When some organizations think of B2B marketing strategies, they think largely of direct and outbound techniques — messages that you might send straight to clients or prospective buyers that you’ve discovered. In this strategy, the goal is to be captivating and persuasive enough that the audience responds and engages with your offerings.
These kinds of strategies surely have a place in your marketing tool belt. But the world of B2B marketing techniques has expanded, and the behavior of professional services customers has evolved. Buyers are significantly more likely to perform a Google search to identify and evaluate a corporation than to verify personal references.
This has increased the spectrum of B2B marketing methods at your disposal. Today, being competitive entails taking full advantage of a wide spectrum of strategies.
But which ones are important for success in today’s hyper-competitive environment? Let’s take a look at 10 extremely core B2B marketing techniques that can not only assist your organization to maintain up but help you get ahead.
Research is the core of any modern marketing campaign. From marketplace research to brand research, rigorous scientific studies will help you make better-educated judgments. They’ll give you an objective basis for your marketing and provide you with vital baselines for monitoring your performance.
By performing research, you’ll know your clients better – which puts you in a position to serve them better. The market research also gives you information into how your procedures are doing. You’ll know which areas of your organization are functioning most successfully and gain a better knowledge of which services you should offer.
The influence of research is evident. Our own studies on the impact of research have shown that organizations that perform systematic research on their prospects and clients grow three to ten times quicker and are up to two times more lucrative than rivals that don’t pursue research.
2. Niche Driven Strategy
One of your most critical company concerns – period – is specialization and niche targeting. Our research has repeatedly demonstrated that the fastest-growing enterprises tend to be specialists in a tightly selected area. This should be a sector of the industry that you understand completely, a space in which you can become an undisputable authority and leader.
Specialization makes all of your marketing activities easier, because it tends to define exactly what you do and immediately identify you from the competitors. A speciality is a differentiator that proves itself.
3. A High-Performance Website
In today’s professional services industry, your firm’s website is one of your most critical assets. It is far more than a digital billboard or brochure, as several corporations assumed in the past. A strong website is the center of a firm’s online presence and an information-rich projection of its knowledge into the marketplace.
Your website is a key tool for building visibility. Potential clients look online to identify service providers, and they need to be able to find your firm’s website in order for you to have a chance at obtaining their business. Plus, your website enables you to demonstrate your firm’s competence and become well-known throughout the marketplace.
Our research presents a clear picture of the relevance of a professional services firm’s website. In fact, 80 percent of customers glance at websites while checking out service providers – the most often used information source by far.
And as new visitors access your site, robust educational material, and well-targeted offers can push leads to closer and closer engagements, finally bringing qualified leads straight to you. This process of nurturing leads through content is depicted below:
A second component of your website you need to consider is design. Web and graphic design may affect your audience’s views, improve recall, and instantly and naturally differentiate a brand.
The power of design to engage people is generally under understood — which means it presents a wonderful opportunity to set organizations apart and express the trust firms needs to survive.
Finally, another increasingly critical issue for your website is its usability across a wide range of devices, including mobile. Responsive design, which allows your website to change to suit a user’s device, has become a vital feature as more people use mobile devices to do business.
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4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As we referred to in the last item, your target audience has to be able to locate your site for it to be effective. That’s where search engine optimization comes in.
This is such a vital element of the online marketing puzzle that in our studies, high-growth enterprises identify it as the most successful online marketing technique available to them.
Though SEO is a complex and growing profession, it ultimately consists of two basic components.
On-site SEO uses selected keyword phrases to explain the concepts on your site that matter to your audience. These search phrases often focus on your offerings and expertise.
The objective of on-site SEO is to explain to search engines what your website is about. This allows search engines to offer more relevant results to searchers. And when viewers look for expertise in your area of specialty, they’ll discover you.
Off-site SEO takes the shape of links to your website, either through outside activity or guest posts in other publications, for example. These activities seek to improve your site’s authority as a widely recognized leader on your field.
As more high authority and relevant websites connect to your website, search engines will begin to consider your site as more reliable – resulting in higher ranks.
5. Social Media
If you needed any more confirmation that social media is here to stay for professional services organizations, we’ve got you covered. Our research has showed that over 60 percent of purchasers check out new service providers on social media, making it a more regularly used source of information than formal referrals and recommendations.
Even the nature of referrals has changed in the wake of social media. A recent study on referral marketing has indicated that 17 percent of expertise-based referrals are produced on the basis of interactions on social media. Put simply, social media is an accelerator for the spread of your reputation, experience, and content. It helps you to network and interact with valuable connections and influencers, as well as monitor your brand by social listening.
- There are a variety of sites on which your organization can promote effectively:
- Industry publications and websites
- Social media
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Google Ads, as well as Bing and Yahoo
Advertising doesn’t simply market your services — it can also play a significant role in generating material downloads, improving both your expertise and visibility.
It’s crucial, though, to choose kinds of promotion best-suited to professional services. LinkedIn, retargeting, and other industry-focused advertising tend to work best, because they allow you to most directly target appropriate industry demographics, which leads to more conversions, greater click-through rates, and lower cost per download.
Search engine marketing (SEM), on the other hand, typically might be more expensive and difficult to target for professional services’ needs. Similarly, Facebook advertising tend to be less effective because the platform is used at a lesser rate by professional services purchasers than other social meda networks.
However, it’s crucial to note there are many versions of each of these advertising styles. Professional services firms could find them more or less successful based on budget, ad purpose, targeting, and industry specialization.
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7. Referal Marketing
We noted that the nature of professional services referrals has changed – and this has big consequences for your B2B marketing approach. Our investigations of referral marketing methods in professional services have uncovered an important new feature of the industry – over 81.5 percent of providers have received a reference from someone who wasn’t a client.
Where do these referrals come from? The vast majority are based on a firm’s reputation for specific skills.
By employing content marketing in conjunction with the rest of the methods in this list, you can establish a brand with a widespread reputation for specialty in your area – and a knowledge of your competence even among audiences that haven’t worked with you directly. This brand familiarity can lead to referrals and new business.
8. Marketing Automation, CRM, and Lead Nurturing
Marketing Automation: Marketing automation replaces high-touch, repetitive manual operations with automated ones — supported by technology solutions. It combines together all of your online marketing channels into one unified system for planning, monitoring, and measuring programs and campaigns.
As with any technical instrument, it’s crucial to select the correct marketing automation software for your organization. Make sure the size, complexity, and scalability of a prospective solution is a good match for your objectives.
CRM: Another crucial software is a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) (CRM). Many organizations utilize a CRM to track and manage opportunities and client information. In short, a CRM will help you stay organized and connected, no matter how sophisticated your operations evolve.
Your CRM acts as the database for all the information you collect about opportunities and clients, including specific interactions with them. The information can be entered, stored, and retrieved by personnel in different firm departments, synchronizing efforts across your firm.
Lead Nurturing: But CRM isn’t the end of the tale. Remember the lead-nurturing content funnel? Your website is one crucial element of that puzzle – and email marketing is another. Targeted, analytics-driven email marketing campaigns allow you to deliver soft and hard offers for specific buyer roles, suited to a buyer’s particular point in the buying process.
Similarly, drip email campaigns enable you to send more customized offers to portions of your audience over a predetermined period of time. This creates closer interaction (and educates further) through successive, relevant information and offers.
9. Testing and Optimization
We started with research, but we’re not through with our scientific approach. Testing and optimization allow you to iterate your marketing efforts and make continuous decisions based on hard data rather than intuition.
Just as research is the core of your marketing, testing and optimization is your continual guide. You should never stop testing your marketing tactics and altering them properly. This includes:
A/B testing of emails, landing pages– Using A/B testing tools (like Optimizely or Unbounce), learn which of two emails or landing pages converts users more successfully based in variances of text, design, or other features.
Email and landing page rendering– Use tools like Email on Acid to test how emails will render on different devices and platforms, ensuring that they look and perform as they should.
10. Analytics and Reporting
Similarly, it is vital to examine the correct metrics in order to measure results effectively. You will need systems in place to capture precise data on all your activities, from your website to social media to SEO.
Google Analytics is a vital tool for measuring and analyzing your site traffic. MOZ can help you evaluate and enhance your SEO performance, while platforms like Hootsuite provide thorough social media data.
Analytics and testing let you properly understand what is working and what is not. Embrace them, use them. They will assist you to take your marketing efforts from an art form into a science.
The key thing is not to stand still or grow comfortable. In order to remain competitive, your organization must regularly analyze your B2B marketing strategy and identify methods to improve.
The online marketing industry is growing at a quicker and faster rate, but today, the organizations that properly capture and utilize data about their performance – across a wide range of marketing endeavors – are poised to win.