B2B marketing strategies have come a long way now in 2020. From the early days of being focused on direct mail and sharing martinis at fancy restaurants, the B2B buying journey is evolving rapidly online and increasingly self-directed.
As a business-to-business marketer, you may be wondering how you will adapt and grow your business to the next level. Look no further! Let’s review some of the successful B2B marketing strategies that will help your business in 2020.
This is not a new concept and it remains the most common B2B marketing approach. With inbound marketing, the focus is on generating and building relationships with customers via lead generation. According to Hubspot, almost 75% of companies that implement this kind of model believe that it’s still working for them and it generates high ROI.
The best inbound marketing methods are not intrusive and use a variety of tools to lead your prospects to become actual paying customers. These can be the use of search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing via landing pages or even old-fashioned blogging.
When these channels work effectively together, they can deliver great business results. Here are some best practices that will definitely work in 2020:
Best Practice 1: Target consumers directly via SMS marketing. This is a high reach platform that allows you to directly engage consumers.
- The most effective way of doing this is through the use of SMS marketing software and tools that can automate and can send out messages that you planned in advance.
Best Practice 2: Build a credible presence online and offline. The more trust consumers place on you, the more they are likely to purchase and go deeper into the sales funnel. According to the CMA, more than 68% of online buyers spend a considerable time reading content published by businesses they trust.
- Start doing this with guest posting. It provides you with backlinks from reliable websites, authority as an industry insider and opens your door to other influential people in your field. You can do this by pitching stories to established publishers, trying out HARO to share your stories to potential reporters or by emailing other influencers to feature you on their channels.
Best Practice 3: Drive conversions with powerful lead magnets and exclusive bonuses. Nothing attracts customers and prospects like the word “FREE”.
- Create opt-in content like e-Books, whitepapers and exclusive articles that provide value. And make sure you do it consistently – it’s proven that those who publish blog content at least 16x times per month generate 3.5x more website traffic and 4.5x more leads than those who only post or create content a few times.
Traditional business models tend to think of sales and marketing as two different business functions. Once a marketer has done his/her job in attracting the prospect or lead, it’s the salesperson’s job to bring them in for the sale. However, some believe that this model is flawed and often it leads to mediocre results.
Some industry leaders argue that there is a better way: revenue marketing. A revenue marketing strategy is about bridging these functions together and working hand-in-hand to get customers. This is the most effective approach for small and medium businesses that have a sales organization (no matter how big or small).
Well, does It really work? Studies reveal that companies with tightly-knit sales and marketing departments result in an average of 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales closing rates compared to those that have loosely aligned functions. To achieve the same results, here are some B2B revenue marketing best practices:
Best Practice 1: Start aligning your marketing and sales goals, metrics and overall strategy. Stop thinking in silos and tie both functions together to see how one element in marketing can affect sales and vice versa. Create KPIs together and jointly track them to see how each one performs. Share data points. The more data each department knows about the other, the better. This goes hand-in-hand with the next best practice.
Best Practice 2: Analyze, measure and improve. Use your shared metrics to create sound strategies that work hand-in-hand with each other. Review the impact of total sales against the total investment made by your marketing department. For instance, understanding your per channel revenue allows you to understand whether email, social media ads or even influencer marketing drove your sales and you can decide which platform to invest ad dollars in the future.
Best Practice 3: Know your customer persona and maximize online insights to know what type of content and channel works for them best. Remember, not all strategies fit all types of businesses. Researching your target consumer will enable you to make smart and cost-effective decisions on where to put your time and money.
- There are a variety of ways to do this like checking your Facebook page insights to get a snapshot of your audience demographics. You can also set up a quick survey via Google Forms or SurveyMonkey. Ask customers what are their current business concerns and then tailor fit your content around that. The more you know, the better content you’ll develop.
Most B2B marketers would agree that focusing on a few big pocketed fishes can generate a lot more return in your marketing investment than trying to score lots of small-time leads.
It really boils down to this mindset: why should I waste my time engaging leads that are maybe unqualified and aren’t the right fit for your business when you can focus on high-value and high-paying customers? This is the solution presented by account-based marketing.
Account-based marketing is an enterprise-focused approach that is highly effective. Research studies from ITSMA have shown that 87% of marketers that measure ROI say that this approach outperforms all other B2B strategies!
Here are some B2B account-based marketing best practices to get the same excellent results:
Best Practice 1: Identify high value targets and create customized-campaigns around their needs. Work with sales to communicate with the people and accounts well: send out professional email regularly, make calls and organize face-to-face meetings.
- Figure out who these key accounts are by using your sales data to check which customers contribute the biggest share in your revenue. Similar to revenue marketing, you need to understand your customer well. But instead of a general customer persona, you need to make the approach as personalized as possible. This means that each content and engagement that you do with them are tailored in a way that highlights how your specific offerings will empower them to address their business challenges.
Best Practice 2: Deliver consistent and excellent customer experiences. Customers come back if they are satisfied. Long-term satisfaction comes from doing what you intend to do successfully without fail. Focus on developing marketing programs that are win-win for key accounts, giving them priority support and creating specialized business units that cater to their whims.
Succeeding in the world of B2B marketing comes with a lot of challenges. The way to overcome these challenges is by implementing these different B2B strategies and best practices so your business can grow. Try them out and see what works best for your business!