If you’ve spent a bit of time around the digital marketing space, you’re bound to have at least heard the word ‘strategy’. It gets bounced around on website after website and job ad after job ad for every marketing agency under the sun. It’s discussed on websites such as this one. But what does this sharp-as-a-tack, three-syllable word actually represent? Is it just a buzzword just like any other?
To answer your question: no…but also yes. ‘Strategy’ has become something of a buzzword, but it is a loaded one. A marketing strategy is an approach underpinned by the intention to spread brand awareness. It is a smart use of the digital tools and channels available to you to generate as many leads as possible.
Strategy is not a game of chance. It’s like a game of chess, and the only way to achieve your desired outcome is to play with logic and deliberation. Want to know how you can work your digital tools and channels to your advantage? Keep reading!
Examples of B2B marketing tools
In the age of social media, websites may seem a little old-school. That being said, please pour work into your website like it’s 2006. That isn’t to say you should use pixelated graphics or basic page designs. It’s to say that you should still dress up your website as if it’s a customer’s sole source of information.
Websites are not dead. In fact, more than half of customers will still visit websites. To create your best first impression, you should ensure that your website:
- Is quick to load
- Has a secure connection
- Is mobile-friendly
- Looks great.
From a backend perspective, you should design your website to be marketing collateral as opposed to an informative brochure. Rather than a sterile piece of junk mail, make it a fertile ground for sales opportunities. You can use analytics, such as user data and activity tracking, to make continuous improvements to your website. And that within itself is a marketing strategy.
B2B content marketing
It never hurts to create content relating to your own business. By publishing original research, blog posts, or similar, you’re showing that your business knows what they’re talking about. Moreover, high-quality content (not unlike the post you’re reading) can instil confidence in a potential client or customer. The better-quality your content, the more likely it will be to appear on search engines. Use the art of self-promotion to your advantage.
B2B email marketing
‘Sign up to our mailing list and receive 10% off!’ How many times have you seen that pop-up? More to the point, how many times did it work? If you’re anything like us, your inbox will now be awash with subscription emails from which you’ve been meaning to unsubscribe. That’s not to say that this strategy is ineffective, because it does work. Sometimes, you may click on one of these emails, see something you like, and then reconsider unsubscribing. Email marketing is a persuasive beast.
Mailchimp is a popular email marketing platform.
Much like website analytics, email marketing platforms almost always provide insights into user activity. You should be able to see open rates, link click rates, and unsubscribe rates. Use these analytics to improve the content of your future email campaigns.
Search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation is a multi-faceted beast that could be a separate post in itself. In a nutshell, it’s a strategy that optimises website content for the purpose of propelling a website to a search engine’s first results page. One such way to do this is to review trending searches, which consist of words or phrases known as ‘keywords’, and to incorporate the popular keywords into your website’s content. By bringing your website to the first results page, you will attract more organic traffic.
Social media marketing
If you’re going to use one social media channel, make it LinkedIn. Whether you’re seeking to form business relationships or to recruit new hires, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re not on the market. Depending on what sort of business you own, other social media channels can also work to your advantage. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have an incredible reach and their interactive nature means that third parties can discover or further endorse your brand.
How can you best use these B2B marketing tools?
Now that we’ve identified some useful B2B marketing tools, we need to milk them for all their worth by developing an effective strategy. Here are a few ideas:
Assess the competition
Assessing the competition is the business equivalent of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Your competitors have already established themselves in the market, and you need to figure out how and why. You aren’t doing this to copy them. In fact, if someone were to see something identical on the market, they’d be less likely to buy it. For starters, brand loyalty is real. Secondly, an identical product or service looks tacky and does not set itself apart. Why should a business invest in you when there’s already something the same established on the market?
The reason you’re analysing your competition is, in part, to replicate what works, but to also improve on what doesn’t. Are there any pain points in your competitors’ brands? Are there any gaps in the market? Ultimately, you can use competitors’ pain points to invest in better alternatives. You can also fill any gaps in the market with your own unique products or services. What you’re trying to do is find your point of difference that will compel businesses to invest in you over the competition.
Target your strategy
Almost everything you write or create will have a target audience. You may have the widest net on the ’Net, but cast it into a fishless sea and you’ll gain nothing. The key to reeling people in is to not only establish your niche but own it. Tailor your content to appeal to people of a particular industry, who hold a particular title, who are looking for a very specific product or service. We almost guarantee you’ll get a greater revenue and return on investment.
To learn more…
B2B marketing strategy has a lot of overlap with B2C marketing strategy. Ultimately, businesses want to market themselves to other businesses, as well as their customer base. The marketing strategies will have similarities, for sure.
Image: 121 Group
This post has only scratched the surface of what B2B marketing strategy entails. If would like some assistance from the seasoned pros, contact 121 Group today and get started on your next great B2B marketing strategy. We can’t wait to continue this conversation.