It’s interesting how the COVID-19 pandemic altered the B2B buying and selling environment. Prior to the pandemic, many marketers and decision-makers were already familiar with online experiences thanks to their B2C interactions.
This allowed them to envision a digital business environment for the B2B sector. As many businesses transitioned online they found they could do more than survive the pandemic.
The digital marketing arena came with successful marketing strategies that allowed them to penetrate the market and thrive.
So, if you’re tired of insufficient pipelines, unfulfilled quotas, and low profits margins, here are 5 strategies that may help raise those standards.
1. Cold Calling
The cold calling strategy tops our list for good reason.
Digital marketing has opened up businesses to wider audiences and untapped markets that stand to benefit from their solutions.
According to a RAIN Group survey, B2B buyers are receptive to vendors who can show them how to drive stronger results. Picking up the phone sets up the stage for further interactions that may lead to a mutually beneficial relationship.
Best practices include.
- Research your leads. One reason sales teams get turned down is that they don’t tie customer needs with their offerings. By researching a leads’ needs, you can visualize how your solutions can make their business lives better, then package this information for the lead.
- Keep a lookout for trigger events. Businesses around the globe launch new products/services, expand into other regions, or receive new funding. Look for partnership opportunities by showcasing how your solutions can make the prospect’s transition smoother.
- Stay up-to-date. Both within your and the prospect’s industry. Look at trends, newly implemented legislation, and other developments that can open opportunities you can leverage.
- Customize your script to suit the prospect you’re pursuing. Tweak your script to capture the challenges and environment your prospect is operating under. Look up relevant statistics that support your pitch to increase credibility.
2. Influencer Marketing
According to TopRank Marketing, up to 74 percent of marketers indicated that influencer marketing improved consumer experience with their brand. A further 63 percent said that marketing efforts would turn out better if they included influencer marketing programs.
Better customer experiences and strong marketing results are compelling reasons for partnering with a B2B influencer, don’t you think?
Here are some considerations:
- Have a realistic time frame for results to show. Undoubtedly, B2B influencers can be very persuasive, but B2B purchase decisions take longer to manifest. Give your influencer marketing program time to root. By the time, we’re talking no less than six months.
- Look for someone who is already influencing your customers. Find someone your target market resonates with. Trust has already been established here, and the influencer is likely to have a greater impact on them.
- Create dossiers for gauging suitability. Come up with several influencers and compare them using a common format. You can look at the number and type of social channels, topics covered, engagement ratios, and non-social influence platforms like speaking at events, running podcasts, or authoring books.
- Co-create content. Educate the influencer on your offerings, let them know what you seek to accomplish, and then listen to their ideas. The more involved the influencer is in the creation, the more persuasive they will be.
3. Manage Your Online Reputation
Research shows that 85 percent of modern-day consumers trust online reviews the same way they would personal recommendations.
For your brand, this means that potential customers will research your online reputation before signing the dotted line. They want to know who are they getting themselves involved with.
Monitoring your online isn’t just crucial, but a lifeline. You need to know what others say about your company and work your best to reduce the impact negative reviews will have on your business.
Best practices include:
- Invest in a social listening tool. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Keyhole, Oktopost, and Mention let you know what audiences are saying about you and why. The quicker you know about a potential crisis, the faster you can remedy it. These tools gather data to help you improve your operational and marketing metrics.
- Actively encourage customers to post positive reviews. You’ll find customers who readily leave good reviews and others that need a little nudge. Don’t shy from asking customers to post positive reviews.
- Create useful content. Credibility takes the form of high-quality products/services as well as informative and well-written content. FAQs, guides, tips, and tricks are part of the useful content you can share with audiences.
- Avoid deleting negative reviews. Removing them only worsens things. The unhappy customer may find other channels to vent their frustrations, further painting you in a bad light.
4. Create Podcasts
A LinkedIn survey showed that department heads, company vice presidents, C-suite executives, and business owners tune in to podcasts.
Podcasting isn’t a passing trend. It’s a dynamic content marketing platform that brands use to discuss complex stories, share research findings, and answer questions.
Podcasting is a fantastic channel for connecting with large audiences, establishing thought leadership, and encouraging engagement.
Just what your marketing team needs, right?
So what do businesses actually talk about on podcasts?
Here are some ideas:
- A session with the CEO. This is a fine way to humanize your brand. As the CEO talks about how they started the business, their journey so far, and where they want to go they connect emotionally with audiences. You can also organize Q&A episodes to tap into their expertise and thoughts about your industry.
- Client chats. These episodes validate your brand’s credibility and achievements. As customers talk about why they chose you, they provide authentic case studies for listeners who then visualize your solutions helping them.
- Ask the expert sessions. Panel-style discussions by members of your team, or industry experts provide holistic experiences for your listeners. You can harness their expertise to provide valuable insights into various topics of interest to your audiences.
5. Email Marketing
One alteration that came with the pandemic was an increase in email volume and by more than 50 percent no less.
With businesspeople spending more time in front of their computers, they relied on email to stay updated, maintain relationships with other B2Bs and make purchases.
As we shake off the pandemic, this trend is likely to continue. Here are some email marketing practices to consider:
- Put your customer’s needs firsts. Ditch the self-promotion and pack your emails with content that clearly demonstrates how your audiences stand to benefit from your solutions.
- Prioritize personalization. Rather than send bulk emails to your entire list, take time to know what works best for your audience. Are your subscribers looking for discounts? Do they want to know more about your offerings? Segment and personalize the emails to receive meaningful engagement from the prospects.
- Make your emails interactive. Add interactive videos, quick quizzes, and polls or carousels for showcasing your products/services. These don’t just engage customers but provide insights into what interests your audience. You can then tailor your emails around these interests for better engagement.
- Be privacy-friendly. Regularly review legislation on data privacy to ensure your email campaigns comply with themLet your audiences know how you intend to protect their information to boost their trust in your brand.