If you’re a B2B marketer, your goal is to attract qualified leads. After all, most B2B sales involve a series of meetings with all the suits in the C-suite, so it’s important to get them to the table in the first place.
To get more leads — and more meetings — you need to pump up your B2B online marketing strategy. We’ll show you some proven ways to do just that.
4 Ways to Improve Your B2B Online Marketing Strategy
1. Identify your target customers
You can’t market to everyone. Not only does it take too much time and effort, but it also makes whatever content you put out there generic and unrelatable.
In choosing your target customers, you need to identify the types of businesses who need what you sell.
Not only that, but you also need to identify those businesses that are qualified to buy your products and services. It makes no sense to market online to companies who don’t have the funds or the interest to buy.
A good idea is to create customer personas. Look at the types of businesses who have brought in the most profits to your business.
If you’re just starting out, look at the big players in your industry. Who brings in the lion’s share of their profits? Those are the types of businesses you need to go after.
Create a persona out of each of these businesses. If the CEOs of your target businesses are mostly females in their fifties, write that down. Look at their interests — what they read and comment on through social media posts on LinkedIn or their company blog. Look at their pain points — what keeps them up at night. Find a way that your products or services can relieve that itch.
2. Create thought-provoking content that solves their problems
Now that you know what drives your prospective customers, you need to reach out to them with a message that benefits them. Specifically, with material that helps them solve one (or more) of their problems.
In other words, become a thought leader. A 2018 Edelman study shows that thought leadership content drove sales by as much as 60% or more.
That’s a train you need to get on board.
Thought leadership content isn’t a yawn fest filled with jargon and lofty words — all designed to show off your expertise. And it’s not a list of your company’s accomplishments, either.
Edelman defines thought leadership content as “free deliverables that organisations or individuals produce on a topic in their area of expertise when they feel others can benefit from their perspective”.
It has to benefit the readers — your target customers. Share their knowledge with them, whether it’s a LinkedIn post that provides your target customers with an insight they might not have thought about before, or a better way to improve their conversion rate with their own target customers.
Share thoughtful blog posts on social media
Create thoughtful blog posts on your website. Share them with your target customers on social media. Every post you write should focus on your customers and their needs, not your business.
Use your customer personas to properly target the right audience for your content. With today’s data analytics and audience targeting capabilities, your boosted social media posts, online ads, and other content will get in front of the right eyes.
Become part of the conversation
Aside from sharing blog posts on social media, create an engaging presence on the platform.
Don’t just make your social media content all about you. Besides writing your own content, interact with others. Thoughtful comments on your target customers’ posts can help build trust, as can answering comments on your own posts.
Also, when you post your own content, don’t just post the link. Introduce it with a thought-provoking question that will get your target customers’ attention.
3. Offer more in-depth content in exchange for their email address
One of the best ways to get qualified leads is to use your blog posts as a springboard for a deeper dive into the topic. If your initial blog post was helpful, just think how a more in-depth treatment of the same topic would serve their needs better.
Instead of making your call to action an invitation to do business with you, make it an invitation to download a white paper or ebook instead. It’s subtle. It requires little commitment. Lastly, it provides your prospective customers with valuable content to improve their own businesses.
Make sure, however, that the content you offer is of the highest quality.
The same Edelman study also pointed out the negative side of thought leadership content. When it’s poorly written or poorly thought out, it will likely cause nearly 30% of your prospective customers to drop your business from consideration.
4. Use follow-up emails to provide useful, actionable information
You’re not done yet. Once you have their email address, woo them with even more content they can use to help them run their business.
Structure your emails to go out at regular intervals. After those deliveries reach a certain number — most online marketing experts recommend around seven — offer them the opportunity to meet with you in person for an in-person or Skype consultation. To sweeten the pot, offer them a set of your best ebooks when they book the meeting.
These types of lead-nurturing emails, when done properly, will result in more conversions, more sales, and more profit for your business. With an email automation solution, you can put your thought leadership content to work for you — at scale — with less effort than ever before.
With this B2B online marketing strategy set in motion, you’ll not only generate more leads, but you’ll also position yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.
To learn more about how you can up the ante on your online marketing game, get in touch with Vodien today.