B2B marketing has changed dramatically over the past 5 years. Marketers are now expected to do so much more than ever before with the same, or often less, resources.

Larger companies have purchased smaller ones and taken their market share; technology has evolved so rapidly that training staff is almost impossible without an entire team of tech savvy marketers who already know how to use it all.

B2B Marketing Tactics that can Help move the Needle
B2B Marketing Tactics that can Help move the Needle

B2B brands can no longer rely on print media to communicate with their target audience because the content is king and buyers are smarter than ever before.

The nature of B2B relationships means that they take time, energy, and rapport to build according to those pesky stages of the buyer’s journey. The result? Time-poor marketers are under increasing pressure from management but are still expected to deliver ROI.

Here are 10 marketing tactics to help them move the needle

1. Get Personal

Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways for B2B brands to get their message in front of target audience members but it can be hard work. Personalized emails, even without a single interactive element, increase click-through rates by up to 80%.

Marketers simply need to create dynamic value propositions that identify buying stage and role then segment that into specific groups within an email list based on job title or company size etcetera. Then, all they have to do is send out personalized versions of the same email using data from within their CRM platform.

It’s not only easy but highly effective because recipients will be more likely to open up emails that are specifically relevant to them.

2. Increase your share of voice with search

SEO is no longer an option – it’s a necessity for any B2B marketer serious about being found online.

More people are turning to search engines for their research so they have started typing in specific phrases or words before hitting the search button rather than opening up a brand-new tab and conducting multiple searches across Google, Yahoo and Bing until they find what they’re looking for.

This means marketers need to concentrate less on branding campaigns that try too hard to be all things to all people and instead hone in on specific buying stages, problems, or pain points that customer may be experiencing. Marketers then need to create content based on these phrases and get it in front of their target audiences with an SEO strategy that includes intitle: and inurl: tags.

3. Less is more on social media

Social media needs to be taken seriously within B2B marketing strategies but marketers need to keep one thing in mind: they may only have seconds to grab the attention of a busy prospect. It’s no longer about bombarding prospects with blog posts, sales pitches, and product information via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Marketers should be creating interesting content for their posts based on specific keywords or phrases used by buyers during the research phase of the buying journey. Social networks like Quora are also places where marketers can add value by sharing their expertise, responding quickly to comments, and consistently maintaining a presence.

4. Get visual with your marketing material

2015 is the year of video – companies like Uber, Spotify, and Netflix have made their mark on the market by getting creative with their advertising while also speaking directly to target audiences via online videos. Marketers need to get in on the act by looking for ways they can incorporate videos into their content strategy.

Businesses are more likely to invest in brands that are producing high-quality, interesting video content simply because it’s rare. Those who do produce engaging videos look smarter than those stuck in the past, which can only be a good thing when it comes to market share. Plus, with organic reach on Facebook now at 4%, marketers can’t afford to give this tactic a shot.

5. Be where they are

Marketers have always known they need to be where their target audiences are but this is truer than ever in today’s digital age when people are spending more time on mobile devices.

There are now so many ways marketers can interact with customers – from QR codes, NFC technologies, and even clothing – that it has become virtually impossible to ignore these opportunities anymore. For example, GAP recently ran a successful campaign by creating an in-store map for shoppers that allowed them to scan QR codes on display products, load up images of particular styles then share content via social media channels without having to leave the store.

This helped build excitement around the brand while giving consumers an additional excuse to interact with GAP via multiple channels and devices.

6. Ensure your emails get opened

Emails remain an important communication tool for marketers across B2B industries because there’s no better way to get in touch with customers than by sending them a relevant, personalized message that they want to open.

Yet studies show that although most people say receiving promotional emails is part of their job, less than 50% actually take the time to read these messages. This means marketers need to make sure their emails are interesting, engaging, and above all else relevant before hitting send. Marketers also need to think about how subject lines can be improved.

Rather than having generic phrases like ‘Weekly Newsletter’ and ‘Black Friday Deals’, why not add more by including target keywords here too? Subject lines that read, ‘Weekly Newsletter: New items just in for 20% off or ‘Black Friday Deals: New collection launching today are more likely to get opened because they’re tailored to the reader.

7. Get visual with your marketing material

2015 is the year of video – companies like Uber, Spotify, and Netflix have made their mark on the market by getting creative with their advertising while also speaking directly to target audiences via online videos. Marketers need to get in on the act by looking for ways they can incorporate videos into their content strategy.

Businesses are more likely to invest in brands that are producing high-quality, interesting video content simply because it’s rare. Those who do produce engaging videos look smarter than those stuck in the past, which can only be a good thing when it comes to market share. Plus, with organic reach on Facebook now at 4%, marketers can’t afford to give this tactic a shot.

8. Ensure your clients are happy

Customer retention is one of the most valuable things for B2B businesses and yet an alarming number of companies aren’t doing enough to develop positive relationships with their customers.

It’s important for marketers to consider how they can make a change here by asking themselves a few simple questions every day: How are my clients communicating? What messages do I need to improve?

How can I help them solve problems? Marketers should also think about rewarding their long-term, loyal customers as this will encourage them, even more, to stay with the company.

9. Make sure you’re prepared for the future

Although there’s no denying that digital is changing marketing on an almost daily basis, it’s also important to think about whether or not marketers are making the most of all available resources.

For example, Google Analytics can help businesses harness more knowledge about their audiences while keeping track of what content they’re engaging with online. Marketers need to be aware of all these solutions while realizing which ones would work best for them personally in order to get ahead of the game.

There are some great, free tools out there that can make a huge difference – why not try using Lead feeder, which shows you who is visiting your website?

10. Personalize your approach

The more personal you can make your marketing material, the more likely it will be to resonate with intended audiences. B2B marketers need to think about how they can learn more about their clients and this is something that can be achieved with social listening.

By using free tools like Mention, you’re able to monitor who is talking about your industry, company, or competitors online – allowing you to identify potential leads while also staying on top of any important conversations that could impact the growth of your business. Customers are engaging with brands on numerous different platforms so businesses need to do everything they can to listen carefully before responding properly.

Plus, there are lots of great survey tools out there so it’s worth finding which one works best for you – eSputnik, for example, can help you find out about your target’s pain points and then determine how to solve them.

Marketing a B2B company is tough – there are a lot of obstacles to overcome along the way. From concentrating on high-quality content pieces to making sure you’re prepared for the future, it’s essential that marketers take everything into consideration before diving straight in.

By staying up to date with changes within your industry, finding ways of harnessing new technology, and balancing outgoing activity with customer needs, you can make 2016 a great year for any business.

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