May 7, 2014

Some Really Good Channels for B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing Strategies
Looking for some help with B2B marketing?

It is a tough nut to crack, because you are not trying to reach any random individual but the decision makers, who will request for a proposal only when they find a value in your products or services.

Next question that arise is - How would you make them aware of your products or services?


Even I have faced this question occasionally, when I used to think only as a PPC professional. But as a marketer we should not get stuck at same place every time, so I started seeking help from other marketers and they suggested me to hire marketing professionals from other fields. After using other online marketer’s help, I have learned that B2B marketing needs more direct approach.

Following are some online marketing mediums, which works nice in that direction:

Email Marketing


Email marketing is a commander in B2B communications. It is very effective when people opt-in to receive your emails. It provides all kinds of flexibility to reach your targeted customer in terms of categorization, content, frequency, personalization etc. You get total control on what you want to say and how you want to say.

Be very careful with email marketing, as there is very thin classification between using and abusing. As this medium mostly triggers instant positive results, even the most professional marketers fail to understand when they started overdoing it.


Webinar


The second most favorite choice for B2B marketing is webinars. It may show better conversion rates than email marketing, but the success depends upon attendee count. It becomes easy to gather audience if you already have targeted email marketing list. Otherwise you can go for social networking and paid promotions to invite audiences for your webinar.

Following are few points to take care while scheduling a webinar:

1. Make it very clear while marketing - what the webinar is about and what will be the outcomes.

2. Mention date and time along with the time zone in your marketing material.

3. Use the most accessible medium for your webinar and mention the details in your marketing messages.

4. Prepare and double check everything, before marketing your webinar, like presentation, narrators, technical devices, internet connection etc. and avoid any last minute changes.

Only two types of audience will show interest in attending your webinars – Your targeted audience or those who want to learn about your products/services including competitors. So be careful about the information you share during the session.


Linkedin


I have not named this section as social networking because Linkedin is almost all social media for B2B marketing. There are other networks as well, but in B2B space your target customer are mostly people with specific job titles, who has the power to approve your business proposals. So Linkedin is the network to effectively reach your target customers.

You can join groups, build groups, build company page & get connected to people relevant for your business. But again you have to understand the extent to which you are not abusing this medium. Following are few points to take care while building connections on Linkedin:

1. You can send connection invitation to a person once, so use your invitation message wisely.

2. Don’t spam Linkedin groups with repetitive messages, you may get blocked.

3. Engage professionally; don’t go for personal chit-chats on public discussions.

4. Always reply to comments and discussions happening on your company name.

5. Don’t leave negative reviews & feedbacks unattended.

If you find some initial success in this medium, then go for premium account. Premium account gives you access to more information.


Free Giveaways


Having a word “Free” doesn't mean you will be able to distribute anything like a cake. You have to give valuable content and a promise for positive outcomes. Easiest way to use this medium is to initially provide few samples of your products or services without expecting anything from other side. After seeing good response you can provide a bigger sample in exchange of contact information and with that information you can promote your final product/services.

For example, a professional blogger, who shares his expertise, tips and tricks for free in blog posts and then builds eBooks, whitepaper, case studies and other documents as a detailed guide and trades it for contact information or money.


Chatting


You have to keep an option open for those who don’t want to share their contact information, but would like to know about your products. Nowadays many third party plugins are available, which can add live chatting option to your website. Users just have to enter their name or they can chat as anonymous as well.


Blogs & Other Reading Materials


Every industry has their own set of problems; being a part even your company has to look for solutions to those issues. What if you document those solutions and share it as blog posts, case-studies or whitepapers? You would not only establish yourself as industry thought leader, but become first choice for your target audience to refer for their issues.

Blogging also adds to the ranking of your website in search engines. So you can hit two purposes with this one activity.


PPC or Paid Search Marketing


Even after being a PPC professional, I have ranked this medium as lowest for B2B marketing. It works well for businesses that provide instant products or services, such as, ready to use software, stationary, furniture, accessories etc. But cost per acquisition is pretty high for long term B2B products, such as, real estate, legal services, designing services, human resources etc.


Conclusion


B2B marketing is all about building relations and taking it forward in a positive way, so that both the parties feel confident in working together. You can use any combination of above mentioned mediums to market your business to other business, as per resources available to you.

As I always say, I am a learner, please share your comments and opinions regarding B2B marketing and let me know if I have missed something important to mention in the list.

For Further Reading:

How B2B Online Marketing in US will Sail Forward
50 Inspirational Marketing & Advertising Quotes
B2B Marketing! I am in Trouble
9 Simple Ways to Build Quality Email Lists for Marketing


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1 comment:

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