The way B2B marketing works in 2020 has changed since the beginning of the year. But there are ways to build your customer base despite the world’s current circumstances. We share seven strategies to include in your 2021 marketing plan that will attract B2B customers to your brand.
Table of contents
1. Account-Based B2B Marketing
In the world of marketing, broader doesn’t always mean better. The more granular and targeted your campaigns are, the more effective they become.
According to Colliver, there are six stages for effective account-based marketing:
- Discovering high-value targets
- Identifying key players within those targets
- Sending out the right messaging
- Effective channel use
- Coordinating campaigns
- Measuring campaign effectiveness
Understanding your target B2B audience allows you to generate qualified leads so that you no longer have to aim content at users who won’t eventually convert into customers.
With account-based marketing, companies personalize their content for high-value targets—while also keeping the customer journey in mind.
To ensure account-based marketing campaigns are effective, inbound marketing efforts first need to be instituted.
Ensure that your customers have been able to find you via consistent and strong SEO practices and by creating relevant value-added content.
Follow up awareness campaigns by delivering positive customer experiences that will establish a framework for further interactions.
This will put you in a position to identify your high-value customers and to begin personalizing content and experiences for them.
Tailor your messaging to promote aspects of your products and services that will solve customer pain points—thus, making your brand stand out as the most relevant option available.
2. Demand Generation for B2B
Account-based marketing is strongly tied to demand generation for B2B products and services.
While generating leads has been the focus of most marketing efforts, in reality, that is the second step in customer acquisitions.
Companies first need to create demand among consumer bases for their products and service solutions.
Demand generation isn’t a one-and-done deal—it requires teams to work through every phase of the customer journey to make the brand appealing to consumers.
To create demand, companies will need to amplify their brand ethos throughout their content. Consider the following questions when creating and distributing content:
- What does your brand stand for?
- What is your brand’s tone of voice?
- What makes your brand unique from others?
- Why are your solutions ideal for your customer base?
Understand your buyers’ personas—not just the businesses who will partner with you, but who within those companies are the decision-makers.
That information will help you tailor content to their specific needs and allow you to upsell your product.
Another aspect of demand generation that companies need to remember is that it isn’t a direct selling strategy.
Your content is aimed at giving your customers value and incentive to continue engaging with your brand.
For example, you can write blog posts that inform your audience about ways to solve their problems. The customer reads the post, finds a solution, and then leaves.
To mitigate that situation, give them a reason to stay with you—and even to share their details by signing up using your contact forms. You can create demand by adding value to customer experiences. Such as including prompts to gated content like the white paper below, or ebooks, that will give them more information.
Using these methods, you can create additional levels of trust between your consumer and your brand—which will help convert them into loyal customers.
3. B2B Email Marketing
According to Lyfe Marketing, emails are a powerful tool for reaching B2B customers, holding its own against newer marketing channels.
Once you have determined the best ways to manage your accounts, email marketing opens up the possibility for better and more effective personalized content.
You can create multiple email campaigns depending on the specific needs of your clients or the products and services you are offering.
Segmentation is an important email marketing practice—it ensures that your emails are targeted to the most relevant audience.
There are numerous kinds of content you can create for B2B emails, such as:
- Short, text-only email messages
- News pieces or press releases
- Status updates with graphs
- Visual-heavy newsletters with several content pieces
- Subscription or membership updates
For example, this timeline outlines upgrades to an existing product and the clean layout makes it easy to share as an email—you can use a timeline maker to create visuals like these.
Templates like these can be reused as internal documents and shared with customers awaiting updates on their service.
With so many people spending time indoors in 2020, using email marketing to keep in contact with your consumer base is an ideal strategy.
4. Local B2B Marketing
The world has become more localized in 2020—travel restrictions and safety measures have made businesses more reliant on their immediate communities.
Tapping into local B2B marketing methods could be the future of campaigns—and businesses need to start reaching out to those communities as soon as possible.
To attract local customers, businesses should create content according to the specific wants and needs of these communities.
Here are some of the key areas that businesses need to work on to engage local customers:
- Define your local-intent keywords and build out content and pages targeting them
- Embed Google maps on key pages
- Include reviews on your website—and encourage reviews from customers online
- Get a verified Google My Business listing
- Hold PR campaigns that include news releases, and inclusions in ‘best of industry’ listicles
- Host local influencers at events, and partner with them for online promotions
- Aim online advertising campaigns towards local audiences
Loganix has an extensive local SEO guide that explains how to create targeted content for a company’s surroundings.
Following this advice, your business can start to appeal to companies situated nearby, thus increasing your customer base.
5. B2B Marketing Agencies
It isn’t always possible to conduct high-octane marketing campaigns in-house. Bringing in outside help is a strategy that can make a huge difference to the way you gain customers.
Agencies have human resources, industry know-how, and greater reach than individual enterprises.
They are also focused entirely on marketing activities for their clients—while B2B organizations have their duties and goals, alongside marketing campaigns.
Collaborating with an agency can be the key to creating effective campaigns that will earn you customers.
You can learn how to bring on a marketing or SaaS consultant to make this process more effective.
Engaging an agency requires a monetary investment, but it will be worth it because of the effort such collaborations save in-house teams. Searching for agencies doesn’t have to be a massive task—many sites have already collated the top marketing agencies in specific areas.
6. Mobile-Friendly B2B Marketing
Mobile marketing is taking over the world—and the impact reaches into professional frameworks with companies using mobile marketing to reach customers.
While this makes mobile marketing crucial in B2C circles, B2B campaigns shouldn’t fall behind either.
B2B efforts are aimed at engaging a company as a customer, but that company is being managed by people, who spend their time on mobile devices.
Businesses need to optimize their websites for mobile use – faster loading, straight-forward navigation, and resizable pages.
Don’t forget about voice searches—smart speakers are becoming more popular and it impacts how people find businesses.
Zero click searches answer customer queries—as do featured snippets—which means even the best content can fail to gain attention.
Create your content to answer specific search queries—and tailor your long-tail keywords accordingly. Also, consider adding a UTM code to mobile ads—this will help you learn how many users are accessing your marketing campaigns via mobile so you can streamline the process.
7. B2B Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing in the B2B sphere can make or break your business.
Not only do more than 70% of customers access social channels on their mobile devices, but they also make purchases from social posts.
Again, people running businesses are using social media channels to find products and services that will improve their working environment—aim your content at them.
Here are some necessary steps when designing B2B social media campaigns:
- Be brand-forward by incorporating brand colors and fonts across social media visuals
- Create a cohesive aesthetic that is immediately recognizable
- Share product walkthroughs and show your services being used
- Feature the people behind the business—give your brand a relatable face on social media
- Tell stories through your posts and explain how your brand can help customers
- Feature customer testimonials for social proof
- Repurpose your content instead of creating posts from scratch
- Don’t be afraid to inject humor into your brand’s content
- Take a stand—align your company with causes close to your customers’ hearts
- Don’t spread yourself too thin by maintaining multiple platforms
Social media is immense and jam-packed with content—but that doesn’t mean that B2B organizations can’t stamp their mark on platforms and increase their customer base.
B2B Marketing Success is Around the Corner
The seven B2B marketing strategies above will help businesses attract more loyal customers. To recap, here are the strategies:
- Account-based marketing plans
- Demand generation, not just lead generation
- B2B email marketing still works
- Go local with your marketing
- Partner with marketing agencies
- Go mobile-friendly
- Adopt social media marketing
These strategies do require some effort, but when implemented well, they can make an immense difference to your customer base, and your revenue.
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