Building and implementing the right strategies to market your B2B company is no easy feat. Unlike that coffee shop on the corner, a chalkboard easel and fishbowl full of business cards aren’t going to help you sell your products. B2B marketing is a world with lots of room for experimentation, yet very little room for error (so good luck). And even when you do everything exactly right, attributing an increase in sales to marketing success is a challenge all in itself. At times, it might seem like B2B marketing is impossible, but we assure you, it’s not. That’s not to say there’s a simple step by step guide to universal B2B marketing success (but if we ever find one, we’ll be sure to post it here). However, by understanding some of the most common B2B marketing challenges, and the tactics you can use to overcome them, you’ll be setting yourself up for B2B marketing success in no time.
For B2B marketers, providing proof that a paid marketing tactic is generating results is like pulling teeth. The path from prospective lead to paying customer is riddled with touch points and variables that can affect the end result. It’s very rare to be able to say that a particular sale was generated solely from a singular marketing effort. In the B2B world, it simply doesn’t work like that. While you’re going to have to take some educated liberties when it comes to evaluating ROI, there are a few things you can do to quantify the process. By understanding your CPL (cost per lead) and tracking what channels leads originate from, you’ll be able to compare revenue streams to your marketing channels and the costs associated with each. While every B2B business will ultimately have a different approach to evaluating ROI, it never hurts to collect and analyze everything you can from your digital traffic numbers. This will be your biggest resource when evaluating what’s working and what isn’t in terms of digital marketing.
Using Social Media Effectively
If your social media strategy is still “throw up some pictures every now and then and hope for the best”, you’re doing it wrong. Even for B2B businesses, social media can be a major generator of valuable leads, but only if you’re taking a targeted and strategic approach to reaching and building your audience. For B2B businesses, getting the most out of your social media channels involves very specific messaging to very specific audiences. It involves experimentation to develop and implement new strategies to ensure that your messaging and your brand is getting to the right leads and potential buyers and isn’t getting lost in the crowded noise of social media. Social media for B2B businesses is no longer a luxury or throwaway task to be dropped on the desk of an intern. It is an integral component of your digital marketing and lead generating success. And if you’re not sure where to begin, it’s not too late. The right social media marketing agency will be able to steer you in the right direction and develop campaigns that will get the right people talking about your brand.
Producing the Content Your Audience
One problem we see with a lot of B2B blog content is that it’s only written for leads in the “ready to buy” stage. This assumes that every person visiting your site has done their research, is knowledgeable about your industry and your products, and just needs one final push before signing a check. If your blogs and other online content is simply saying how wonderful your products are and why a customer should choose you over a competitor, you need a better understanding of why people are visiting your site in the first place. Take this opportunity to educate leads who are still in the research and exploration stages. What do they need to know about your industry? What problems do your products solve? How will the services you offer benefit a customer in the long run? By producing content that acknowledges these questions, you’re taking the steps necessary to establish your brand as helpful, informative, and a leader in the field.
Not Using Your Website’s Full Potential
You wouldn’t believe how often B2B clients tell us that their website just isn’t that important. And it’s a shame we still have to say this in 2020, but yes, it absolutely is. Your website is likely the first introduction a client has to your brand and what you offer and it is absolutely imperative that you make a good first impression. Your website, and everything it comprises, needs to be reflective of what customers can expect should they partner with your business. If your website is outdated, slow and full of broken links, a client might think your products are just as shoddy. If your website is full of technical jargon and the navigation only makes sense to you and your co-workers, it could be an indication that you don’t have the customer’s best interests at heart. And a lot of times, if a website wasn’t designed with the customer in mind, it’s going to take more than a few edits and tweaks to get it into shape. So often, the only way to get your website where it needs to be, is to embark on a full rebuild.
SEO Lead Generation
While there are 1,000+ strategies for generating leads, if your site isn’t built to pull in qualified leads by way of strategic SEO, then nothing else is going to matter. Believe it or not, there are people out there right now searching for your products and services, and somebody is appearing in the search results. If that somebody isn’t you, you can bet it’s your competition. And guess who’s likely going to get the business because of it. By optimizing your site to rank for keywords relevant to your industry, you’re getting your name in front of valuable leads who are actively searching for what you’re selling. However, building out a thorough SEO strategy is a huge undertaking, and likely not something you’ll want to take on yourself. To get the most out of your SEO endeavors, and turn that SEO traffic into revenue for your business, you’ll want to partner with an established SEO agency.