5 Overlooked B2B Marketing Strategies You May Want to Try

When your customers are businesses, some out-of-the-box B2B marketing strategies can come in handy, according to these business owners.
January 10, 2018

When you chase after new prospects, sometimes you tend to embrace the same B2B marketing strategies over and over.

And why shouldn't you, especially if those strategies have worked so far?

But sometimes when you try something different and it works, you wish you had diversified your marketing strategies earlier.

There can be value to changing up your marketing strategies, especially if you're in a niche, under-the-radar industry where it can be harder to attract new customers. The next time you're looking for new B2B marketing strategies, you may want to give some of these ideas a try.

1. Optimize your website for voice searching.

Let's say you've finally optimized your website for search on desktop browsers. But then you heard mobile search was more popular, so you tinkered with mobile optimization. You learned how to make your site pop up high on the listings when people in your industry went looking for products or services that your company provides.

Well, guess what? Now there's something else to consider.

David Zimmerman, the owner of Reliable Acorn, LLC, an online marketing consultancy based out of Fort Mill, South Carolina, suggests you start planning your search optimization for voice. There may come a day that voice-enabled virtual assistants like Google Home, Alexa and Siri, become popular in the office.

So far, these gadgets are likely mostly used in the home by consumers, Zimmerman concedes.

“[But] pretty soon these devices will train people to ask all sorts of questions," he says. "This will lead to businesses using voice-enabled devices to find products and services they need. Now's the time B2B companies should prepare for this."

What if this prediction doesn't come to pass and voice-enabled virtual assistants don't wind up in the workplace? That's good news, too. 

“Doing what it takes to rank for voice search will also help your overall SEO efforts," Zimmerman says.

2. Send lumpy mail as part of your B2B marketing strategies.

Michele Kapustka, a Chicago-based business owner, has a suggestion for entrepreneurs marketing to clients. Send something in the mail, instead of the usual email, and preferably, make it lumpy.

“Lumpy mail is always a winner," she says.

In other words, send targeted direct mail to a business—but make sure that it's three-dimensional.

I think one of the most underutilized marketing strategies is optimizing a website for user experience.

—Stoney deGeyter, founder and CEO, Pole Position Marketing

Kapustka's company, SENDaBALL, sells big bouncy balls that business owners can write messages on and send to clients. She's had customers write notes on the balls that with messages like, “Call me to set up a convenient time to meet, so we can discuss how we can get the ball rolling."

If that idea doesn't work for you, you could send a business client marketing materials with some cookies or put a pitch letter in an oddly shaped box. The point, Kapustka says, is to make your mail stand out from all the other mail the company receives.

“Lumpy mail gets opened first. Unique stuff gets your attention," she says.

3. Send your prospective client on a treasure hunt.

If lumpy mail isn't your thing, you might enjoy adopting the mailing tactics of Oliver Vesi, the chief marketing officer at Katana MRP, with offices in London, Ontario, and Tallinn, Estonia. The company provides an online production and inventory management system for small manufacturers.

Vesi also sends direct mail to prospective clients. But the trick, he says, “is to send different letters to two different receivers. Only [by] putting the letters together [can] they unlock their special offer. Selling manufacturing software, we send one mail to the manufacturing manager and one to the CEO. Both have half the URL for our special offer landing page."

According to Vesi, if all goes well, you can create excitement, engagement and communication between two decision makers who are now talking about your product.

It can take time to research the names and positions of companies you want to work with, but the return on investment has been great, according to Vesi.

Of course, you could take this sort of creative marketing too far. If you sent a CEO and a manufacturing manager on an actual treasure hunt, and instead of gold doubloons, they found a 15 percent coupon for your services, you might never talk to this prospective client again.

4. Write an article for a trade magazine.

Lindsey Groepper, president of BLASTMedia, a B2B public relations agency in Indianapolis, suggests trying this B2B marketing strategy.

“With the number of staff writers dwindling, trade media is constantly on the lookout for compelling guest content—outside expert commentary—to include in their magazine or website," she says.

Groepper suggests coming up with an industry topic you're interested in writing about and contacting the editor of trade publication you'd like to be seen in. You can then suggest writing a bylined article for the magazine or a blog post on the trade publication's website.

Assuming that it works out, “you are now featured as an expert and thought leader—creating credibility and awareness among prospects," Groepper says.

As for what you might write about, Groepper says that you could examine recent industry news or changes, or perhaps offer a contrarian perspective to a popular topic. 

Whatever you write, though, Groepper says, “the content should not be about you, your company or product, [but] rather, industry perspective, providing solutions or education to prospects."

She's right. The moment you sing your praises in an article and start writing marketing copy, you're writing an advertisement, not a news story or a helpful opinion. 

5. Update your website every once in awhile for user experience.

It's possible to get so wrapped up in looking for unique B2B marketing strategies that you forget about taking a good hard look at your own website, says Stoney deGeyter, founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing in Uniontown, Ohio.

“I think one of the most underutilized marketing strategies is optimizing a website for user experience," he says. “Most businesses, by now, have some form of web presence, and some of those businesses have engaged in SEO as a means to generate traffic. But they often forget that driving traffic to a website that doesn't provide a stellar online experience is often just as harmful as having no website at all.

“Every business's website is a trust indicator," DeGeyter continues. "If a website looks or operates less excellently than a competitor's, the shopper will be more likely to do business there. Businesses can try to drive more traffic to get more sales, but they would be better off converting more sales first and driving more traffic later."

There's a theme in all of these ideas. You may be pitching your products or services to a business, but B2B marketing strategies are only B2B marketing strategies in name. 

You're really trying to connect with people.

Read more articles on marketing & sales.

Photo: Getty Images