As a business-to-business vendor, you can’t expect to set up shop and have your customers come directly to you… Most of the executives and key decision-makers who you’re trying to reach will be busy, and most likely won’t get back to your messages right away.
With a bit of creativity however, you can leverage digital channels, in-person events, and other platforms to establish meaningful business partnerships.
If you’re looking to find new potential buyers or other brands to collaborate with, try implementing these sure-fire marketing tools as part of your B2B outreach strategy:
- Share your expertise: According to Hubspot, about 56% of your audience will be at the “Awareness” stage in the sales cycle, meaning they aren’t yet ready to buy. For this segment of your audience, it’s especially important that you share expertise in your field generously. Whether it be blog posts, video marketing or posting on social media, you’ll need to get into the habit of educating potential buyers.
Although it might take some effort, the pay off is well worth it: over 80% of B2B buyers viewed at least 5 pieces of content before making a purchase!
To take this one step further, reach out to well-known publications in your industry, and see if they’re open to featuring one of your posts. If you pitch a few of your most engaging articles, you might get more exposure through their platforms.
- Host webinars: This is related to sharing your knowledge through distributing content, except now you’re creating an event out of it! Hosting interviews, educational presentations and live Q&As can be a great way to interact with potential leads who are in the Awareness stage.
91% of B2B professionals reported that webinars are their preferred type of content, especially those that contain tips & best practices, industry trends, and expert interviews.
- Leverage case studies: Along with educational webinars, case studies and customer success stories are another powerful way to build trust with potential B2B buyers. According to a study done by LinkedIn, 79% of B2B buyers have looked over a case study in the past 12 months.
Despite their popularity, case studies can sometimes end up being a bit dry. To make a lasting impression, include a customer success story that highlights the emotional impact of your B2B product or service!
- Develop a Social Media Strategy: While people are used to seeing consumer product ads in their newsfeeds, there are plenty of opportunities to engage B2B buyers as well. It’s estimated that 75% of B2B buyers actually use social media when they decide to make a purchase.
Although every platform has its pros and cons, LinkedIn could very well be the best place to start (if you haven’t already). A staggering 92% of B2B marketers engage on LinkedIn over all other platforms. By distributing content and connecting directly to key decision makers, you’ll be sure to cut through the noise and find new leads you wouldn’t have found elsewhere.
- Take your marketing offline with Direct Mail: While digital marketing seems to take up the spotlight these days, direct mail still has a place in your B2B marketing strategy.
If you have the budget for it, and take the time to create a compelling message, direct mail can be extremely effective. One study found that 39% of B2B buyers became customers for companies that sent them a direct mail letter.
If you have a segment of customers that haven’t made a purchase in several months, it might be time to let them know you’re thinking about them by sending a mail campaign. Sending an email can still be effective, but 69% of people say that direct mail is a more personal way of connecting. Remember, growing a business is all about developing relationships!
- Email Marketing: Now that we’re on the topic of mail, let’s discuss one of the most well known staples of the B2B marketing world. It’s probably no surprise that 93% B2B marketers use email to reach out to new prospects.
Whether you’re sending newsletters to your customer list or cold emails to people you’ve never spoken to, it’s important to use compelling subject lines and CTAs to have readers engage. Always have A/B testing variations and track your open, click-through and response rates to make sure your messaging is optimal. Images, gifs and video links might interest some, but oftentimes the most effective messages are straight and to-the-point.
- Attend Trade Shows – Yes Virtual Too! One of the most engaging ways to accelerate the sales cycle is to get in touch with your audience in-person at a trade show, includes virtual shows. No matter what industry you’re in, there’s bound to be a well-attended conference or trade show in your area with plenty of connections to be made.
You can take this one step further by getting in touch with the organizers of the conference to see if you could host an exhibit at the event. As long as you follow up with other attendees, exhibit marketing could reduce the cost of a B2B sale by as much as 75%.
If you can’t exhibit at a physical location, it’s still worthwhile to attend virtual conferences for your industry. Even if you aren’t presenting, you can still connect with other attendees in virtual chat rooms and Q&A discussions. In any case, it would be wise to follow up with speakers and participants who are interested in similar topics.
- Have your website optimized for search engines: Your company’s website is one of the ways that you can leave a strong first impression on potential buyers. More than 80% of buyers visit a vendor’s website before they decide to make a purchase, so make sure yours doesn’t turn them away!
For starters, update your company information and place it somewhere that is easy for visitors to find. Secondly, you’ll need to optimize your content for search engines and mobile devices.
SEO is a multiple-step process, but it boils down to using keywords that people would type into the Google search bar. These keywords can be placed in your page meta descriptions, URLs, and any content you post on your website (just make sure you don’t over do it!)
For a more in-depth look at how to make your website easier to find on Google, be sure to check out our guide here.
Author: Ania McNamara, Chief Marketing Officer Window Fashion VISION magazine & IWCE Expo