Whether your company caters exclusively to other businesses or you're committing to serving new clients by targeting companies rather than consumers, there's a lot to learn about B2B marketing strategies.
As you might expect, there are some important differences between marketing that targets individuals rather than businesses. I've spent a lot of time honing my pitches to other businesses—here are a few of the B2B marketing strategies I've found to work best for me.
1. Target emotion when reaching out to prospective clients.
I believe the single biggest mistake most folks make when they're targeting other businesses is focusing solely on the facts. While the name on the invoice may be that of a company, you'll actually have to persuade a real, live person to make the leap—and you'll also have to provide service to that real, live person.
Though many of us do careful research and consider facts, we also make decisions based on our emotions.
My most successful B2B marketing strategies have certainly included facts and figures, along with a dutiful recitation of business benefits, but I've also gone one step further. I tie the numbers and benefits of working with me to how they'll make the business owner and their employees feel. If you can make your prospect care, you could be on your way to making the sale.
2. Focus on easing the transition for the business owner.
So many companies don't change their vendors simply because it can be a pain to do it.
I've found that investing time and energy into ensuring the client's transition is an easy one can be a huge selling point. My company does the heavy lifting, and my new B2B clients can sit back and savor the benefits.
3. Be authentic.
So many people approach B2B marketing strategies with the belief that they must excise any personality from their pitches. They may think that B2B must be serious business all the time.
But say your approach to business is a little offbeat. Maybe you've got an amazing sense of humor or an approach that's just a little different. If you cull all that delightful stuff that makes you special from your sales pitch, then you could be missing a fantastic opportunity. When you're authentically yourself, you have the chance to find, appeal to and work with clients who will truly appreciate your unique perspective.
I've found it's best to be myself and let my clients—even the companies—get to know the real me.
4. Focus on your customers even after the sale is complete.
It can take a long time to land a B2B client, but your work isn't over yet!
One of the most successful B2B marketing strategies I've used is to continue to treat my customers like hot prospects. I keep in touch. I ask what their needs are so I can serve them better with additional offerings.
Once a business has you set up as a vendor, it can be easier to add items or services. By completely moving your new B2B client out of your sales department, you could be missing out on subsequent purchases.
5. Create dedicated landing pages.
So here's a specific, more technical strategy (in my experience, it's impossible to overstate its importance): Whether my marketing is via social media, an email, a web-based advertisement or even good old-fashioned direct mail, I always, always make sure the link I provide goes to a landing page.
The landing pages are created specifically for small and medium-sized businesses and specifically related to what I've advertised. It can be disorienting for a business decision maker to click on a link that goes to a generic home page—especially if you handle both B2C and B2B clients. Think through what you want your B2B client experience to look like, and create your B2B marketing strategy accordingly.
You may be wondering if it's really worth all the extra effort to target other companies with your marketing, Let me assure you that it certainly can be. The reason it can be so compelling to emphasize how easy transitioning business to your company can be is that most companies are slow to change vendors. So once you land that business, you're likely to keep it.
Winning corporate business can add up to serious revenue, and it all starts with sound B2B marketing strategies.
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