that connect it with your social networks business accounts. This way, you will make sure your audience can find you easily, and you will get more exposure.
7. Try to keep your readers engaged
Blog posts are usually quite long. To keep your readers engaged till the end of the post, there are several things to consider here. For example, you should try to write about interesting topics and use strong headlines.
Besides, you should also include some images to reinforce what you are saying. This way, it will be easier to read and more attractive for your audience.
On top of that, you can also include infographics. This way, your audience will find it easier to visualize your content.
8. Reward faithful readers
You might want to reward your audience loyalty by giving them access to premium content, free eBooks, etc. This way, your audience will feel valued. And, this will attract more readers to your blog.
Any B2B SEO strategy should be able to answer the following questions:
- Which are your audience needs?
- How can you help them?
- How can you rank high in search engines?
The answer to these questions is not as easy as it may seem. B2B SEO needs to convince many decision makers. And also, it needs to come up with the right keywords to convert in more traffic to your web page.
Why is this complicated? The main reason is that B2B SEO depends on specific keywords. And this means that it ́s more complicated that they generate loads of visits.
Visitors to B2B web pages are unlikely to become your customers the first time they come to your site. B2B customers need to get used to seeing your website ranks high in search engines.
And also, you need to convince them of the fact that they can trust you. It’s only then, when your SEO efforts convert.
Which are your audience needs?
To be aware of your audience needs, you will need to focus on the type of words that they are currently typing on search engines. This will give you information about the type of keywords you should use in your content.
To understand that, you ́ll need to do some research first. At first, you need to know how your audience finds you. I mean, whether you are using strong and relevant keywords or if you need to work on that.
You can also have a look at what your competitors are doing. This way, you will be able to use this information to your own benefit.
There are some other things you might want to consider when you create new keywords. For example, give priority to the relevance of your keywords. It is advisable that you organize and group your keywords. This will save you loads of time.
It is not necessary you write a new blog post for each of your keywords. You can group those that have something in common. Besides, you should consider whether your keywords are easy enough for search engines. Since they give keywords a score, this affects quite a lot to how high your keywords appear in their list.
How can you help your audience?
The most obvious way by which you can help your audience is by giving them the content they are looking for. Though, this content also needs to rank high in search engines, if not, creating it won’t be productive for you.
Whatever it is the type of content you use, it needs to be in a long format and focused on your audience needs. You shouldn’t ́t be trying to sell your product or service on the first place.
It’s beneficial for you to focus on your audience because this generates more SEO to your site. However, it takes lots of time to create high quality content.
And just because you have currently written a post, it won’t rank high in search engines. It’s advisable to come up with a content calendar. Publishing frequently will help you to have better SEO.
Not all of the content you publish needs to rank high. But. it needs to be useful for your audience, even if it is for a very specific segment of it.
Apart from this, it’s relevant to mention the following:
- Give a clear presentation of your product in your homepage. And, provide clear pricing and the main features of your product or service.
- If possible, mention your product or service whenever you are creating new content. For instance, in your blog.
- Give your customers the opportunity to write short reviews about you, your product or service.
- Provide educational content to your audience.
- Create a blog.
- Provide tutorials and case studies in your web page.
- Some B2B sites even allow visitors to use free tools, which attracts lots of people to your site.
How can you rank high in search engines?
Once you have identified your audience needs, it’s time you focus on how search engines find your site. But, how can you do that?
If you want your website to rank high in search engines, there are several aspects you might consider:
1. Use relevant wording - LSI keywords
Whatever is it the topic you are writing about, try to use topic related words.
For instance, if you are writing about marketing, use keywords such as SEO, digital marketing, marketing strategy, etc.
2. Optimize your click-through-rate
There are several things you can do to make your links more clickable. For instance, you should try to attract your audience with an interesting title.
Besides, you should use a short but captivating description of what your content is going to be about.
And finally, try to make your URLs as simple and relevant as possible. This will generate trust in your audience.
3. Link building
This means trying to get other people to share your content. It helps you to reach more people and rank higher in search engines.
You can promote your content with influencers. Besides, you can send an email to relevant people from your email list and ask them to share it on the social media.
Ingeneral, an email list changes quite a lot over time. But, it’s a must for any B2B marketer since it will help you to expand your business online.
But, what can you do to grow your email list?
Here are some tactics to consider:
Install a scroll box at the end of your post
This way, you won’t disturb your readers. And, the truth is some of them will become subscribers after reading an interesting post.
Install a floating bar
It could be visible for readers whenever they have reached a certain part of your post. However, this might be more annoying for them.
Add testimonials either on the top or at the bottom of your homepage
Testimonials are a great way to generate trust among your audience. Don’t forget to provide evidence that shows you’re worth subscribing to!
Upgrade your content
Once you have posted valuable and popular content in your blog, you can add content upgrades. This way, your audience will be aware of the fact that the content in your blog is always up-to-date.
Create interesting blog posts
You can increase your subscribers by making sure what you are currently writing in your post is interesting for them. Thus, attracting even more subscribers and building your email list.
Promote your new content on social media
Social media is a powerful way to drive traffic to your content. Yet, frequency and originality are key elements that you should consider in your post promotions.
This is more effective when you offer your audience downloadable content for free. So, if they want to get it, they will have to provide their email address.
Accept guest posting
This will bring extra traffic from the promotion by the guests and give you the chance to get new subscribers. Double check the quality of the content they will post, or you may lose the trust you have built with your audience.
Reward your subscribers
Rewarding is an excellent way to show you care for them and develop relationships with your subscribers. For instance, you can reward the people who share your post link by offering them to become part of your private community.
B2B Webinars are one of the most well-known channels you can use to educate your audience. They give you the opportunity to target a specific segment of your audience and show them the benefits of a specific product or service.
What is more, Webinars will give you the chance to expand your reach and brand awareness. Thus, they are useful to generate trust and confidence among your audience.
The benefits of using Webinars are endless. Below there is a list of the most common ones:
Interact and connect with a wider audience
B2B webinars will give you the chance to connect with as many people as you want. You can address people from different locations or different people from the same company. And all of them will be receiving the same information, which will save you loads of your valuable time.
Allow you to talk with participants
This is one of the most useful and attractive parts of webinars to participants. At the end of a webinar session, you should include a discussion or questions and answers debate. This way, participants will have the opportunity to ask you some doubts or questions about your presentation.
Easy and affordable to produce
The truth is that face-to-face meetings are not always possible. And whenever they are, it would be impossible for marketers to meet with all their clients in person. So, webinars give marketers the opportunity to meet with various clients at the same time. This is the main reason why webinars will make your job a lot easier.
Besides, they are affordable because participants will not need to spend any money at all. That is to say, they do not involve any travel expenses. This makes them very useful these days because companies do business with other companies from other parts of the world. But, travelling is not always an option due to different schedules, budget, and more.
You can ask participants to provide you contact details for follow up questions, to send them further information, or to build your contacts list. This is usually done before the webinar takes place. This way, you will have some relevant information about your audience before the webinar.
As well as using webinars to gain new clients, you might want to use them to enhance existing partnerships with your clients. For instance to solve doubts about how to use a product, or to give them solutions to any problem they may be facing.
You can even use webinars to show your customers you are accessible to them. Thus, generating trust for your brand.
Establish your brand as a leading one
As webinars are cost-productive, you can do as many as you want. Thus, they can help you to establish your company as a leading one among your industry. You have the opportunity to use webinars to educate your audience.
But, at the same time, you can use webinars to show your audience the most up-to-date trends in your industry. This way, you can place yourself as an expert or even as one of the leading brands.
Allow you to do live demonstrations of your products
Webinars are the perfect channel to show your audience how your products work. You could use them to show your audience what they can do with your product. So, you should not only talk about their benefits and provide statistics.
Give you the chance to show and promote original content
Originality is a key element of any webinar. Apart from providing your audience with up-to-date and interesting content, you can use different formats in a webinar:
questions and answers
This way, you will have participants attention guaranteed. They will not get bored if you combine materials and formats. Don’t forget to mention that they will have the chance to ask questions or solve doubts at the end.
Follow up contacts
Once the webinar has taken place, you might want to contact participants. You can use all those contact details you asked for when people registered for your event to reach your audience.
For instance: to continue talking about the topic or to send them further information.
Now, you know the best website strategies that work in 2019.
If you want to know more strategies about how to create compelling content, keep on reading!
B2B Content Marketing Strategy
There is no doubt that carrying out some strategies for content creation is of utmost importance. You need to bear in mind that the content you create will help you to attract more people to your web page. Besides, it will be useful to gain some recognition, trust and loyalty.
That’s why in this chapter, I ́ll focus on B2B marketing strategies for content creation.
What’s more, when it comes to choosing the right keywords for content creation, it is essential to do some research. Failing to do so might prove to be disastrous for your brand awareness. So, you will do a lot of work and spend a lot of energy for nothing!
Thus, I ́ll also deal with keyword research, content creation for SEO and link building.
B2B Strategies for Content Creation
These days it is necessary to follow some B2B content strategies to succeed. If you have a content creation strategy, it will help you to attract leads and generate conversions.
But, B2B content marketing isn’t a piece of cake, so you will need to establish your own strategy to succeed. Besides, a B2B content strategy will help you to reach your goals. So, it is necessary that you decide which path you are going to follow in advance.
In certain occasions, a process of trial-error is key. You might find it useful to try different strategies. And then, check what works and what does not work for your business.
The truth is that B2B strategies for content creation have changed over the last years. This is due to the fact that B2B marketing has changed too. Nowadays, everything depends more and more on technology.
But, what strategies can you use for B2B content creation in 2019?
Below there is a list of the main aspects you should consider to create your own strategy:
1. Find out who your audience is
When it comes to content creation your audience matters more than anything else. As you are going to spend a part of your budget on this content creation, you would like it to be worth the effort.
Content creation takes a lot of time and energy. But, if it does not reach your audience, it will be a waste of time. So, you will need to do some research and find out who your audience is before you start creating content.
There are lots of ways of getting information. You can check your sales data. And, you can also collect information through surveys. On top of that, there are some tools available on the market that can help you with this task. Among them Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Keyword Tool, and more.
Whatever the channel you use to gather information, it ́s key that it helps you to know who they are. And also, to understand their needs.
Once you have collected some data, you will have to create a buyer’s persona. I mean, a detailed description of your target audience. For instance, their gender, age, location, activities, etc. And then, you would be ready to start creating content that is relevant for your audience.
2. Identify your audience's interests
To create meaningful content, it is not enough to know who your audience is. You will also need to do some research about their interests. This will help you to choose topics which are relevant for them. Thus, it is necessary that you find out what type of information they are searching for. And also, why they are doing it.
If you do so, you will be able to create content that answers their needs. That is to say, content that is not only interesting, but also educational and useful for them.
3. Set your goals
Before you start creating content, you will need to devote some of your time to think about your goals. In other words, you need to know the reasons why creating any kind of B2B content will be beneficial for you.
The questions you should ask yourself are:
- How can content creation help you to generate more leads?
- How can it help you with brand awareness?
- How can it help you with trust and loyalty?
- Is it going to improve your SEO?
Analyzing these and other questions is necessary to establish your goals. You need to know the reasons why you want to create new content before you start doing it. Once you make sure what your goals are, it’s time you plan your strategy for content creation. Besides, it would be useful to check if your strategy works.
You can change your strategy as many times as it is necessary if you see that you are not getting the results you want. Remember that a certain process of trial-error is key to succeed.
4. Focus on the user experience
Not surprisingly, it is not enough to create high quality and relevant content. Besides, you will need to pay attention to UX. It matters because it goes hand in hand with brand loyalty. And, as you all know, loyalty is vital in B2B marketing.
So, apart from creating compelling content, you need to focus on how your customers perceive your content. This way, you won’t only be getting new clients, but also clients that will trust you as a brand. And also, clients that will go for you again if they need your services in the future.
If you pay attention to user experience, this will help you to stand out in front of your competitors. And also, to gain some kind of recognition in your industry.
5. Create relevant and valuable content
If you want to create high quality content, you will need to reach a balance between what your audience wants and what you want to publish.
Thus, there are lots of tips you can follow for a successful B2B content creation:
- Create content that is engaging
- Combine different types of content creation. That is to say, try to combine text with images and videos.
- Try to create content that is relevant, but also visually appealing for your audience.
- Try to be as creative and original as possible with your content creation.
- Update previous publications whenever they are still relevant for your audience.
- Add CTAs in your posts.
- Collaborate with well-known bloggers. This might help you to appear high in search engines.
- Create content that is educational for your audience. Do not try to sell something on the first place.
- Try to create content that is appealing and entertaining. If your audience falls asleep reading your post, they won’t finish reading or watching it!
- Make sure you include some user-generated content (with their permission). For instance, comments or reviews. It generates trust and loyalty.
6. Get personal
If you want to stand out in front of your competitors, you will need to get personal. This is what differentiates your brand from other brands. So, you have to share it with your audience.
One of the best ways for getting a little bit more personal is through social media. You can make use of these channel to share some insights from your company. What is more, it is an excellent way to establish a closer relationship with your clients. This way, they would feel that they matter to you.
Apart from social media, there are other channels you can use to get more personal. Among them it is necessary to highlight emails, testimonials, online reviews, and more.
7. Check what your competitors are doing
It is advisable to have a look at what ́s what your competitors are doing for various reasons. For instance, to identify what aspects you should avoid. And also, to check what type of content is working well.
Indeed, checking what your competitors are doing is useful to get ideas. And also, to find out what’s working well among your audience.
But, it is also advisable as you might discover something which your competitors have not covered yet. Although, it might be interesting for your audience. Thus, placing yourself as a leading brand in your industry if you decide to cover this gap.
8. Establish a relationship
In B2B marketing, it is fundamental you establish a relationship with your clients. It is not enough to write content that is interesting and answers your clients needs.
If you want to succeed, you will need to pay attention to your audience ́s feedback. In other words, it is necessary that you listen to them. This way, you will make them feel that you care for them.
A good way to establish a relationship with your clients is through personal emails. This type of content can be as personalized as you like. So, you can make use of this channel to build strong relationships with your audience.
9. Develop a content distribution strategy
There are one thousand reasons why you should follow a content distribution strategy. One of them is that if you want your content to reach your audience, you need to plan its distribution in advance.
Creating original content that does not reach your audience is a waste of time and resources. Thus, if you want it to be worth the effort, you will need to have a distribution plan. This content strategy will be different for each business, though it will have to meet your goals. For example, increase your SEO, reach, sales, and more.
There are lots of different ways of presenting your content and spreading the word. These days it is vital to use social media platforms. For instance, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
If you run a new marketing campaign, it is advisable to consider paid content distribution. This way, you will be attracting a new audience. Besides, you can also use emails to distribute your content and reach your audience.
Last but not least, you can ask some of your loyal clients to help you with the distribution. This is one of the most effective ways because people trust people more than anything else. If you have your clients sharing your content, it will help you with content distribution. And, it will also be beneficial for your brand awareness. Thus, creating more trust among your audience.
10. Check and track your success
Whatever is it the content strategy you decide to follow, it is key to measure its success. There are many tools available that can make this task easier for you. For example Google Analytics, Buffer and more.
You need to make sure that your content creation is helping you to achieve your goals. That is to say, you should check what works and what is not working. Being aware of this information is vital to improve your strategy.
Besides, there are other aspects that are fundamental for a successful content creation strategy: keyword research, content creation for SEO and link building.
These days keyword research is vital in content creation. Before you start writing a new piece of content, it is necessary to do some research.
What is more, keyword research will help you to come up with outstanding keywords. And these are necessary to improve your chances to reach a wider audience. Thus, to generate more leads.
Identifying the best keywords for your brand and industry will help you to rank higher in search engines. And also, it will help you to find out new topics for content creation.
But, how can you improve content creation with keyword research? Below there are some tips that will help you with this task:
1. Research your audience and listen to your clients
If you want to come up with optimal keywords, you will need to focus on your audience. It is necessary that you know who your clients are and listen to what they are telling you.
You can also get ideas from your sales team as they are the ones that have a closer relationship with your clients.
On top of that, another way of getting information is through surveys. You can use this channel to identify what topics are engaging. And also, what issues are causing problems among your audience.
By identifying the interests of your audience and of your clients, you will be able to focus on keywords that matter for them. Thus, you will create content that is interesting and educational for your audience.
2. Research what questions your audience and/or customers are asking
Once you know who your audience is and what issues are of their interest, you need to focus on what type of questions they are typing in search engines. Being aware of what type of questions they have will help you to discover relevant keywords.
As a marketer, you will probably know some of their concerns. Yet, it would be useful to use certain tools that might give you detailed data about these issues.
Among many others, it is relevant to mention AnswerThePublic. This is an awesome tool that takes into account Google ́s search suggestions. Indeed, it will help you to research common questions in your niche.
3. Pay attention to keyword competition
It is important that you consider keyword competition. As a matter of fact, not all the content you create needs to rank high in search engines. You might find it useful to create content to refer to it when your clients ask you questions repeatedly.
Yet, one of the main reasons why B2B marketers create content is to improve their SEO. And, in order to do that you will need to pay attention to keyword competition. There are some tools that might help you with this. For instance, Moz, Ahrefs, etc
4. Create a list of keywords
Once you have done some keyword research, it’s time you create your own keywords list. The more keywords you find related to your brand the better.
So, it is necessary that together with your keywords you also focus on related terms. I mean, words from the same semantic field. This keyword list should not be always the same, you need to adapt it as relevant keywords might change.
In order to create your own keywords list, you should be as specific as possible with your choices. If the keywords you decide to use are too general, there might be a lot of content already written about them. So, it will be more difficult for these keywords to rank high in search engines.
5. Use a keyword planner tool
These tools might help you to organize your keywords better. Besides, you can use them to check how competitive a specific keyword is. And also, to get some alternatives to the keywords you have chosen.
As I have mentioned before, your keyword list might change. So, these tools will be useful to check if your keywords are still relevant. If you find out that a keyword is no longer useful, you will need to remove it from your list, change it and add new keywords.
Once you have chosen a keyword or a group of them, it’s time you start writing about it. It is a good idea to include your keyword in the URL, the article headline and page title as well as in some of the subtopics. If you do so, it will have better search results.
Besides, after posting content it is necessary that you check its success. If your content does not get good search results, it is advisable to choose a different keyword for your next article.
Content creation for SEO
SEO is constantly changing due to many factors. For example user behavior, algorithm updates, new apps, platforms, features and more. So, it is vital to take it into account for content creation. Planning your SEO strategy is crucial to build relationships, reach your target audience and get more leads.
Thus, you need to be aware of some of the best practices to improve your SEO. For instance, the importance of creating a blog which will drive loads of traffic to your site.
Besides, you can have an area on your site devoted to longer formats. For example guides, eBooks, webinar recordings, whitepapers, etc. Whatever the format you use, the content needs to be educational and useful for your audience.
1. Create personalized content
In B2B marketing it is vital that the content you create meets your clients needs. You will need to do some research to ensure that the content you are planning to create is educational.
This content will be different for each brand because your audience might have different concerns from the ones of the audience of other brands.
Thus, it is necessary that you create content taking into account your audience needs. This way, you will make sure that the content you create will be useful. If you do so, you can send them to your site to solve their doubts whenever they come to you with questions. So, your SEO will increase because you will have more visits.
2. Design great landing pages
Apart from having a high quality homepage, it is advisable to create some great landing pages. The main reason is that these landing pages might help you to improve your relationship with your clients.
Besides, they can also help you to get more leads and increase traffic. So, you should track how many people actually click on the links to your landing pages or share them. This information is of vital importance. If your landing pages do not generate traffic, you should check what ́s not working and try to improve it.
Yet, you have to be aware of the fact that landing pages usually have less visits than your homepage.
3. Do some keyword research
As I have mentioned before in this chapter, keyword research is key for content creation. Choosing the right keywords is not only a must to decide what topics you are going to write about, but it is also necessary for better SEO practices.
Yet, you should not sacrifice all your content creation for getting better SEO. In B2B marketing, marketers create content to answer the queries of other companies and help their clients. This way, you will have a great relationship with your audience and most of your content will rank high in search engines.
4. Take into account user intent
To improve your SEO with content creation, you need to focus on user intent. Coming up with keywords that match user intent might be tedious and time consuming.
Yet, it is necessary to improve your SEO. And, it will be worth the effort. So, whenever you are planning to create content, you should check beforehand how it would perform in search engines.
Not to mention the fact that guaranteeing a great UX will help you to succeed. So, it is advisable to do some research before you start creating content.
5. Make sure your titles are shorter than 60 characters
Although it may not be always possible to keep your titles under 60 characters, it is advisable that you try to do so. The main reason is that this way the whole title will appear in search engines.
And this is beneficial because your audience will be able to see in a glimpse what ́s your content going to be about.
6. Write an engaging description
Apart from writing a short title, it is necessary that you create a description for your post. Besides, a meta description will help you with your click-through rate. Thus, with your SEO.
You can write up to 160 characters in this type of descriptions. This meta description gives you the opportunity to provide users with a compelling description of your post. Thus, it will help users to decide whether to click on it or not.
7. Ensure your URL is readable, simple and relevant
In B2B marketing, it is advisable that you have a simple, relevant and readable URL. This will help you to have better SEO results due to the fact that it would make your clients feel safer.
It is necessary because it generates trust for your homepage and your landing pages. Thus, for your brand. Indeed, it improves UX too.
One of the best ways to improve your SEO and place your content in front of a larger audience is by ensuring they can share it. If you allow your audience to share your content, it will definitely reach a larger audience. Besides, it will rank higher in search engines.
So, you should have a clickable link in all your posts that allows your audience to share them. This way, your audience will be able to help you with your brand awareness, reach, leads, SEO and more.
9. Use natural language
The use of natural language will make your content a lot easier to digest for your audience. So, it will help you with UX. Besides, in this technological world we live in these days, it is more and more common the use of voice search apps.
So, if the language you use in your content is very complicated, it won’t appear in search engines. Thus, you need to make sure that the language you use is as natural as possible. And also, easy enough for voice search apps.
10. Take into account different devices
Nowadays, having a responsive website is not enough to guarantee content exposure. Besides, you have to consider that your audience might use devices such as a mobile phone to access to your content.
So, it is key that the content you create is mobile-friendly. Apart from that, you should bear in mind other aspects. For instance font size, your site’s structure and navigation, multimedia content, etc.
If you take all those aspects into account when you create content and you adapt them for different devices, they will rank high in search engines. And, your SEO will be better.
11. Create long pieces of content
These days in B2B marketing there is an increasing tendency to write high-quality and long pieces of content. So, it is advisable that you create content in different formats that answers your clients needs. For instance guides, whitepapers, eBooks, etc.
By creating elaborated content, you will be educating and helping your audience. And also, it will help you to attract new prospects and strengthen your relationships with your clients.
12. Video and infographics
Video content will help you to improve your ROI. If you create content in this format, it will help you to reach a larger audience. Besides, videos are easy to share and you can use them in social media networks, such as Facebook.
Promoting your content with videos is a good idea due to the fact that they will attract more visitors to your website, blog, etc.
Likewise, infographics can also help you present high-quality and visual content in front of your audience. Besides, they can also help you with link building efforts and organic search traffic.
13. Blogs and forums
Having an account in blogs and forums of your industry is an excellent way to gather information about your audience’s questions.
But, you shouldn’t ́t be promoting your content in the first place. Instead, this type of industry forums and blogs are key to learn about the content you should write about. It can also give you ideas to come up with new keywords for future posts.
Once you have a good relationship with other members, and if they ask you, you can promote content from your website that is useful for their queries. So, it’s a good idea to become part of certain forums and blogs that are relevant to your business.
14. Promote your content
Creating compelling, long and high quality pieces of content is not enough to drive more traffic to your site. Besides, you will need to promote it somehow. This way, it will generate more traffic. And, it can convert in more downloads, conversions and leads.
If you fail to promote your content, it will only reach the followers you already have of your website. But, if you promote your content for instance in LinkedIn groups, your exposure will be a lot higher. And the chances of new people visiting your site will increase.
Apart from LinkedIn groups, it is relevant to mention guest posting. Though, if you promote your content through this way, it has to be by someone who is an authority in your industry.
Instead of trying to attract a unique and new audience for each piece of content you create, you can promote it thanks to link building. It consists of having other websites linking to your site. It is a fantastic way to ensure your content will drive traffic to your site and it will rank high in search engines.
As link building is essential for the promotion of your content, I will talk about it more in detail in the next section of this chapter.
Link building is an essential strategy to generate more traffic into your site. What is more, the importance of quality links that drive people to your website cannot be underestimated.
The truth is that if you develop some link building strategies, you will get more traffic into your site. Thus, your SEO will improve too.
As B2B marketing goes hand in hand with building relationships and gain authority, it is not enough to come up with high quality content.
But also, you will need to get some relevant links from other sites that drive users straightaway to your website.
Below there are some B2B link building strategies:
One of the easiest ways to generate more visits to your site is by inserting a link in your profiles in social networks. If you have an account on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you can add a link to your site.
This way, users of these platforms will know where to find you. And, this generates more traffic into your site. Thus, it is positive for your brand awareness. And, apart from getting more social attention, you can also get more shares.
Indeed, high authority websites in your industry might notice this content. And, luckily, they might link to your site whenever it’s appropriate.
Another way of improving your link building is by noticing broken links. If you discover broken links on other websites, you can contact with the owner and let him know about it.
Once you have found some of these broken links, if it’s appropriate you can offer a link to your site.
From time to time, you might also want to get the opinions of experts and authority figures in your industry. For instance, including one of their articles, or even an interview.
As they are authority figures or influencers in your industry, they will have a larger audience. And once the article or interview is published in your site, they might add a link in their web page, blog or profile too.
Thus, you will reach not only a larger audience, but also the audience of an influential person in your industry. So, the benefits of working with a recognized influencer are endless.
4. Guest blogging
Guest blogging is one of the best B2B strategies for link building in the long-term. So, it can help you to improve your SEO results and gain some recognition in your industry.
The first step is to find out guest blogging opportunities. You will need to look for websites that are trying to find guest bloggers. And also, websites that will allow you to include a link to your own site.
Besides, you will need to check if these websites have an audience in your niche. And also, if they have high engagement rates.
Once you have all that covered, you can send them an email offering yourself to write about new and interesting topics they might be interested in. Hopefully, you will be invited as a guest blogger. And, if you can include a link to your site, it will help you a lot with your SEO strategy.
5. Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
HARO is a database for reporters that ensures quality contributions. It’s free for contributors and the only thing you need to become a member is an email address.
If you decide to form part of this huge database, you will receive three emails a day with some queries by writers. Thus, if some of your content can answer to reporters queries you can email them back.
HARO values high quality content. So, if you want them to include your link, you need to ensure that your content matches what they are looking for.
Besides, you will need to write a description of your content in your email. I recommend you to be humble and make it as personal as possible. Bear in mind that they will get tons of answers. If you do so, you will get some back links that will drive loads of traffic to your site.
6. Conference sponsorships
Conference sponsorships are a good link building strategy, though they are expensive. Depending on the type of conference you sponsor, it can bring you different benefits.
For example target audience conferences will place you in front of you ideal clients. While local sponsorships will help you to improve your local SEO.
As well as guest blogging, infographics might be useful for link building. If you create high quality and relevant infographics, you can then ask other sites to include a link to them.
But, if you want other sites to backlink to your infographics, you will have to ensure it will be useful for their audience.
As I mentioned before, well-known forums in your industry might also help you to increase your SEO. And also, they are a good link building strategy. Yet, you must be careful if you decide to use this strategy. The main reason is that you cannot include a link in all your answers.
Instead, if you are an active member of forums related to your industry, you can help users to solve their doubts. And, whenever a doubt arises that has to do with one of your recent posts, you can add a link to it.
This way, you will get yourself a good reputation. And at the same time, you will gain some recognition in your industry.
Now you are aware of how to implement link building and the importance of keyword research. Besides, you know the most important strategies for content creation in B2B marketing.
B2B Promotion Strategy
Promotion is one of the most critical steps in the overall B2B marketing process. Without promotional efforts, it is hard to drive qualified traffic and leads and beat your competitors. Based on your preferred channels, create a solid promotion strategy.
In this chapter, I ́ll deal with B2B marketing strategies for promotion. Besides, I will focus on the importance of the lead magnets like social media and more.
B2B Marketing Strategies for Promotion
B2B marketing strategies for promotion are different from the promotion strategies of B2C marketing. They might have some things in common, such as great quality and reduced prices.
Yet, in B2B marketing you also have to consider future partnerships, technical specifications and many other aspects that affect purchasing decisions.
In B2B marketing, promotion strategies are key to reach a new audience. Besides, they are necessary for brand awareness. Not to mention, their relevance to get more leads and increase conversion rates.
Thus, you will need to develop your own marketing strategies for the promotion of your brand. The choice of one strategy or another will depend on the budget at your disposal. But, it is necessary to promote your brand as these days there is a lot of competition.
Having a powerful website will help you quite a lot. Your website is the first place your audience will look at to find more information about you. But, a website on its own is not enough to promote your business.
Below there are some B2B marketing strategies for promotion that will help you to succeed:
1. Trade shows and exhibitions
Trade shows and exhibitions are events which various companies and industry associations organize together. The aim of these events is to show the products and services they have to offer. They are a great opportunity to increase your brand awareness as well as to build future partnerships.
2. Events and conferences
These can place you in front of a huge number of highly qualified prospects. I mean, it is a really good idea to give conferences. Thus, you will speak to your audience as an expert in your industry.
Apart from increasing brand awareness, it can also help you to educate them and solve their problems effectively.
Needless to say, conferences are not the only events you should focus on to promote your brand. You can also make use of summits or webinars as these days they are gaining popularity. The advantage of the later is that you won ́t need to spend a lot of time traveling.
Though, carrying out an event like this is not enough, you should also follow up and continue the conversation to gain their loyalty.
3. Advertising in trade journals
They might be a quite expensive way of promoting your brand and usually do not have immediate results. However, they are intended to reach decision makers. So, if you can afford it, they are a good way of promoting a B2B company.
4. Direct marketing
Direct marketing is one of the best ways to reach your customers with your up-to-date contact list. It is advisable to modify your messages to make them suitable for your audience. Such as, you don’t need to send the same messages to all the segments, you can adapt them.
The main drawback of this type of promotion is that sometimes your message does not reach the recipient. These days users can classify these messages they no longer want to receive as spam.
Trade-ins are a wonderful way of promoting your brand in B2B markets. It consists of offering your clients a discount when they buy a new product in exchange of the old one.
So, it not only promotes your business and increases sales, but it is also a brilliant way to show your clients that your care for them. So, it is good for loyalty and brand awareness too.
6. Promotional products
In B2B marketing it is quite common to promote your brand with promotional products. For instance with items of clothing, stationary, etc with the logo of your company.
Clients will appreciate it as everyone likes to get things for free. And, it will increase your brand awareness and promote your brand among your clients and people from your industry.
7. Sample products
As well as promotional products, sample products are a really good way to promote your brand. You will have to spend some of your budget on this, though it is highly cost productive.
If you reward your clients and even your audience with promotional products they will have the chance to test them and check their quality. Thus, those who are pleased with the sample products will buy them.
Besides, it is a good idea to give sample products when you are launching a new campaign of a product that is completely new to the market.
8. Price reductions
Occasionally you might want to offer certain price reductions for various reasons. For example, to gain clients against your competitors or when you have too many of X on stock and you want to get rid of them.
But, you should be careful here as you need to check to what extent it would be worth it for you.
If what you want is to promote your business and reach a larger audience, running a contest is a great idea. It can help you to drive a lot of traffic to your site. Besides, you can allow your audience to share the information. This way, you will even reach a higher audience.
However, if what you offer as a reward is highly attractive, you might attract people who are not really interested in your brand, but in the prize of the contest. Though, it will still promote your brand and increase your awareness.
10. Referral program
There are many reasons why a referral program is an excellent way of promoting your business. It is based on the word of mouth marketing to some of your loyal clients. If you encourage your clients to promote your brand to their fellows, they will help you to promote your business to real prospects who are interested in your products.
So, as a marketing promotion it is pretty effective. Though, you shouldn’t forget about those who have helped you with the promotion. So, you could reward them with a discount for instance.
It goes without saying that influencers are essential to promote your brand. What is more, you can use tools such as Buzzsumo or Keyhole to find influencers that match with your brand and the message you want to convey.
It is relevant to mention that in B2B marketing micro-influencers might be better than top-influencers. The main reason is that even though their audiences are smaller, they probably have a closer relationship with them. So, it may be easier to convince their audiences to take action.
B2B email marketing
In B2B marketing it is key to get your email list up to date. The main reason is that if you fail to do so, you might be targeting people that are no longer interested in your business.
It is inevitable that you lose some subscribers as time goes by. You might lose them because they may have changed jobs, you may be sending them too many emails, they might find your emails no longer useful, etc. So, it is key to gain new subscribers and update your email list from time to time.
Once you have your email list ready, your main aim should be to build a relationship with them. In order to do so, it is not enough that you send them a welcoming email. Besides, you should keep the conversation going.
Not to mention the fact that your emails should be as personalized as possible as well as relevant for them.
Below there are some advices you can follow to succeed in email subscription:
1. Offer a high quality service
It is key to offer a good service so as to keep your customers happy. If you provide them a functional and outstanding service, they will feel valued. Besides, if you or anyone from your team detects an issue, you should try to solve it as soon as possible.
You should also take into account that a good service is always the one that is focused on the needs of your clients.
2. Give your audience a reason to become your subscribers
There are one thousand reasons why you should give your prospects a reason to become your subscribers. Though, the most important one is that at the beginning of the relationship, they do not know you. However, you want them to choose you rather than your competitors.
An excellent way of doing so is by offering them some kind of incentive. For instance, a short trial period or access to exclusive content. This way, your prospects will be more inclined to become your subscribers. And, you will have the chance to strengthen the relationship with them.
Thus, you will gain their trust and loyalty, which in B2B marketing is vital.
3. Offer a clear billing
If you are going to charge your customers for the subscription, you need to be transparent with the billing. They will appreciate if you make it clear from the very beginning if they will be charged for using the service.
What is more, you should keep the conversation going and solve any problems or misunderstandings promptly. A good way of being transparent is letting them know when, how and for what services they are going to pay.
4. Make it clear how they can cancel the service
It is important that you make it clear how subscribers can cancel the service. It should be an easy opt-out process to follow. This way, they will not feel misinformed, and if they no longer want to be your subscribers, they will know how they can cancel their subscription.
5. Keep on adding fresh content not to lose subscribers
Why should your subscribers stay with you? Because they believe that you’ll offer them valuable content, materials, etc. One of the best ways by which you can convince them to be loyal to you is not to be static. No one wants to repeatedly get the same emails over and over again for a long period of time.
However, if your content, services, materials are the latest trends, you will not only keep your subscribers, but you will also boost your reputation, and you will gain new ones.
Apart from all the above mentioned, you will need to focus on the aim of subscription. If what you want is to get more subscribers and to keep the ones you already have, you will have to offer them a promotion.
Sometimes a promotion implies a certain discount to a group of people, such as a local promotion. Other times, you might want to offer a promotion during a specific amount of time.
It can also be the case that what you want to promote is a product or a service during a new campaign. You can also promote your website or blog by means of offering high quality content.
Though, it is relevant to mention that thanks to subscribers you will be able to increase your brand awareness. Take some time to plan your promotions carefully. Besides, you should always give people a reason to join in. Bear in mind that offering promotions will guarantee your clients loyalty.
It is possible to automate your emails. However, you should be careful here. Personalization is key not to lose subscribers. So, you will need to reach a balance.
B2B Social media marketing
Social media is not only an excellent medium to promote your business, but it is also one of the best ways to interact with your audience. But, just because you use social media platforms it is not going to improve your promotion straight away, you will need to design a social media promotion strategy.
Probably you are already familiar with some of the most well-known social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Though, having an account in those platforms is not enough. You will need to become an active user if you want to promote your brand.
The first step to consider here is to optimize your profiles and make them attractive for your audience. Remember to include links to your website whenever it’s possible as it will help you to increase traffic, awareness, sales, etc.
Once you have your profiles ready, you must establish your goals. I mean, you need to determine why you want to use the social media and what can you get from it.
By and large, there are some general goals you might have:
- Promote your business, products or services
- Boost brand awareness
- Foster relationships
- Increase sales
- Increase traffic
- Provide a better customer service
Another aspect you should consider to promote your brand in the social media is your target audience. If you want people to engage with your brand and help you to promote it, you will need to know them first.
Last but not least, you need to plan and schedule what type of content you are going to share. Bear in mind that you should post frequently and at optimal times if you want to make the most out of your promotion strategy.
What is more, there are various social media tactics you can use to improve your content promotion such as:
- Use social media advertising
- Use CTAs
- Make your content shareable
- Mix text with visuals
- Use video
- Make your content mobile friendly
- Boost relationships with your audience
LinkedIn is one of the best channels you can use in B2B marketing for promotion. The main reason is that it can increasingly help you with lead generation. Although it is true that other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have more users, LinkedIn is the one that matters the most in B2B marketing.
The main reason why LinkedIn is an outstanding channel in B2B marketing is that it brings outcomes. Most people go to LinkedIn as it provides quality content, and in B2B marketing this is key.
But, how can you promote your business with LinkedIn?
Here are some tactics for you:
It seems obvious, but if you want to promote your brand in LinkedIn you will need a business page. Bear in mind it has to look professional and attractive.
Once you have your business page, the next step is to share content on it. Make sure the content you share here is high quality and valuable for your audience.
2. Create long-form LinkedIn posts
As I have said before, in B2B marketing there is a preference for long-form posts. But, not only length matters here, you will also have to provide some kind of value. You can think of the pains of your audience and try to solve them. Besides, you can post content that you think it might be useful for them due to its relevance in your industry.
Regardless of the topic you decide to work on and share your views, make sure it is long-form and high quality. This way, people will consume your content, and it will be worth the effort.
What is more, promoting your content is also a great way to promote your brand. So, if you want to be recognized as an authority in your business, you will need to take it seriously.
It is a really good idea to share a video to drive people to your content. As these days, videos are becoming more and more popular and people love to consume them.
What is more, if you decide to promote your brand with a video, you will be giving your audience some kind of credibility and the quality they are looking for. Thus, they will probably trust you, and you will get your content seen by more people.
4. Comment other LinkedIn posts
Commenting your audience ́s posts is key to build a relationship with them. On top of that, if you want your audience to engage with you, you also need to pay attention to them.
In B2B marketing it is vital to have a good relationship with your audience. It can help you to gain their loyalty and establish future partnerships. You can also solve their doubts and help them with problems that might have arisen.
Remember that you should not only pay attention to positive comments, negative ones are important too. The latter might even help you to discover any issue that your audience is going through without you knowing about it.
If you are working in a team and you have just shared content on your LinkedIn page, you can send them a message to have a look at it and like it. Not all of them will do it, but thanks to those who do it you will already have some likes in your post. And that matters because likes attract more likes.
Thus, it will help you to reach a higher audience and promote your content easily among people who are interested in consuming it.
6. Promote content with Sponsored Content
LinkedIn allows you to put your most successful posts in front of a larger audience as if it were native content. This audience might be interested in what you have shared. It´s a good way to increase leads. Though it is not for free.
7. Promote content with LinkedIn Text Ads
LinkedIn text Ads are another paid resource you can use. They are quite easy to use, and you can target people by job title, age, etc. These kind of ads appear in the sidebar and at the end of an article. So, they are not a native type of promotion like the previous one.
But, they can both be effective in B2B marketing to promote not only your content, but also to increase your brand awareness.
8. Drive people to your content with Sponsored InMail
Sponsored InMail is by far the best way to drive people to your content. It is also a paid promotion resource, though you might find it extremely useful. Instead of promoting your content to people in general, you will be the one choosing who you are going to send a message to. Thus, you will be able to target ideal prospects. So, it will help you with leads.
Reddit is a very well-known platform among marketers. Its popularity is due to the fact that it generates loads of traffic. Its users are generally quite internet savvy. And they tend to spend hours using it. So, if you can impress them with your content, it will get viral.
What is more, you can use Reddit to target highly specific audiences. Or, you can use it with the aim of reaching Reddit ́s frontpage. It is not necessary to get your content into Reddit ́s frontpage to increase your traffic. Though if you manage to get there, you will not only boost your traffic, but also your brand awareness.
If you are new to Reddit, the first thing you need to do is to create an account. You need to choose your username carefully because you won’t be able to change it afterwards. The next step is to look for subreddits (topics) that are relevant for your clients, and for you too.
It goes without saying that if you want your content to succeed you need to post high quality and useful content. Besides, you should not be trying to promote your product or services straight away.
And if you want other users to interact with you, you will also have to interact with them. As regards comments, you can get both positive and negative ones. Reddit is an amazing platform for getting feedback. You need to be ready for criticism though.
There are several aspects you should consider before posting content on Reddit:
- Do some research and identify the right subreddits for you
- Post at optimal times for your audience. As Reddit is mainly used by Americans, optimal times for them would be from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. (EST)
- Post relevant, high quality and interesting content
- Be careful with what you post as Reddit hates accounts that only use the platform for marketing
- Be an active user
- Research what people are saying about your products/services and your company
- Post your content on the right subreddit if you do not want it to get unnoticed
Reddit allows you to post not only links to your content, but you can also post photos, videos and comments. If you haven’t tried this platform yet and you want to increase your brand awareness and boost your traffic, you should consider start using it.
Last but not least, when it comes to promotion, you can use Reddit Ads. You can target a specific audience or a subreddit group or all the users, it’s up to you.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is not only important for search engines, but it is key for marketers too. The main reason why it is relevant is that it establishes your content rank in search engines and your cost-per-click (CPC).
All of this matters mainly because if your CTR is high, you will have a better ranking and the cost will be low.
Since it affects the Quality Score, you need to get your CTR as high as possible. Google calculates the Quality Score according to expected CTR, keywords, landing pages and more. If you want your content to rank high in search engines so that it reaches a wider audience you need it to be relevant and high quality. Otherwise, you will probably get low CTR.
If you want, you can calculate your own CTR with tools such as AdWords Performance Grader. Knowing your own CTR will help you with your promotion strategy.
Indeed, if you notice that your CTR is low in comparison with your competitors, you should make changes in the content you are trying to promote. For instance, changing your keywords. But, being aware of your CTR is not enough to succeed. You will also need to monitor it from time to time.
Actually, whenever you perceive something is not working as it should, you can introduce changes in your content. So, CTR matters quite a lot for your promotion strategy. As a B2B marketer you should keep a close eye into it.
Pop Ups can help you to grow your email list, drive traffic to your content, advertise a promotion and more. Thus, you can use pop ups to help visitors to your website to focus on relevant information about your brand.
Types of promotional pop ups
- Pop ups that invite visitors to join your email list and become subscribers
- Survey pop ups
- Pop ups advertising a product
- Pop ups advertising a product with a discount
- Pop ups advertising a webinar
- Pop ups for mobile
- Pop ups promoting your blog
Thus, it is up to you whether you use some pop ups or others. Though, there is no doubt that pop ups can help you with your promotion strategies. Indeed, you can personalize your pop ups as you want. You can add pictures, choose your own style, decide on the font and colors, etc.
Besides, you can also decide on the time when they appear to the visitors of your webpage. And where do they appear too.
Last but not least, it is relevant to say that pop ups are trackable. I mean, you can monitor how many people actually see the pop up and how many of them act somehow afterwards.
B2B Digital Advertising
This is by far one of the best ways to reach your audience and promote your website. It is quite cost-effective as you only pay-per-click.
Digital advertising means that you advertise your products/services, website, blog, etc where people spend loads of their time these days: the internet.
By using social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Google Search, etc. to advertise yourself, you are promoting your brand in places that your audience already trusts. So, chances of getting them to perform the actions you want are higher than with traditional advertising.
Advantages of digital advertising for promotion
- It drives conversions and sales
- It is easy to monitor
- You can target the right people at the right time
- It is affordable and easy to use
- It is a short-term strategy
- It is flexible, you can adapt your digital campaigns if you see they are not working
- You only pay when someone clicks on your ad
- It has a huge impact
So, there is no doubt that although you will have to spend some of your budget on digital advertising, its benefits are endless. Thus, if you can afford it, you should go for it.
B2B Mobile marketing
Mobile marketing is not only advisable nowadays, but it is a must. In B2B marketing, it is key to have a mobile marketing strategy as your customers spend many hours browsing on their mobile devices.
Mobile marketing consists of ads that appear on mobile devices, tablets and smartphones.
Types of mobile marketing strategies
- Mobile search ads
- Mobile image ads
- QR codes
- App based marketing
- Location based marketing
- Text and multimedia messages
It is up to you whether you use one strategy or another. But, there is no doubt that mobile marketing is key these days to promote your brand.
This is due to the fact that currently you can do almost exactly the same using a mobile device as with a desktop computer. So, failing to adapt yourself to mobile marketing can prevent you from reaching a larger audience and offering them a good user experience.
Tips for mobile marketing
- Bear your audience always in mind
- Adapt your content to the preferences of your users
- Optimize for local mobile marketing
- Create user-friendly content
- Be clear with your message
- Offer coupons and discounts for promotion
- Try different strategies to see what works for you
- Track your results
- Optimize your website
- Design your own app
- Improve your web page ́s navigation
B2B Public Relations
Public relations is a strategic communication management strategy. It will help you to strengthen your relationship both with industry organizations and with your public.
Indeed, it will significantly help you to have a better brand image. And also, it will foster your relationship with your clients. So, there is no doubt that having a great PR strategy is pivotal to promote your business.
Among the many PR functions, it is relevant to mention storytelling. Thanks to a good PR strategy for promotion, you will be able to tell your brand story to the media. Besides, PR is the best way to keep your image clean and safe. Thus, failing to invest in a PR strategy for promotion could be extremely harmful for your brand.
Now that you know why it is necessary to have a PR strategy, I’m going to give you some tips for content development:
1. Write a powerful press release
A press release is one of the best ways to promote your brand with a PR strategy. It consists of telling your story in a couple of pages. There are some elements a press release must include. For example: a headline, subheadings, your logo, quotations, etc
What is more, a press release or several ones, can help you to promote your brand not only in the eyes of your audience, but also in your industry. Thus, it is one of the best ways to stand out professionally.
2. Create an engaging About Us page in your website
Among many other things, it is strongly advisable to create an About Us page. Here is where you can tell the visitors to your website who you are and how you can help them.
Not to mention the fact that this is the best place to tell your audience how you have solved the problems of your clients. You can also include any other type of data that you consider useful for them.
3. Update your blog posts
One of the main reasons to have a blog is that it is shareable and it will help you to reach a wider audience. Besides, a blog is the best place to help and educate your audience. You will easily show them that you care for them.
But, creating some blog posts from time to time is not enough. On top of that you will need to make sure that your content is up to date. So, if for whatever reason some of your posts are old-fashioned or no longer useful, you need to update them.
This way you will show your audience that you are not only interested in posting content from time to time, but also that you care about your already posted content. That is to say, that you are offering them the best service available.
4. Take part in industry competitions
Taking part in competitions and winning awards can not only boost your reputation, but also your credibility.Although it might be hard work and time-consuming, if you win a competition within your industry and in your field of work, it proves you are a reliable choice.
It is advisable to post this kind of information in your About Us page. This way, your audience will trust you more. Indeed, it is one of the best ways in which you can promote your brand as a trustworthy one.
5. Post case studies in your website
Another way of promoting your brand is by means of a case study. In a case study you tell a successful story about how effective you are solving the problems of your clients. This is essential as many potential customers check case studies before establishing any kind of contact with brands.
You should choose cases where the outcome has been satisfying for your clients. Yet, it is advisable not to exaggerate the story and tell the real numbers.
6. Include testimonials and reviews on your website
As important as case studies, if not more, it is to get some testimonials and reviews in your webpage. The main reason why it is necessary to include this information in your homepage is that people trust more the words of other people.
Testimonials and reviews will not only help you with your credibility, but they will also help you to convert visitors to your site into your customers.
7. Post video content
Video content is unquestionably popular these days. Besides, the messages or content portrayed in a video are a lot easier to remember in comparison with text only content.
Though you have to bear in mind that the content in the video has to be interesting if not people will not finish watching it. Among its main benefits, it is necessary to highlight the fact that it is easy to consume. And, if you do it properly, it can have a long-lasting impression.
8. Create infographics
Infographics can help you to get more traffic and improve your SEO. They are a combination of text and image. So, they can be very useful at times to explain complicated content.
Besides, you can use infographics to increase your email list and build links. Not to mention how useful they are for your audience. Yet, it is necessary to plan them carefully, and be prepared to answer questions.
I hope all the above mentioned strategies for promotion were useful for you.
Now you know what are the best strategies available to promote your business and you’re ready to add the final touches that will strengthen your marketing strategies and polish them!
All you need to do is review your current game plan, adopt what you’re missing, and win the battle!
Now it’s your turn!
That’s it for my guide to B2B marketing in 2019. I hope this guide showed you everything you need to know and you can beat your competitors.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
What are your B2B challenges?
Which tactics from this guide do you want to apply first?
Or do you have any questions about something on this post?
Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below!