When most people think of marketing, they think of paid placements on TV, Radio, Print and Online. Business owners know that being seen by the masses can be expensive; from the creative to the media plan and finally the actual advertising placements. While big businesses have the money to spend on the prime marketing channels, sought-after time slots and expensive keywords, your smaller B2B business doesn’t have endless amounts of cash to splash. The good news is that you don’t need it.
As a small to medium sized B2B business, your marketing efforts should be focussed on reaching a smaller, more targeted niche, which is far less costly. Check out our 5 B2B Marketing tactics that will cost you no more than a bit of time and effort.
What You Need: A Website
What to Do: SEO is the process of promoting your website in order to increase the number of visitors that it receives from search engines such as Google, Yahoo! And Bing.
In order to make your website SEO-friendly, you first have to understand what your prospects are searching for: the keywords they type in to a search engine when looking for your product or service. There are many free tools that you can use to do this including the Google Keyword Planner, Bing Webmaster Toolbox and WordTracker.
Once you know the keywords your prospects are searching for, use them on your website to indicate to Search Engines that your content is relevant to the searcher. Keywords should be used in the URL, Page Title, Meta Description, Image Alt Tags and On-page Content. These parts of your website are relatively simple to edit with a little bit of technical knowledge.
Write a Blog
What You Need: A Website or Blog Hosting Service
What to Do: A blog is an excellent marketing tool that can assist your business in reaching new customers and prospects. A good blog can build a dynamic community for exchanging information, solutions, reviews and opinions about the business and its products, services and reputation.
In order to start your blog you have two options: join a blog hosting website such as WordPress, Gawker or Typepad, or create a blog on your existing website. Using your existing website will result in improved SEO and website visits, so if you have an existing website, this should be the preferred option. Once you have up your blog up, all you need to do is start writing. Choose a niche that is relevant to your business’ products or services, and write about things that your prospects and clients want to hear about. Try to think a bit different and don’t be overly promotional of your own products or services; instead offer the reader useful information that is interesting and relevant but also relates to your product or service in some way. The following infographic shares some ideas as to what kind of topics your audience may be interested in:
What You Need: Social Media Profile(s)
What to Do: Social Media is everywhere, from Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn, over 50% of the Australian population use Social Media every day [Sensis Social Media Report, May 2015]. The main thing to remember when it comes to social media is to do your research and pre-plan your strategy before starting out. Consider your product or service in relation to each Social Media platform, and define which is most relevant to your business. While many businesses use Facebook as their go-to Social Media platform, companies in the B2B space tend to find more success on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn refers 64% of visits to corporate websites compared to Facebook’s 17% [CMO, Adobe 2014].
Once you’ve established which channel(s) you want to be present on, fill out your profile and start posting content. The content you share should be a mix of your own original work and curated pieces from relevant sources. Social Media is the ideal platform for creating a marketing conversation with your customers, so make sure your business is interacting with customers and the conversation isn’t one sided.
What You Need: A Good Handshake
What to Do: Business networking is an extremely powerful marketing tactic, particularly for B2B businesses. By increasing your visibility in the industry you’re in you can establishing top of mind awareness with prospects and start relationships that will lead to strategic alliances, joint ventures, and referrals. Furthermore, effective business networking can introduce you to prospective suppliers or people who can offer solutions to your problems or even to recruit clients. It’s important to bear in mind that networking isn’t about asking for business. It’s about connecting with people to expand your reach via their network of contacts.
Business networking events can easily be found online on several dedicated networking sites like Meetup, Eventbrite, Eventful and even LinkedIn. Look for different events and activities to attend such as traditional business networking events, trade shows, association meetings, after hours social events, workshops, seminars or lectures.
What You Need: Happy Customers
What to Do: Referral marketing is a very worthwhile initiative for B2B marketing.
82% of small business owners have said their main source of new business is referrals [Constant Contact, 2013].
Referrals often come naturally from satisfied customers and quality business contacts who believe in your business, however sometimes they’ll need a bit of encouragement. Consider creating a Customer Satisfaction Survey to hand out to customers after they have experienced your product or service. Include a series of simple questions that will gather both positive and negative feedback and use survey to ask for an on-the-spot referral from the customer.
Satisfaction Surveys can be created quickly, easily and free on a range of survey-hosting platforms such as Survey Monkey, Typeform and Google Forms. Once you have the referral, use it wherever you can; promote it on your website or blog, on your Social Media channels or on any printed or online marketing collateral.
Try starting with one of our B2B Marketing tactics. If you don’t have a website, attend a networking event; or if you’re technical skills are above average, consider learning a bit more about SEO. With your dedication, time and effort, you’ll be attracting more prospects in no time.