Marketeers that work at a B2B company face completely different obstacles than of those who work at B2C companies. Not only do they have to deal with bigger life cycles and smaller audiences, as they also have to, a lot of times, promote products or services that have a much higher price. This means that it is necessary to generate leads so that they can later be followed-up, usually by the sales team, instead of selling the solution directly to the customer.
According to an Accenture study from 2014, 71% of buyers prefer to do their research online, instead of speaking to someone of the sales team, whether it be by phone or personally. Even though a lot of companies think that investing in digital marketing isn’t necessary, the truth is we live in a world where the traditional sales strategies are becoming obsolete. So it is becoming even more important that B2B companies adopt digital marketing actions.
Although the digital can’t replace the entirety of the sales process, especially when it comes to sales opportunities with a high price, it can, however, reduce the sales process time. This is due to the fact that if your company has a lot of information online, it proves its value long before the customer is ready to get in touch with you.
Develop a strategy
Before you start identifying which digital marketing strategies you should adopt, it is important that you understand that you will need, at least, 9 to 12 months of work until you start seeing good results. Contrary to popular belief, generating good leads through digital marketing is a long process that has to be adjusted and optimized through time.
Once you have managed your expectations, start by identifying who is part of your company’s target. Although the product or service may satisfy needs from different people, the ideal will be for you to focus on only one target per product or service. This will create for a consistent and clear communication.
The target can be identified by simple questions like:
- Which are the characteristics of the company? (region, billing, market, etc.)
- Which are the decision maker’s characteristics? (job title, life style, etc.)
- What are the decision maker’s goals? (he / she wants to make the employees life easier, he / she always wants to have the latest technology, etc.)
- What are the decision maker’s challenges? (reduced budget, time management, etc.)
Now that you have defined your company’s target, it’s time to identify in which social networks are these decision makers active. But be careful, because even though it is a given fact that the decision maker has a facebook profile, is it the most adequate social network for him / her to be approached with work issues?
More than identifying what is his / her online presence, it is necessary to understand the relevance for each one of it, given that it’s a B2B scenario.
In the digital era, companies and people are content producers (sharable content). So, more than ever, (quality) content production has become a key for any company’s success.
This content may come in the shape of articles or small social media posts, for example. The most important thing is that it offers value to the decision maker, so that he / she becomes interested and wants to know more about your company on his / her own.
From the moment you implement your strategy, it is crucial that you monitor it, so that you guarantee that all your marketing efforts obtain the best results possible. This analysis also helps you to understand which campaigns and actions work best within your target, so that you know in which ones you should spend more time and / or budget.
A very helpful tool for this is Google Analytics, because it allows to monitor all of your website’s action, such as views, the average time a person stays in it, and many other helpful metrics. Additionally, each social network has its own metric analysis tool.