When you sell B2B products and services, shaping your marketing strategy requires a specific approach. Many businesses fall short on creating a consistent marketing plan – according to Statista survey, more than 60 percent of responding U.S. B2B companies don’t have a marketing plan in place.
If you intend to change that in 2020, here are some full proof B2B marketing strategies that will help you shape consistent branding message in the B2B sphere.
Content marketing has been steadily increasing its presence in the digital world, and if B2B marketers have anything to say about that, this trend will continue. Half of U.S. marketers intend to increase their B2B content marketing spending in the following year. Correspondingly, 51% of B2B buyers will use content to inform themselves before making a decision to buy.
With this in mind, we will talk about utilizing content and some old school tactics in B2B marketing strategies for each sales funnel phase.
Stage: Awareness, interest
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that the majority of B2B companies don’t have a detailed marketing plan. This is a big problem if you want to create marketing content, because content creation is more than just writing a few articles.
Creating a B2B marketing strategy should start with strategizing your blog content, and the first step to that is creating a buyer persona. Now, creating a B2B buyer persona requires a little harder work than creating a regular customer buyer persona. This requires you to determine your potential client’s:
- Demographic: gender, age, location, income
- Firmographic: job title/position, size of company, industry, leader/underdog, years in business
- Technographic: communication preference, social media channels & usage, tech tools used, choice of consuming news
- Solutions: how your services/products help this client reach their goals and/or overcome their challenges
- Quotes: things your buyer would say about their challenges and goals
- Objections: potential objections about your product and the reason why the buyer would object
- Messaging: how you would present your solution to this buyer
- Pitch: how you would pitch/sell your solution to this buyer
Creating a B2B buyer persona will allow you to understand what kind of information your potential clients would seek. The content you create should meet them halfway – ideally, you want them to either come directly to your website for information or run into your website first when they seek relevant answers to their questions and dilemmas.
This brings us to the next point – making sure your content is the first thing your potential clients see. Although your first thought would be that advertising on social media is the way to go, B2B marketers disagree.
“Often when users are on Facebook or Twitter, they are not looking for B2B marketing services,” says Mike McKearin from WeDoWorldwide. “They are simply consuming content and not at the right place in the buyer sales cycle.”
Reaching buyers organically, by satisfying their search intent is the best way to position yourself as the solution to their problems from the get-go. One of the ways we at LeadQuizzes do it is an SEO strategy that includes content creation based on low keyword difficulty and high search volume. Basically, we use the opportunity of keywords that don’t require a lot of backlinks to get onto the first page of Google, yet still, fall into the interest zone of our target audience.
Just how you’re going to set the keyword difficulty and search volume value depends on your business and goals – keep in mind that the volume score of 200 can be pretty good for very specific B2B keywords. We search for higher volume because one of our goals is driving sheer traffic, but if your goal is to drive sales conversions, then even 100 volume score is great. We talk in greater detail about this SEO strategy here.
No, quizzes are not only reserved for entertainment and chronic procrastination on social networks and Buzzfeed. This powerful little piece of interactive content can help you capture leads and drive sales conversions even with the most serious B2B clients.
However, placing a quiz in front of the right B2B target audience won’t automatically skyrocket your business into stars. Creating a quiz that caters to each specific B2B buyer persona requires a lot of fine-tuning and A/B testing.
Fortunately, we’ve been through that so here’s how to do it.
Once you have your B2B client’s attention, quizzes are a perfect way to offer your potential buyer a personalized solution. So here’s the pop-up they can see while they are searching LeadQuizzes website – making a meaningful change without blindly chasing traffic seems like a nice offer, right?
Our quiz has 10 questions. Between 10-12 is the perfect count, at least when it comes to this phase of the sales funnel. You want to be detailed enough and inquire your client’s situation in order to respond with the right solution, but at the same time, you don’t want to turn this into an excruciating 20-minute interview.
The first question segments our potential clients into one of our target markets.
Further on, we asses their current situation.
And try to figure out whether some B2B marketing strategies we use are already part of their lead generation process.
Finally, before we present them with personalized results, we invite respondents to sign up for our newsletter. On top of their quiz results, we offer them added value in the form of tips that respond to their immediate general questions about lead generation.
If you want to see how to ask all the right questions and create a quiz that will boost your B2B marketing strategy, check out our quiz maker guide.
3. Case study
Things are considerably easier once you have access to your potential B2B buyer’s email. Basically, more than 70% of people who visit your website will never come back, which is why it is so important to have them hooked during their first visit, and good blog content and quizzes will help you achieve that.
Email marketing takes you to the next step. Here I go into greater detail about creating an effective newsletter that will keep your target audience informed and engaged with your content, and at the same time, position your product or service as the first thing they think of as a solution to a specific problem.
Now, step out of those B2B marketer’s shoes and think – what is the best way to convince you whether you should buy a certain product? It’s probably a recommendation from someone trust – moreover, seeing the results of this product with your own eyes.
This is what makes case studies one of the most valuable and effective B2B marketing strategies. Creating case studies has so many benefits for your business and increasing your B2B sales is just one of them. After all, your clients are responsible and accountable to more than just their own small business – they often have to pay dues to their bosses and clients. Naturally, they want to be sure that your product or service work before they pay for them and incorporate them into their B2B marketing strategies.
Now, there is a small downside to case studies – they are not easy to make. You need extensive data proving that your product is efficient, and this often means your clients have to be willing to go public with their marketing and sales tactics. Our solution to that was offering incentives in the form of free software and discounts to our early adopters in exchange for a case study.
LeadQuizzes has over 30 published case studies, where various businesses and clients managed to achieve a plethora of marketing and sales goals thanks to quizzes. Case studies have been an essential part of our sales funnel with the early adopters, and this strategy is still paying off. Here you can read in greater detail how we generated our initial growth using, among other things, case studies.
4. In person sale
Stage: Evaluation, purchase
Finally, once your B2B buyers are in the final stage of the sales funnel, it’s time for you to leave behind the modern, not-too-salesy B2B marketing strategies of the digital world. But in the end, you need to go back to the roots – old school sales.
Although going from client to client and closing the deal personally (or on the phone) takes time and resources, it will pay off ten-fold.
The usual sales script includes an introduction, sales questions, presentation, pricing, objection handling, and, ideally, closing. The whole purpose of this is to to make sure you are closing a mutually satisfying deal.
Direct conversations with the buyers will allow you to ensure a good retention rate because when you are discussing details before the purchase, you can make sure these clients are getting everything they need in their monthly or yearly plan. This also leaves you with a maneuvering space to sell a bigger and pricier package, without risking clients’ dissatisfaction.
So these are some fresh, full proof B2B marketing strategies that should become a part of your marketing plan in 2020. If you want to learn more about closing the deal with valuable B2B buyers that will stick with your product or service for years to come, take a look at this amazing agency training that will guide you through the B2B marketing strategies we utilized to close 189 clients in just 2 years and generate $720,000 in annual revenue.
If you want to try out quizzes in your B2B marketing strategy, just click below!