B2B marketing tactics are always evolving. In the past decade or so, they’ve been trending towards a business-to-person (B2P) style, as the lines between personal and professional have become more blurry.
So in 2021, there are seven B2B marketing strategies you need to have mastered.
1. Find your audience.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, you have to go to your audience to share your messaging, at least at first. And as those professional and personal lines get blurred, those spheres are evolving. Your audience may be gathering on any social media platforms, even youth-oriented ones like Tik Tok. They may be attending networking events in certain cities or reading particular blogs.
To figure out which spaces your audience is visiting, you’ll need to spend some time researching. There are plenty of methods to try:
- Look up articles and blog posts listing popular social media groups or hashtags for an industry.
- Ask a current customer where they go for information on their space or what events they attend.
- Come up with a few hypotheses and dive into spaces and communities yourself.
2. Drive referrals
84% of B2B decision-makers begin their buying process with a referral. With that in mind, B2B marketers should be actively trying to drive referrals.
A simple method is to build requesting a referral into the onboarding process. When you’ve established a new customer is happy with your tool, go ahead and ask them if they can refer you to anyone.
You can even turn happy customers into brand evangelists by implementing a referral marketing program. This program will incentivize them to refer friends and colleagues.
Here are a few best practices to run a great referral marketing program:
- Make your program easy to share. Use a mobile-optimized landing page that your customers can share with a click or two.
- Use referral codes or links to attribute your new leads with accuracy.
- Make an FAQ page about the program so that your customers can have questions answered without having to reach out.
3. Use content marketing to educate customers
Content marketing is a key B2B marketing best practice both to improve your company’s SEO and to educate customers. B2B customers purchase products and services to solve a problem. Creating content about how to solve that problem builds trust in your product and company.
There are many types of content that marketers create, each to its own end:
- Blog articles are particularly useful for SEO purposes, as well as lead collection. Articles should be created to rank for certain keywords where you know your audience is searching for answers. And once they’re on the site, you can convert them into email subscribers.
- eBooks are good material to use as lead magnets, as well as providing comprehensive education on something in your target industry.
- Worksheets like checklists make for excellent lead magnets.
- Videos can be used for a variety of purposes. For instance, a webinar recording often makes for a good lead magnet, while a high-level education video serves the same purpose as a blog.
4. Attend events
Event marketing, like attending trade shows, is one of the oldest B2B product marketing tricks in the book. But it’s a classic for a reason. Events in your industry bring your audience together physically in one place. In the digital age, they provide a rare chance of giving your company a face. And, in light of COVID-19, in times when you can't meet in the same physical place, there's an endless list of virtual events.
Generally, there are two ways to participate in event marketing: attend or show at someone else’s event, or host your own. Most companies with enough budget should try for a mix of both. For instance, you could rent a booth at DreamForce, then host a networking happy hour after one of the DreamForce days.
5. Nurture leads with marketing automation
Marketing automation software provides the means for marketers to have one-to-one conversations with leads at scale.
The general idea is to capture a lead's contact information using content marketing. Then, you use your marketing automation to automate a lead nurturing campaign, through which you can learn more about the subscriber and share information about your products. During this time, you can qualify good leads to send to your sales team.
Some marketing automation best practices include:
- Use every piece of data you can to personalize your messaging.
- View your messaging efforts as a conversation. Meet the contact where they are and share information to educate them, leading into talking about your products or services.
- Clean your data at regular intervals to improve deliverability and personalization.
6. Run PPC ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is the gold standard in B2B digital marketing. They have an average ROI of 200% and are an easy way to collect leads for your marketing automation program to then nurture.
You can place PPC ads in a wide variety of digital locations. Both Google and Facebook not only offer advertising on their websites, for instance, but also across their ad networks.
When running PPC ads, be sure to follow B2B best practices, like targeting acronyms along with phrases.
7. Test out influencer marketing
Of course, B2B influencer marketing does work the same as B2C influencer marketing. Business influencers often have a day job in the industry they influence, for starters. They also don’t usually do things like sponsored ads.
Instead, take your time to build a relationship with the influencer. Engage with their social media posts and read their content. Quote their articles and tag them in your posts. Reach out and ask them for original quotes for content you’re currently working on. Business influencers share products they believe in. The point of your relationship is to demonstrate the excellence of your products. The final goal should be something like content co-creation, like an eBook.
If you’re ready to start mastering these strategies, start by checking out Delivra’s marketing automation software today. It’s easy to use so even newbies can become experts in no time.