In the business-to-business (B2B) industry, it’s competitive. If your company wants to not only succeed but also grow, you need a competitive marketing strategy that generates leads, drives sales, and builds loyalty. That’s why your business needs to follow these six B2B marketing best practices.
1. Map your different buyer journeys
No matter your market in the B2B industry, you have a variety of decision-makers involved in the purchase process. From managers to executives, your marketing and sales team needs to account for the different experiences, backgrounds, and expectations of your target market.
That’s why your business needs to map every possible buyer journey.
For example, what is the general route of a manager researching your products or services? When do they become involved in the purchase process, and what do they want (and need) to know at every stage of their journey?
Answering these questions can help your team create a targeted campaign for every buyer. You can develop online guides targeted to the executive with basic knowledge about your product, for instance, and advanced FAQs for managers that know everything about your industry and services.
This targeted approach allows your company to reach, as well as impress, every member of your target audience. You talk to your target market in a way that makes sense. Plus, you demonstrate your ability to help business buyers understand your products or services and their value.
2. Create a lead scoring process
While many young companies accept any lead, businesses with experience commit to this best practice for B2B marketing. Lead scoring makes it easy for your company to grade leads, as well as keep focused on the most valuable business buyers.
Instead of contacting and following up with every potential lead, your business directs its efforts to users that represent your ideal client. They offer short- and long-term value, plus meet your requirements when it comes to their anticipated spend.
If you want to make lead scoring a part of your business strategy, follow these steps:
- List your ideal features in a client
- Rank the features from most valuable to least valuable
- Create a scoring sheet or process
You can expedite (and simplify) the process of lead scoring with marketing automation software. A marketing automation platform takes care of everything when it comes to grading and evaluating the quality of leads. It can also provide a summary of which leads offer the most value or demand priority.
MarketingCloudFX is an example of a marketing automation application. It’s a software suite that features several lead generation and nurturing tools, including LeadManagerFX and LeadNurtureFX, which streamline the process of scoring, monitoring, and nurturing leads.
3. Use account-based marketing
As marketing automation software, as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence, become accessible to more businesses, it’s becoming more common for companies in the B2B industry to invest in account-based marketing.
Account-based marketing allows your business to take a hyper-targeted approach to marketing. You develop a campaign specific to an account, which can range from a current client to a potential client. This type of targeted, personalized marketing delivers impressive results for adopters.
That’s because you’re building a campaign for a custom group of people.
It’s targeted to their needs, concerns, and wants, which provides your business an advantage. You’re not trying to convince everyone in your target audience to choose your products — you’re only working to persuade one company.
While account-based marketing can come with a high cost, it’s an effective strategy for securing high-value accounts. If you’re looking to continue a client relationship or build a new one, consider adopting account-based marketing as one of your B2B company’s marketing strategies.
4. Write client-focused content
No matter your market or product, it’s essential for your business to create content. Business buyers rely on the Internet to not only find products but also learn about them. If they want to earn the support of company decision-makers, they need to have proof of the benefit and need for a purchase.
That’s why content marketing is a core marketing strategy for B2B.
Companies, however, often write content that doesn’t speak the language of readers. That kind of content won’t succeed with your target market, as well as multiple buyer personas, which is why you need to develop a messaging strategy or style guide.
You can start this process when reviewing your different buyer journeys.
If you’re creating a blog post about a topic that interests executives, then you need to use language that executives in your target audience understand. You also need to angle your content from the perspective of this audience, highlighting their pain points, wants, and more.
For example, if cost is a consideration for an executive in your target audience, you may create some content about the cost of your services. This content addresses that yes, your services are an investment, but they also provide immense value to the user.
When you take a client-focused approach to your content, you amplify its impact. For readers, your company appears like someone that understands their desires and concerns, which can build their trust and confidence in partnering with your business.
5. Refine your lead generation forms
Depending on your products or services, your company may rely heavily on lead generation forms, which feature across your website. It’s significant when a user completes these forms, as they move one step closer to investing in your products or services.
In a move to vet leads, however, businesses will often request too much information on lead generation forms. While your company receives the information you want, your forms also push away high-value leads.
A qualified lead may not complete your form for a few reasons, including:
- They don’t have the time to provide that information
- They don’t have access to that information
- They don’t feel comfortable providing that information
While your in-depth lead generation form may stop low-value leads from contacting your company, it also costs your business high-value ones. That’s why you need to review your lead generation forms and determine which information is necessary and which is optional.
For the best results, follow the B2B marketing best practice of A/B testing.
With A/B testing, your team can compare the conversion rates, as well as lead quality, on lead generation forms. Based on your data, you can then decide which form version to use on your website. If you want to get started with A/B testing, use Google Optimize, which is free.
6. Leverage marketing automation technology
Like account-based marketing, marketing automation technology is a growing best practice among B2B businesses. With marketing automation software, your team can expedite numerous predictable and time-intensive tasks, like lead scoring.
You can also use marketing automation software in some innovative ways, including:
- Personalize your website or products to a user’s name, location, and previous behavior
- Automate your email marketing campaigns, like for product recommendations
- Assess your content’s value and potential value across your website
- Nurture your lead’s in different ways, based on their actions
Take advantage of this software in your B2B marketing strategy. It can help your team save time, as well as make smarter decisions when it comes to your marketing and sales strategies. For your company, that can mean an increase in sales, clients, and revenue.
Use MarketingCloudFX in your B2B marketing strategy
Do you want to see how marketing automation software can improve your B2B marketing strategy?
Get a free demo of MarketingCloudFX, one of the most advanced (and easy-to-use) marketing automation platforms available. With the machine learning and artificial intelligence of IBM Watson, MarketingCloudFX delivers impressive results, actionable recommendations, and more.
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