How to Create an Effective B2B Marketing Process
You can huff and puff all you want but can’t deny the fact that the B2B landscape is crowded, competitive, and noisy. Several brands with umpteen offerings swarm the market, making standing out more challenging with each passing day.
We know this sounds a tad demoralizing, but all is not lost. In fact, nothing is lost as long as you know how to draft a robust B2B marketing process or strategy. For 85% B2B marketers, whose primary marketing priority is to generate more leads, the journey begins with formulating a formal marketing strategy.
It’s worth taking note of this statement if you wish to stand out and truly gather a brigade of loyal customers.
A Quick Brief on B2B Marketing Strategy
In a nutshell, any content that focuses on educating leads about a B2B organization’s offerings falls within the realm of B2B marketing. A B2B marketing strategy is the blueprint of how exactly a B2B company’s marketing process will take place.
If you brainstorm and document how to communicate with potential leads, you stand to improve your brand’s visibility and drive more conversions. It also helps you maintain consistency in terms of communicating with your prospects regardless of who does it.
Anyway, unlike B2C marketing, B2B marketing has limited platforms through which they can reach out. So, devising a strategy for B2B marketers is simply non-negotiable. Although, with social media penetration and sites like LinkedIn gaining popularity, B2B digital marketers now have more avenues to nurture leads.
Now all this talk must become a part of a formally typed out and digitally shared marketing strategy.
How to Etch Out an Effective B2B Marketing Strategy?
If you already know the benefits of devising and deploying a marketing strategy but don’t have one in place yet, this section is for you. It contains a roadmap for a B2B marketing strategy. Now you might use it as it is or mold it to align with your marketing psyche.
So, here is how you start devising your B2B marketing strategy:
#1. Identify and Segment Your Audiences
The prologue to designing every B2B marketing strategy begins with identifying and categorizing your total addressable market. In simple words, who do you wish to market to? Know that more often than not, you’ll catch yourself marketing to a diverse clientele. Therefore, lead generation alone can never suffice.
You must segment prospects finely to create Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs). Here you must define your ideal clientele, their likes, and dislikes, pain points, need gaps, and any other relevant information. Remember, the more detailed your personas, the better.
Looking at your ICPs, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Which businesses can benefit from my offering?
- Who are the key influencers and decision-makers I should target?
- What are their pain points?
Remember, there can be no marketing strategy without gaining an in-depth knowledge of the market! So, identify your audiences and tailor your marketing approach only for them.
#2. Choose the Correct Marketing Medium
Once you’ve decided who to reach out to, it’s critical to figure out how. Not every digital channel, no matter how well-acclaimed, works for every lead. For example, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook may work well to market your B2C offerings like a clothing line or restaurant chain. But, when it comes to B2B products such as CRM software or other SaaS services, email marketing and webinars fair better.
So, figure out which channel works best for your prospects by initially contacting them over a wide variety of online and offline platforms. Doing this will help you study their digital and offline behavior. Check the mediums your prospects prefer, and tailor communication for those channels specifically.
#3. Set Conversion Goals
This may sound overwhelming, but know that setting targets brings you closer to achieving them. Anyway, here, by setting conversion goals, we don’t mean you decide how many prospects to convert within a quarter or a year. We simply mean you must set a conversion goal for every marketing content you pitch to your leads.
Not all content pieces are geared for a purchase. Some are for educating your prospects about the challenges they face, while others may simply introduce new features and updates on your product or service.
Therefore, before churning out promotional content of any kind, decide what you want it to do. Churning the right content at the right time and sharing it with prospects will eventually put them on a purchase path. So, set your conversion goals for marketing communication by appropriating them to whatever stage your prospect has reached within the buying funnel.
For instance, if your lead is at the beginning of your sales funnel, s/he is trying to gain more knowledge or awareness of your offering. Here, your conversion goal should be to get them to visit your product web page or sending educational emails containing videos or whitepapers around what your offering does and the problems it solves.
#4. Invest in a Referral System
Even today, nothing works better than word-of-mouth marketing. And, this is especially true for the B2B landscape. Business offerings here are often far more complicated than B2C that require more than just superficial reviews of a product.
This is when countless leads turn to their work friends, colleagues, or subordinates holding varied positions across organizations to understand what about your offering truly works.
Sure, word-of-mouth marketing only works if your product has substance. Suppose it does, then how do you indirectly invest in word-of-mouth marketing? By setting up a customer referral system!
Keep in mind that prospects need substantial prompting and encouragement to finally buy from you. And, incentivized referrals from other happy customers can provide them the final push to convert.
How do you get your previous customers to refer you?
- Encourage them to leave you a testimonial or a review on sites like LinkedIn.
- Offer discounts or extend their subscription for a month or so if they digitally endorse you.
If you are genuinely invested in your customers and offer exceptional after-sales service, there is no way you won’t get raving referrals. The only thing to remember, though, is you must follow up with your customers to refer you.
#5. Set Up SEO Visibility
What is the first thing you do when you look for a solution or want to make a purchase? You search online! Needless to say, this is what your customers do as well through a search engine, predominantly Google. Every day over 5.6 billion searches occur on Google. Now, wouldn’t you want to land on at least the first page of Google Search?
You can if you have a robust SEO team in place. What’s more, search engine optimization is cost-effective, and at times, free. By optimizing your content for SEO, you can drive traffic to your website.
The predominant way to optimize your website for a search engine is by inserting its content with specific keywords and phrases. Your potential leads use certain words to search for a solution for their problems. These become keywords that you can begin including in your content to show up on the first page of Google or any other search engine.
Search engine optimization is the ultimate romance between keywords and content marketing. The more you impregnate your content, in any form, with the right keywords, the better your chances to be seen and clicked-through.
#6. Don’t Underestimate Influencer Marketing
Here is a relatively new but highly effective medium of B2B marketing. Influencer marketing is nothing but leveraging individuals who have established themselves as thought authority leaders or experts within a specific field.
A horde of industry leaders and professionals turn to such people for advice or for mentoring. Therefore, whatever influencers endorse can have a resounding uptake by followers. Therefore, partner with these well-known public figures within your industry and incentivize them to talk about your offering digitally or otherwise.
Think of influencer marketing as advertising with celebs, except here; the celebrated person is an industry expert. But, remember, an influencer will only endorse your brand if they see actual value in it, as their reputation would be on the line too.
So, figure out the local influencers within your market, check out the kind of products and services they endorse on their digital handles, and reach out to them for promoting your B2B brand.
Over to You
Designing customer-centric products is not enough anymore. You must craft customer-centric marketing strategies with the same vigor to reel them in. Here is where these six steps can help you! Borrow from them what you must, and create your own recipe for reaching out to your leads.
Once you’ve created a market strategy, conjure efforts to implement it, and more importantly, track its success. How? By measuring click-through rates, SEO ranking, and the number of conversions you experience. You should also track whether the new marketing tactics employed are positively affecting your predefined marketing KPIs.
Based on these results, you can keep tweaking your marketing strategy for improved results. So, get cracking on drafting your preliminary marketing process right away!
About the Author!
Stella Simon is a marketing specialist working with Mail Prospects. B2B marketing is what she specializes in, with a penchant for email marketing. When she is not churning out innovative B2B marketing strategies, you’ll find her reading, travelling, and curating some eye-grabbing marketing content.