With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, B2B vendors had to rethink their marketing activities if they were to continue engaging clients and growing their brands.
Most of their target customers had shifted to online operations, which meant the usual conventional marketing methods wouldn’t work.
Similarly, having an online presence wasn’t enough.
Vendors needed to embrace digital marketing strategies that would help them anticipate customer needs and meet them.
If it feels like you’re driving your marketing efforts blindfolded, here are five digital strategies that may open your eyes to greater growth opportunities.
1. Embrace Data Analytics
Mckinsey’s research showed that brands that harnessed and employed data analytics effectively enjoyed 1.5 times more growth than competitors who didn’t.
Companies hold tons of raw data in their customer data management software. Only by refining it can you glean insights into your customer profiles and the effectiveness of your digital outreach programs.
Thankfully there are multiple tools on the market today for analyzing data including good old Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Whatagraph, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Intelligence.
Some great benefits you can derive from analyzing your data include:
- Aligning your customer-facing teams for greater efficiency. Each department collects its own data and by merging and analyzing you can identify profitable opportunities that all teams can work together to pursue them.
- Improving lead quality. By looking at existing customers’ behavior, and even preferred offerings you can refine your ideal customer profiles to help you identify future prospects.
- Analyzing keywords that increase visibility. Not only can you track key-word based campaigns to identify the best performing, but you’ll also craft content that incorporates phrases people search for. This will make it easier for audiences to find and engage with your content.
2. Don’t Ignore Influencer Marketing
A quick peek at LinkedIn and you’ll find CEOs, industry leaders, and experts sharing their experiences and expertise on the platform.
Throw in podcasting and it’s easy to see why B2B marketers are investing in these people’s authority to attract audiences.
It’s worth doing likewise. Best practices include:
- Collaborating with industry experts for content creation. From brand endorsements to research, case studies, and video contact, such a partnership adds immediate credibility to your content.
- Start by looking within. Finding and persuading influencers to work with you is tough. It pays to look at existing influential customers first. They have first-hand experiences with your brand and solutions, are easier to target, and will be more believable.
- Engage the influencer offline to develop the relationship. Meet with them, invite them to your events, and talk about your brands, beliefs, and values. The more they know, the better they will craft their content.
- Support the influencer on social. Send shoutouts, retweet their tweets, promote their content, and congratulate them on life events. You’re in a partnership and the goodwill you show will come back.
3. Make Cold Calls
We find it interesting that many people consider cold calling less than ideal. Yet businesses across the board—think Fortune 500, startups, and SMEs, use this tactic to contact potential customers.
Given, the strategy requires some expertise. It’s not appropriate to shove products/services down anyone’s throat.
Professional teams put in added effort to ensure they are targeting customers within their total addressable market. They also employ marketing intelligence to know who’s in the market for solutions and reach out.
Other best practices include:
- Define what successful cold calling means to you. Is it to identify a lead’s present needs at present so you can tailor solutions for them? Perhaps you want to generate interest in your solutions by inviting them to an online event. Or to get the prospect to agree to take the next steps?
- Study your prospect. Study their industry and the issues that typically plague their operations. How effectively can your solutions tackle these issues? This info will help you craft a value-packed attention-grabbing position statement.
- Use a calling script. Even experienced salespeople keep a calling script handy. It helps you structure the conversation (especially when you veer off) and ensures you cover all the points, ask relevant questions, and communicate value.
- Learn how to handle difficult prospects. You’ll encounter prospects that blatantly refuse to answer your questions, raise a ton of objections, or are plain rude. Be gracious in your speech, listen without interrupting, and try to maintain control of the conversation.
4. Put Together Case Studies
Well-thought-out case studies serve as evidence-laden content. They shed light on your expertise by going into detail about a customer’s challenges, the solutions you offered, and the outcomes the customer enjoyed.
Here are guidelines worth following:
- Approach the case study as a customer’s success story. You won’t just craft a compelling story, but it will keep your study from turning into an overt sales pitch, which always turns prospects off.
- Align case studies to your buying processes. What stages do potential customers go through? Consider creating studies that address these stages to encourage relatability.
- Work with customers you can name. Some companies have policies against being names in marketing materials, so you’ll want to confirm that before embarking on the study. With a named customer, the audience can fully trust what you’re saying.
- Engage the customer once again. You want to get your customer’s perspective regarding their experience. It’s an opportunity to collect useful quotes to add to your study. In these instances, video interviews are excellent ways to collect info.
5. A/B Testing
We started by talking about data and are ending this article by looking at data still. Here, your team uses data to make careful changes to your website and understand its impact on users.
The more elements you can analyze, the sooner you can optimize them to boost conversions.
Let’s look at some tests worth conducting:
- General A/B tests. These tests may vary from one industry to the next. Should you have a single column on your landing pages or multiple? Experiment with background images, navigational menu presentation, link colors, and contact form fields.
- CTA tests. Test which positions work, is it below the fold or above it? Should it be towards the left, the right, or in the middle? What colors inspire action? Experiment with the text too—try various lengths, power words, and even action verbs.
- Pricing schemes tests. Experiment with free trials, freemiums, and money-back guarantees. You can put a time cap to encourage sign-ups and use. Consider offering tiered plans with enhanced features for higher-ticket plans
- Copywriting tests. Your words need to persuade the visitor. Will you use long or short-form copy? is video better than text? What fonts and colors work for your audience?