Every year, the intricacies of B2B marketing evolve. And this year the trends are particularly nuanced considering the current state of affairs. We’re living in a strange time filled with uncertainty. How can you craft a B2B marketing strategy for high ROI amidst economic recovery from COVID-19?
You’re likely advertising to small and medium enterprises that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. A recent Alignable poll found that 42% of small business owners said their businesses were at risk of closing down. And while the economy slowly recovers, B2B marketers need new tactics if they want to see results.
More than ever before, you’ll need to prioritize your customers’ needs to build a results-driven marketing strategy. Ultimately, your offerings should make their business systems run smoother, and if you convey that well, you’ll see a higher ROI.
Communication is key, but it’s not a cure-all.
In this article, we’re covering the latest B2B marketing strategies. You’ll learn how to reach your target customers, motivate purchases, articulate your value and offerings, nurture relationships, and achieve a high ROI.
Time is money, so let’s get to it.
First: Understand Your B2B Customers
If you want to see a high ROI, you’ve got to understand what your customers need most. It might sound counter-intuitive, but prioritizing their success will, in turn, lead to your success.
Right now, small enterprises need to partner with B2B brands that share a common goal: to thrive in a post-COVID world.
So, how can you help them gain more profits?
Define Your B2B Customers and Their Needs
Typically, there are four categories of B2B customers:
- Wholesaler retailers that buy your product and distribute it to their marketplace
- Institutions like non-profit organizations and healthcare providers
- Businesses selling products or services to other companies and need help streamlining their operations for enhanced efficiency
- Government agencies dominate the B2B market, spanning all sectors from fuel to security to tech, medical, and beyond.
Your customers’ needs vary depending on which type of business they have. So, the next step is to articulate why your offering is right for them.
What Motivates Their Purchase?
Essentially, why should they buy from you and not your competitors? Focus on conveying why your offer is unique and stands out from other companies. Do you have an office management software business? Okay, why is yours the best?
Communicating your company’s novelty in your messaging will distinguish your business from your competitors.
But take it even further by asking about your customers’ long-term goals. Most B2B customers have their sights set on efficiency, efficacy, and ROI. Simply put, they’re running a business, and they need to reach their goals to stay open.
Reinforce that you’re in it for the long haul with excellent customer support. Consider adding a website chatbot, 24-hour helpline, or a resource center filled with FAQs and troubleshooting advice.
When you cultivate relationships, B2B buyers are more likely to partner with you because you’re willing to go the distance. Offer them more than a one time purchase, but a long-term relationship, and they’ll be more inclined to trust you.
The more you know about your audience’s needs, the better you can market to them. Don’t hesitate to personalize your product or service to their needs. Take a look at MYOB, a business software and solutions company.
The company has two personas: small businesses and established companies. Their site is filled with small business stories, testimonials, resources, and even a quiz to help customers find the right software for their companies.
A little personalization goes a long way to prove that you understand your customers’ unique needs and have the perfect solution for their business.
Because it starts with them, and the clearer you make that fact, the more personalized your messaging will be.
Build A Referral Marketing Program
There’s a strong chance that your market is saturated, and that’s overwhelming to buyers who aren’t sure which business to trust. So, let’s talk about the role word of mouth plays in today’s landscape.
88% of senior B2B marketers rely on referral marketing software to get new leads. Why? Because referrals require little investment and yield a significant ROI. But the trick is to build a referral program that works on autopilot. In a nutshell, referrals equal trust. And trust from existing customers will bring in new ones.
Here are a few B2B referral marketing strategies to roll out:
- Provide a positive buyer journey: When your customers are happy, they’re likely to share their experiences with their colleagues. Offer them a strong product supported by accessible customer service and ongoing support.
- Nurture your customer relations: B2B isn’t about making a sale and calling it a day; it’s about the long-haul. Stay in touch with your customers with company newsletters and cold calls to check in on their experience using your product or service.
- Now ask for referrals: When you’re confident you’ve exceeded your customers’ expectations, ask them for referrals. They can write a testimonial about their experience or provide them with a short survey to fill out.
- Offer referral incentives: Incentivize your customers to refer your business by offering rewards, cash, or discount coupons for each referral. Incentives are a low-cost method to get customers from your existing audience.
Take a look at Zoho Mail’s referral program. When a customer invites a friend to join Zoho Mail, they each get five free users on their account. It’s a great referral campaign that requires zero investment, incentivizes users to refer a friend, and brings in new customers.
With minimal output beyond the initial program development, your clientele keeps growing on autopilot.
Level Up Your Content Marketing
We’ve long known that content is king, but how does it fit into your B2B marketing strategy? Considering 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing, you’ll want to embrace it with open arms.
Offering valuable content goes farther than a single sale. Content marketing is an indirect way to boost sales, and the more high-quality content you share, the greater your credibility. What do we know about credibility?
According to recent eye-tracking data, consumers show their skepticism of low-credibility brands by slowing down to read advertisement fine print like terms and conditions. Yet, they scan over these details from high-credibility brands.
Meaning they don’t need to read the fine print to proceed with an action because they already trust the brand.
So, how can you use content marketing to boost credibility and generate more profits?
How To Use Content Marketing for B2B
Let’s look at Zendesk Engineering for an example. The customer support software company uses Medium, a large blogging platform with nearly 100 million readers, to publish high-level industry content about machine learning, web development, culture, native development, and more.
While the company also publishes relevant content on its blog, using Medium is a smart way to reach a broader audience. This strategy is called offsite content marketing, and it works beautifully for B2B companies.
Why? Because it isn’t entirely reliant on its internet real estate (website) to share industry news and tips. Zendesk taps into a broader audience pool by publishing content on Medium, and you can do the same for your business.
In 2021, prioritize high-level content marketing that educates your audience. Offer expertise and actionable tips in the form of:
- White papers
- Press releases
- Free webinars
- Video tutorials
- Offsite content (like Medium or guest posts niche websites)
The more you embrace content marketing, the higher the ROI because your customers will trust your business as an industry thought-leader, and in turn, buy from your brand.
Before you launch all this value-rich content, consider your visual messaging.
Present Cohesive Visual Messaging Across All Channels
When B2B buyers find you online — whether through your website, social media, offsite content platforms, or Google — your visual presentation should migrate seamlessly from channel to channel.
Consistent visual branding is key to building an identifiable, trustworthy business. Visuals are just another form of communication; they tell consumers what to think and feel about your brand.
That’s why 32% of marketers say that images are the most important content for their businesses.
One of the best B2B marketing strategies is to build a coherent, consistent message across all channels. Take control of your visual brand with an online graphic design tool like PosterMyWall.
Whether you’re creating web graphics, newsletter content, infographics, social media posts, or videos, you can craft all of your marketing graphics from one site.
Here are a few ideas to help you synergize your visual brand:
- Use professionally designed templates to create new content for blog posts, social media posts, flyers, banners, videos, and social media graphics.
- Save time by repurposing content with PosterMyWall’s free resizing tool. With one click, you can resize a Pinterest Pin into a Facebook post or Instagram Story.
- Upgrade to an affordable premium plan to schedule social media posts, collaborate with your team, and gain access to vast stock image libraries.
Using a free graphic design tool makes visual marketing easy and approachable. In turn, you’ll offer consistent messaging that articulates your business’s value and cost-benefit.
Final Thoughts: Provide A Positive Buying Experience
Look, there’s a lot that goes into a profitable B2B marketing strategy. The lifeblood of your campaign is to make the experience positive for your buyers. Economically, we’re all facing unrivaled challenges, and your customers feel it now more than ever.
Your business will stand out if you focus on customer relations. By defining your buyer’s needs, you’ll fine-tune your offering to help them better. In turn, you’ll see a higher ROI because your clients trust your business and are more likely to refer their colleagues.
Sharing high-level lead generation content is a practical way to attract new customers. And when they arrive, you’ll greet them with a cohesive, clearly communicated visual presentation that solidifies your place in the industry.
And above all, remain flexible because what you learn today may very well change tomorrow. The economy is recovering, and we’re all on the upswing. Embrace these B2B marketing strategies to see a higher ROI, build customer relationships, and establish a stronger foothold in your market.