Over the last couple of decades, people have dramatically changed the way they make purchases. A recent study indicates business-to-business (B2B) buyers are at least 57 percent complete with their purchasing journey before even contacting the seller. Other research has found that percentage to be even higher.
This evolving B2B buyer’s market prompts a marketing ultimatum: keep up with the changes or risk fading fast to the sidelines. Long gone are the days of interruptive outbound marketing tactics like cold calling. These days, customers find a business on their own and usually know what they’re getting into. This is why, to borrow an iconic phrase from the movie Field of Dreams, a succinct summary of our advice to B2B companies is “if you build it, they will come.”
Does your B2B marketing strategy need an injection of fresh energy? Below we’ve outlined five essential tips to produce consistent web traffic, write impactful marketing content, and drive more conversions.
Create a Written Marketing Plan
Only 32 percent of B2B companies say they have a written marketing strategy. Meanwhile, 53 percent of B2B companies found to have the most effective marketing had also documented their plan. These numbers underscore a crucial concept: having a reference point can do wonders for keeping people on track.
A written marketing strategy and brand standards guide will keep the marketing team on the same page, preventing inconsistencies in look, messaging, and approach. Plus, when new people join the team, having a documented marketing strategy helps bring them up to speed efficiently and shortens the time it takes them to become productive contributors.
Note: A written marketing strategy should always be considered a “living document” requiring frequent updates and revisions. Otherwise, it quickly becomes outdated and begins to miss the mark.
Keep Website Design and Content Up to Date
Your website is the face of your organization, a bold banner of your business that is often the first thing a potential buyer sees about you. Initial impressions in the digital realm are just as important as a person-to-person introduction. Your website can establish instant credibility with a client or send them running to the competition. Build it with a distinct design and an easy-to-use interface, which will leave visitors feeling impressed and engaged by what they’ve seen.
Put yourself in your current and prospective customers’ shoes. There’s probably plenty of common ground between what you value and what they value when visiting a website for the first time.
Speak to Pain Points
A common marketing mistake among B2B companies is to create content that’s too broad. For example, a metal fabrication shop with traditional equipment and technology might post a blog about advances in AI technology. While the chosen topic is interesting, people searching for AI technology aren’t likely to care about the metal fabrication shop’s services.
Your marketing content should directly address how the products or services offered can help your target audience. Consider these questions about your buyer before starting any blog post, social media calendar, or Google Ad campaign:
- What is their position within the target company?
- What needs, challenges and frustrations do they have?
- How can your products or services address their needs or alleviate those challenges?
- What drives them to make purchasing decisions?
The answers provide the guide as you formulate content that attracts the right audience and speaks to their pain points.
Step Outside of the Marketing Department
Consistent creation of high-quality B2B content can be a daunting task—but it can be helped by casting a wide net. Leverage the experience and knowledge of staff in departments other than marketing:
- Company President
- Interview leadership to provide insight into company history, culture, and industry expertise.
- These team members can help create content focused on new technology or product development.
- Business Development
- A business’ sales team likely interacts with current and prospective customers the most and can help develop a list of pain points your content can address.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Those tasked with blogging or social media management often feel pressured to fill a content calendar, and when other priorities pop up, content quality can suffer. While consistent communication is important in marketing, one must never sacrifice quality to achieve that goal. High quality keeps current and prospective customers coming back—and prevents them from straying to a competitor’s page for the information they need.
Results Don’t Happen Overnight
A B2B company can’t expect instant results from a marketing campaign. If there was a magic button, we promise we’d tell you! The truth is that full-fledged marketing strategies require a long-term approach to build sustainable results.
However, if months or years of trial and error have left you frustrated and unable to achieve a meaningful return on investment, it’s probably time to get a professional opinion. Contact the expert B2B marketing team at Baer Performance Marketing for guidance today.