Before you begin any marketing campaign you should first have a strategy and plan which will map out the specific tactics you will deploy with clear and measurable business goals attached to each. Make sure you have developed customer persona’s and your brand identity to craft your messaging, targeting and identify the best marketing channels.
That being said, here are some of the most common tactics B2B businesses use since they are effective in most cases.
- Blogging – I’m sure you’ve heard before that a blog would be a good idea for your business, but you may be missing the “why” people start writing a blog. First, it will help you communicate your message with your internal team who are the most likely initial readers of your blog. It will give them a clear path to communicating key issues with clients. It keeps everyone on the same page as far as what the company’s response is to industry trends, competition and new technology which may affect your business. It gives them a first-hand feel of your brand voice and sets the stage where you can begin to scale what you do best which is communicate your brand message. It will also deliver valuable content to your social channels and give social media users a measurable engagement when they click through to your website where you can better track them.
- Social Media – This is how you scale your relationship building. Think of what you have done to take a casual relationship through to a sale. How many times did you engage with that person, what did you do to build trust over time and where did you first meet? Social media allows you to scale this process and reach tens of thousands or millions of people in one conversation thread. Do the same things you did in the non-virtual world to build these relationships. Use your blog articles as content for your posts and encourage them to engage with the content so you can track them from your website.
- Event marketing – It’s hard to beat face-to-face meetings when it comes to closing new business. Event marketing allows you to scale in a similar way to social media. Choose a topic which is hot and trending in your industry, grab an industry expert or two, add free cocktails and use your social media and traditional channels to market the event. Have someone ready to film the event which you can use later for your blog posts, social media content and ads.
- Webinars – If you don’t have the time or resources to host an in-person event try a webinar. Webinar software pricing has come down considerably over the past few years and setting one up has gotten a lot easier. Choose a hot, trending industry topic and promote a re-registration from your website, social channels and digital ads. Record the Webinar and use the content for additional blog posts, social media posts and ads.
- Email newsletter – Email marketing has a bad wrap from the early days of marketing when spam consumed most inboxes and customers stopped paying attention to them. Times have changed as Gmail and other email hosting services have added great spam detection and avoidance algorithms to eliminate most of the garbage. You still need valid emails and high quality content to send to clients to make it worth their while to open them. If you keep up with your blogging, it can provide great content for the email newsletter which may also include invitations to events and Webinars.
- Team engagement – Getting your staff on the same page is critical to the success of any growth plan. Employees should not only know their particular job function but also its context to broader organizational goals and objectives. They should understand the brand identity and voice and be able to pitch what the company can do for clients. Enlist the staff to help spread the word by sharing company events, webinars and social media content to expand your reach. This is usually the lowest cost, highest return on investment you can make which will have large, ongoing tangible and intangible benefits to the organization.
- Consolidation of prospect lists into one central CRM – More often than not, I see companies who still do not have a CRM installed and utilized on a daily basis. It’s the foundation of any strong sales and marketing team. It provides structure throughout the sales and marketing journey of each customer to ensure consistent messaging and follow ups to avoid any missed opportunities. Set KPI’s for point along the marketing and sales funnels to show sales people a clear path to building a successful client base. How many prospects does a sales person have assigned to them? How many qualify for your product or service? How many have provided their email address and contact information? How many showed up to an event? Have you presented a proposal to them? Who are the competitors for particular accounts? All of this can be answered if you have a CRM and process in place.
- Business Development – When you have assets such as a great prospect list, newsletter subscriptions and social media presence, you can leverage it to connect with businesses who market to the same audience. This one requires that you follow all the tactics above for a year or more to build your lists, followers and credibility, but once you do you will most likely have potential marketing partners calling you. If you are an accounting firm, find a law firm that markets to the same audience and host an event together where you can cross sell each other’s services, share content on each other’s social media channels or include an article in your blog and/or newsletter.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, each tactic leverages content to be used in another. If you are able to achieve success in one, the second becomes easier and so on. A good quality strategy session will identify all of these tactics and integrate them to make the most efficient use of resources with the broadest possible distribution.