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The Business Owners B2B Marketing Guide
From the outside perspective, B2B (business-to-business) marketing seems awfully complicated, long-winded and perhaps even a bit boring, with content marketing at the pinnacle of executing this effectively.
While there may be some truth to the above statement, this guide serves to breakdown exactly how to execute B2B marketing that will help you build an empire as being the preferred supplier in your unique vertical and ensuring your marketing efforts are bringing you essential conversions, whether that be increased sales; improved brand reputation; brand awareness and solid positioning in the market; being the preferred supplier and category ownership or all of the above and that is ANYTHING but boring.
In this guide, we will help you get to grips with the intricacies of B2B marketing and get your campaigns to convert. Our tips below:
Get on the same page
Firstly, what makes B2B marketing unique is there isn’t one decision maker, but rather a multitude of owners, founders, C-suite decision makers, marketing directors and other board members whom all work at the same business but perhaps each have different objectives. Collectively they all need to make a purchase decision based on what’s best for the sales, growth and sustainability of the organisations they represent.
With all of these different decision makers, it’s crucial to come together and agree on one collectively, maybe two overarching business objectives (this is the what are we trying to achieve and why statement?) in mind and then each department or can list their marketing objective (the measurable marketing path to attain the business objective). All of this needs to be solidified before you spend a dime of marketing money.
A few good questions to clarify are:
- Who is (insert business name here)?
- Why do we exist?
- What is our purpose, and why?
- What problem are we trying to solve for our clients?
- How will this solve their problem?
- What are we trying to achieve and why?
- By when do we want to achieve this?
Partner with the best
To nail your marketing, you need to hire a professional marketing agency, but why? So many small business owners often believe they can juggle managing their day-to-day business running’s, hiring and onboarding new staff, managing suppliers and deadlines all whilst designing their website on some template site, responding to social media post engagements, writing their blog content and trying to get to grips with how paid media marketing works.
Perhaps initially, you can juggle all these balls, but chances are you won’t be able to keep that up for long, and why would you want to try when you can focus all your efforts on running your business effectively?
Planning and executing your on and offline marketing require a team of professionals, copywriters, designers, developers, media buyers, marketers, PR specialists, social media managers skilled in their dedicated areas of expertise. By outsourcing this to an agency you won’t need to hire all those skilled professionals internally and nor will you need to skill up on each of those professions in your spare time, you will have a dedicated team of professionals under one roof who will be accountable for your brands’ marketing and ensuring to deliver on your marketing objectives.
A really good marketing agency should feel like an extension of your own business.
Below are my business marketing tips for your B2B brand:
Invest in your brand BEFORE taking it to market
A really good B2B brand requires an established visual identity, this goes beyond just a logo but rather the typography, colours, design elements and how these all work together and execute this brand look and feel across all your on and offline placements. It’s important to look professional and have a clear and consistent brand across any media.
In addition to how your brand looks and feels, your business should be investing in brand, marketing, content and social media strategies. These vital documents help solidify who you brand is in the market, what you stand for, what your values are, your businesses aim and mission, what is your purpose and why, who your competitors (both on and offline) are and what you can learn from them, where you should be advertising and why and what expected results should you look out for.
Once these strategy documents are done a good agency will devise solid marketing KPIs on how they will go about achieving your business and marketing goals based on the vital info dictated in these strategy documents.
Identify key players in your organisation
Think of the experts within your organisation as almost influencers but instead of celebrity status and big product endorsement deals, think of these in-house key players as experts as niche specialists in their discipline and put them forward to your agency.
Your agency will be able to identify the correct marketing channels for each person for their unique vertical; for instance, a carpentry specialist would pair well with a YouTube channel to showcase custom furniture in the making, or a farming specialist with intricate knowledge on crop diseases and treatments would pair well with a weekly advertorial in Farmers Weekly.
Content is King
In addition to the key players, also think about what specialist content your clients need, what makes them tick and help make their purchase decision (your agency will help you identify this). Even the type of content your clients always ask for; perhaps this is a price and specs sheet (that is used to compare similar products side by side) or a case study (to help quantify expected results) all of this will help your agency put the right content in front of your desired audience at the various points as they make their way through the purchase funnel.
Think about case studies, industry reports and white papers, webinars, podcasts etc. this guideline of what you know is useful to your target audience (and even what assets your sales and technical team need) will help your agency ensure your business delivers a multitude of different forms of content each with their own aim and focus and will tie these each to types of objectives and deliverables.
Build motivation on behalf of your prospects
Due to the nature of B2B purchase with long purchase cycles, many decision-makers, as well as high price points, indicates there’s a lot of thought process that goes into the purchase. Thus it’s critical to provide your prospective clients with vital information to help guide the purchase and quantify their purchase all whilst building loyalty with these qualified leads.
This can be done with data-intense white papers, reputable case studies with essential stats, specs sheets with sizing and deep technical info. These efforts will help build loyalty with said clients and make them look good in front of their superiors.
Layer your approach
Your agency should plot down a marketing funnel within the strategy document and the marketing efforts suited to each step along the way, i.e. the efforts to attain brand awareness in the initial stages (possibly Google Display Network banner ads), would likely be vastly different to reaching that target market segment within the consideration phase by utilising an email marketing campaign through Active campaigns.
By layering your approach with both offline and online efforts suited for each stage of the funnel will ensure a content-rich approach to deliver the right info to the right people at the right time.
Measure, monitor and optimise
As with all good things consistency is key but being consistently good is where true greatness lies.
Analytics across all campaigns allows you to monitor the performance of all your digital marketing activities closely so you can ensure to measure monthly performance, track vital marketing KPI’s, learn from and adjust what’s not and optimise accordingly.
Tell us your story
Give your additional business exposure online
Are you a South African business owner? Then why not register on nichemarket and put your business in front of thousands of nicheseekers every month. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign-up form and follow the instructions. If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you have time to spare, why not dive deeper down the rabbit hole and check out these posts for help on B2B marketing.
- Techniques for Working With B2B Influencers
- 10 Factors That Influence Your B2B Marketing
- 4 Types of B2B Search Trends
- 8 B2B Email Marketing Concepts That Really Work
- The Time Is Now: Digital Transformation in B2B Platforms