Post by Michael Gorman
Target audience: Businesses, brands, B2B marketers, agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs.
B2B marketing continues on its torrid pace: The sector grew by 17 percent last year and continues to attract new businesses and customers. This impressive growth was achieved by companies that used specific development strategies with efficient marketing tactics and future profits analysis.
As outlined in this Forbes article, B2B (business to business) companies cannot grow if their marketing organizations do not experience the same, which means that marketing became the growth engine for the entire industry. This trend shows that the key to a successful growth strategy in the B2B arena is similar to B2C: focus on the product and customers. Moreover, B2B companies now do not stop experimenting and leaving the methods that worked well in the past but try new marketing strategies that take advantage of the latest technologies and techniques.
Below is the list of the best growth marketing strategies used by the most successful B2B companies in the industry in 2016.
Targeted content marketing
1According to the results delivered by marketing giant IDC research, most customers require between three months and one and a half years to make the decision to purchase a product. This trend shows that a brand should try and facilitate its recognition among clients to make them decide to buy its products. Moreover, it was discovered that customers need at least six pieces of content before making their decision, which makes it profoundly important to marketing success. Nowadays, B2B content does not mean blogs for reading but it rather encompasses a wide range of media and formats, including videos, whitepapers, infographics, research reports and gamification.
‘Contact us’ buttons in social media
2Social media has become increasingly important for marketing, including B2B. As shown in this 2015 Bizible survey, it was used by more than 50 percent of the global B2B marketers, outweighing traditional means such as TV and print advertising. Even though it was initially thought that social media might not work in B2B because of longer lead time, the real trends demonstrated that new methods of attracting customers work pretty well. For example, a Facebook paid update, with the Contact Us button embedded right in the news feed, contributes to positive exposure. In addition to Facebook, these call-to-action buttons have already shown their value when marketers use them on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
3Although some people frown at email marketing as an outdated technique, the results of marketing studies show just the opposite. The Bizible study mentioned above, for example, suggested that around eight percent of marketers considered it a key tactic because it helped to contribute to ‘‘lead nurturing.’ It is a strategy at long-term communication with possible leads through various means to facilitate the brand’s awareness and advantages over others. Indeed, it continues to be a popular method for companies reaching prospective clients and customers today; for example, Aussiessay uses email marketing to guide the prospects through the conversion tunnel by using marketing automation along with social media. Well, email is here to stay, so the same might be said about email marketing.
4LinkedIn takes a prominent place among social media websites because of its advantages for B2B marketing. First and foremost, despite popular opinion, it is built for interaction between businesses as well, because millions of companies have created pages there. However, to take the full advantage, some specific strategies should be used, such as the ‘‘touchpoint’’ system. According to this strategy, the marketer should choose a number of people and connect with them — but when they confirm the request, different touchpoints are used. They can be pre-written content that aims to establish the connection with the lead; it is copied into the inMail and sent. When the potential lead responds, the process of building a relationship begins.
5This is the marketing growth hack described in a recent blog post on the popular marketing resource Twoodo. It totally makes sense because partners need to see the uniqueness of the brand that can be used for business and future growth. Therefore, a B2B company should personalize its content by adding the tags (contact name, company title, industry and so on) on everything it provides for the partners or customers. A number of successful marketing services use personalization, including MailChimp and Campaign Monitor, and they recommend doing this regardless of the sales cycle.
There are a number of ways in which companies can develop their business, but some of them may be more effective for specific outcomes. The strategies described above worked for B2B companies because they focused them on the most important tactics and prevented additional marketing spending. As a result, the businesses identified the methods that helped them to resonate with the target audience and guaranteed a return. Moreover, it is worth remembering that constant monitoring and control over the strategies is required to determine which ones provide the most effective performance.