Even though B2B marketing involves a number of traditional tactics, in today’s competitive marketplace, you must use a mix of what you know works and what might work. Staying ahead of the competition in a global marketplace isn’t easy, but any business can succeed with the right mindset and some of the best marketing tips on the planet.
Since 63 percent of marketers feel the biggest challenge facing them involves driving traffic to their website and generating new leads, you must stand out from the crowd, so you grab user attention from search engines, social media and in real-life situations. After scouring top marketing tips and considering traditional and out-of-the-box methods, here are 16 of the best B2B marketing tips to help any business succeed in 2019 and beyond.
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1. Find Your Niche
Every company has something they excel in over competitors. Find your niche and focus on improving in that area. Inform customers about your strengths and share successes in that niche area. Once you find your niche, promote that ability in marketing both online and offline.
Zen Courses works with small business owners to find an affordable solution for creating online courses. Their niche serves small businesses and creates an easy to understand process even for those with no tech experience. Everything on their site and in their marketing materials points to the niche of an easy program to create online courses.
2. Create New Content
The world is a hungry consumer of content. People log on to the Internet every day seeking material. Tap into that traffic by providing material related to your business. For example, if you are a commercial HVAC company serving businesses, offer articles on choosing the best equipment for energy efficiency for a manufacturing facility or add a video that explains how investing in a particular system saves more money over time. Make a list of questions your target audience often asks before buying from your business, and then create materials answering the most popular questions. Content offers something for search engine results and also gives you something for posting on social media networks.
3. Go Big and Bold at Events
When attending a trade show, think about how your graphics grab people from different distances. Design so people see your booth from a distance — say at the beginning of an aisle as they start down it, from 20 feet away and as they approach your booth. Ideally, you’ll use bright colors that pop, such as dark blue letters on a white banner. Consider how the graphics look from different angles and distances.
General Electric’s booth at WindPower grabs the eye from different distances. The bright blue upper tier utilized the GE logo to draw visitors in. From a few feet away, you see phrases such as “brilliant batter applications” and splashes of colored typography on a white background. Once you get inside the booth, there are additional interactive features that guide you through the displays.
4. Create Long-Form Content
Google regularly changes its algorithms. The keyword stuffing articles of the past don’t work as the search engine grows smarter and better able to ascertain if your content matches the intent of users. Longer, more in-depth articles can better answer the questions of people. At least a portion of your online content should be 1800 words or longer. One study looked at a million of Google’s search results and discovered sites which land on the front page of search results had an average word count of 1890 words.
Pitchfork is a site all about music. Note the lengthy article on daft punk, which includes not only longform text, but also includes images and animations throughout to keep the user engaged.
5. Study the Patterns
No matter what type of marketing you use, it’s essential to study the patterns and results over time. When you find marketing which works well, repeat those efforts. Lose the things which don’t work and replace them with new ideas. Look into the data for social media advertising, when and what posts get the most engagement and what types of content drive traffic to your landing page.
6. Direct Foot Traffic
Sometimes the most straightforward techniques work best. Add ways of directing foot traffic into your brick-and-mortar store. For example, floor graphics such as arrows or footprints point the way to a big sale or special offer and generate excitement before visitors enter the isle. Window signs also offer an opportunity to market to passerby and entice them into your establishment. Once inside the store, provide directional signage showing the way to different sections of your store, the restrooms or your checkout area.
7. Ask Loyal Fans to Share
No matter how brilliant your social media posts, you are one page in a vast sea of business pages and posts. You gain traction and find new leads when others share your content and help it go viral. First, you must create share-worthy content. Next, ask your current fans to share that content. The more they share, the more people see what you offer.
8. Get Personal
One of the bigger trends in marketing in the last couple of years is personalized advertising. Amazon is a good example of this. When you visit their site, they greet you by name — assuming you have an account with them — and list some suggestions based on previous purchases or browsing history on their site. The landing page becomes highly personalized to your shopping preferences. Also, when you purchase an item, they suggest similar things that might interest you.
ASOS offers clothing for both men and women. However, if you previously visited their site and showed a preference for one or the other, the next time you visit the landing page it shows men’s or women’s clothing specifically. While the image shows their latest arrivals, the page adapts to the expected shopping needs of each user.
9. Host an Event
If you’d like more leads, host an event for local business owners. For business-to-business marketing, events generate more leads than every other type of marketing effort besides email. Your event should be relevant to the kind of product or service you provide. Host a reveal party and let business owners try out a new product or throw an appreciation dinner for your top clients and allow them to invite another business owner who might find your services interesting.
10. Cultivate Company Thought Leaders
Thought leadership is a buzzword in marketing circles. In a nutshell, you develop one or more personalities as experts in different disciplines related to your business. These thought leaders create content, such as articles or webinars on the topic. They also answer questions on sites such as Quora or Ask and interact on social media. Thought leaders don’t sell your brand — they establish themselves as knowledgable. A link in the bio shows the brand association, but the concept isn’t spammy in any way.
11. Invest in Influencer Marketing
Online marketers spend about $570 million annually on influencer marketing, but the percentage of funds allocated to influencers grows each quarter. Seek out influencers who reach the target audience you’d like to reach. If you want to reach retail businesses, seek out an influencer who offers advice to small stores, for example.
Dunkin Donuts (DD) launched a campaign last year to gain interest in National Donut Day. They utilized a number of influencers to talk up the day and show images of their donuts. The screenshot above is a post created by the college IG account for YSU Dining in which they tagged DD. Similar posts went up on various social media networks.
12. Sponsor Events
In addition to throwing your events, sponsor the activities of organizations and causes you can get behind as a brand. For example, if you committed to being a green company, then sponsor a green energy initiative conference. Sponsors typically receive recognition in event materials and on a banner at the event. Every business that attends and is interested in your type of service or product knows you both support green efforts. There is an instant connection, so when they hear your brand name again, they’re more likely to become a lead. Sponsoring events is a slow lead-growth method but still useful.
13. Add Geo-Location Targets
Another way of creating a more personalized experience involves using geo-targeting markers for advertising and your website. When someone lands on your page, you offer suggestions based on their location. For example, if the person lives in a warm-weather area, such as Florida, you might offer seasonally based items. You can also target your advertising specifically to geo-locations most interested in what you offer.
14. Create an Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming more commonplace. Part of your marketing efforts should focus on this wave of the future. For example, create an app that creates an AR experience for users. One example would be a furniture store which allows the user to upload an image of their room and add furniture to see how it looks before they make the final purchase.
IKEA Place is a new app which allows users to try out IKEA products in their own homes. The user holds the phone, so an image of the space or room appears. The user then tries different pieces of furniture, which drop into place on the screen, creating an AR experience which replicates buying the item and seeing how it looks.
15. Offer Branded Promotional Items
A somewhat traditional marketing method is offering promotional items to gain interest. This method still works today — just make sure your branding is solid, and all promotional freebies feature a similar look. Use your brand colors, logo and make it clear where the recipient of the giveaway should go to do business with you. Either include an address, phone number or a website for additional information.
16. Focus on Account-Based Marketing
Don’t overlook marketing to customers you already have or a dream client you want to land. Account-based marketing is geared very specifically to each client. Look for patterns in their ordering or areas you aren’t yet servicing that you think they might need. Reach out on a one-on-one basis to those clients. Sales reps often work in tandem with marketing to customize the approach and come up with a deal and solution which best meets customer needs.
Remain Open to New Ideas
B2B marketing tends to circle around — utilizing proven ideas and occasionally landing on something new. A customer-centered approach works well in any environment, so ensure your techniques keep your clients in mind and align with your internal data.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She constantly researches trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner. Special thanks to Rawpixel for the cover photo.