Top B2B Marketing Strategies for a Positive ROI in 2021
February 8, 2021 12 min. read
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As it goes in both business and non-business worlds, 2020 was the year for learning, and 2021 is the year for applying. And, if speaking about business realms, what’s a better way for applying what you’ve learned than diving headlong into tactics and strategies that can recuperate the losses from the previous year and skyrocket your company’s growth, too?
The tool that is proven to help with that is the good old marketing. Well, you would actually profit from replacing the adjective ‘old’ with ‘new’ — this overly-digital decade isn’t necessarily tolerant towards the flyers and brochures, outdated door-to-door selling, and poorly-produced TV commercials. Switch an individual customer to a sophisticated business buyer, and you’ve got yourself a different type of target audience that requires a completely different approach.
With B2B marketing, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the industry your client is working in first. You ought to know the ins and outs of it so that you can plan your sales and marketing strategies accordingly. Once you do, the process of adopting the right practices becomes much more straightforward.
To make it clear just how valuable clever marketing is becoming for B2B businesses, take a look at these statistics pertinent to B2B marketing:
• Digital ad spending is projected to rise from 39.1% to 49.6% by 2021;
• 52% of B2B clientele is more likely to make a purchase from a company after reading their content;
• The whopping 89% of potential B2B customers use the internet to do their pre-purchase research.
As you can tell, there is a big potential for B2B marketers to widen their reach and use the sometimes overlooked tactics to appeal to those who would be genuinely curious about your company’s product.
Let’s check out what’s in store for businesses that aim for a positive ROI in 2021.
B2B marketing strategies that just *make sense*
Unlike B2C prospects, B2B clients are very results-driven. This is understandable — acting on the behalf of their organization, they need to make sure your product not only meets their needs but is guaranteed to bring them revenue and new potential customers. The return on the investment, therefore, isn’t a nice-to-have but rather a must-have that is oftentimes non-negotiable.
To cater to their needs, you should expect to provide them with a detailed description of your offer and allocate a higher-than-average period of time for the sale to go through. But this tedious process is justified — in exchange, you get a contract that lasts, in a lot of cases, well over a year.
Here’s how you can market to them and simultaneously outperform your competitors:
1. Create a digital presence that will work for you when you’re asleep
It’s one thing to not be using social media for B2B marketing and a completely different —- and absurd, too —- thing to not have any sort of digital presence. Without it, you’re losing precious customers (and revenue) who could’ve made all the difference for your business.
Where does one start? One word — website. In today’s climate, it’s hard to imagine a successful business that doesn’t have a well-functioning website. This is where the majority of sales happen for the simple reason of it being an easy-to-use digital platform with in-depth information about your offer, answers to the clients’ most asked questions, and a call to action (CTA) button.
Once your company’s website is set up, you can dive deeper into optimizing it for your target audience and running paid campaigns for achieving those quarterly sales goals. This includes improving your on-page and off-page SEO, deciding what paid advertising would suit your business best —- pay-per-click (PPC) social media ads, web banner ads, influencer marketing, ad retargeting, and the likes.
LinkedIn and GoDaddy did it best with their customer stories (LinkedIn) and showing their team (GoDaddy) in their digital marketing campaigns that were bound to succeed. People are drawn to humanizing ads that don’t shy away from placing real people into the equation and are thus more likely to respond to them well; this is something to keep in mind when brainstorming about ad ideas.
2. Remember that ‘content is king’ and use it as bait to attract B2B clients
Given that B2B customers don’t take their research lightly, it’s safe to say that the content you put out should be of the highest quality. This means that it should be produced with the client’s needs in mind and in a way that will make him want to find out more about your offer without hesitation.
With 80% of those making decisions on behalf of their companies confessing that a thorough article is more likely to persuade them to make a purchase than an ad, it helps to approach content creation with the same level of responsibility you approach perfecting your product offer and measuring your B2B support team’s KPIs. For this reason, hiring a copywriter, a social media manager or a video/podcast editor should be high on your priority list.
As for the content worth creating, here are the tried-and-tested ideas that work well regardless of the industry you’re in:
• SEO-powered blog posts with infographics: Hastily written articles with no set objective are a no-go. You could get away with them in the past when search engine optimization and long-form blog posts with impressive visuals weren’t widely implemented, but the current over-saturated market requires a little more from you. Make use of Canva, Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz and aim to pack as much value in the article you write as possible.
• eBooks and white papers: To get into more detail and explain the complexity of your product, consider writing an eBook and/or a white paper. Designed to offer the reader insights he wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, these guides can go a long way in ensuring that even the pickiest B2B leads will be converted into clients.
• Social media posts: The correlation between social media content and a positive ROI might not be obvious, but it’s the one that matters the most in the present climate. Just like B2C businesses, those involved in B2B should be catching up and using Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to identify leads, and develop and maintain relationships with them through frequent posts and prompt replies.
• YouTube videos: This form of content is slowly but surely taking over and there’s a good reason for it. People are becoming increasingly interested in more personalized or niche, in business terms, content that helps them get to know your brand better. It allows you, as a B2B marketer, to engage your prospects with consistent uploads and track your channel’s performance for the best results.
• Online webinars: Still a fresh concept, they are an upgrade from YouTube that is yet to become a full-fledged B2B marketing tool that has the power to significantly speed up the sales cycle. If used correctly, it can help you turn attendees into paid customers with a 20% conversion rate. Not too bad for an hour-long video conference that can be recorded and used as a lead generator for the months to come, if you ask us.
3. Get really good at email marketing, like better-than-average good
Are you familiar with the statistics stating that, in email terms, your return on $1 investment (ROI) is $38 or 3,800%? Or that B2B marketers using segmented campaigns record a 760% increase in revenue? If this isn’t proof that email marketing works — and that marketers who rightfully take advantage of it are seeing results in real-time — we don’t know what is.
If you haven’t already integrated an email marketing tool like MailChimp, Omnisend, or MailerLite into your business’s day-to-day operations, you might want to make this investment ASAP. In addition, you should adopt the following email marketing practices that are guaranteed to boost your brand’s reputation and growth:
• Employ target audience segmentation: Sure, your email list includes those who are interested in what you have to offer, but it doesn’t mean that one-size-fits-all emails will do the trick. Consider dividing your prospects by their current interests, goals, and life stages, and make your offer appealing to them all for different reasons.
• Personalize your CTA: Boring CTAs should be left in the past. Today, the only smart way to lure your potential clients in is by personalizing the sales-inducing message based on the targeted segmentation you completed beforehand.
• Don’t ditch cold emailing too quickly: Before you go ahead and decide you’re ‘too good’ for cold emailing and everyone should take an immediate interest in your offer just because, contemplate giving it a go. You never know when a well-structured cold email template will strike.
Now that you have all the right tools in your hands, don’t be afraid to get them dirty. And by that, we mean going through trial and error until the perfect marketing formula is formed. Don’t be frustrated if it takes more time than anticipated; the result — satisfied clients and elevated ROI — will be worth the wait.
Customer Experience Manager
Mikkel is passionate about customer experience in every color of the beautiful customer engagement spectrum. He loves building great connections with his customers, which often lead to meaningful friendships that last a lifetime and inspire his work. Driven by the genuine belief that CX is the pivotal force that drives a successful business, he is currently at the helm of Dixa’s customer experience strategy.
Twitter handle: @MikkelVes
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