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    News & Updates

January 17, 2020

B2B Marketing Strategies to increase sales in 2020

The start of a new year is a chance to reset, re-think and implement some new marketing techniques to help your business increase sales. With “Digital ad spend expected to account for 50% of all advertising budgets worldwide by the end of 2020” your businesses campaigns must be of the highest level to fend off the competition. This is also supported by the fact that “91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers.”

 With figures such as these, it is clear that the amount of content and marketing material pumped out to consumers each day is enormous. With such density in the market, how do you make your content stand out? Are your marketing campaigns attracting and engaging the right consumers? Did your campaigns in 2019 struggle to get the results you wanted? Here are some tips to improve your marketing campaigns to increase your businesses sales.

1.     Value-based selling

The first step in the process is to understand how you should market and ultimately sell your product to consumers. We now live in an era where the levels of data and information being produced is at an all-time high. This is shown by the fact that “90% of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years.”. With this amount of data, it is only reasonable that a lot of content created will be missed by the consumer because it does not entice them in. This brings us on to our first technique of value-based selling.

Due to the vast amount of content now available, there is currently no need for consumers to spend hours searching for the right product. They hold power in being able to choose from a wide range of options. For marketers, it is, therefore, essential that the content aimed at the specific consumer is tailored to their particular needs.

Your content should focus on the consumer’s problems and how your business can help eliminate those problems. In doing so, your content must also be evident in explaining what costs the consumer will face and how your product is providing an ‘opportunity’ to help.  A recent study found that “77% of B2B buyers still feel that making a purchase is time-consuming and even painful.”. Being transparent and honest as well as tailoring to the consumer’s direct needs will immediately reduce the time buyers will have to use hence creating a better customer experience.

2. Create your buyer personas

The second step involves creating your ideal buyer persona. A buyer persona helps build content that would interest your target audience. The persona will have the same interests, problems and challenges that your ideal customer would have – a twin of your ideal customer.

 This means the content created can be specific and personalised as you can be confident that you are targeting the correct consumer. In many ways, it gives you a direction and path to work towards as your marketing content adapts to the environment that your ideal persona works in. To begin creating your buyer persona, you must first do some market research. This is to really grasp what your personas want, and by doing some industry-relevant surveys, you will quickly receive relevant data to mould your first persona.

To get more in-depth knowledge about the struggles people may be facing in the industry, it is worth having a long conversation/call with someone in your target audience or a friendly existing customer. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the CEO, but someone knowledgeable in the industry can provide vital information that the surveys may have missed. Once you have gathered the information, try and narrow down the common details, e.g. demographics, skill level, interest etc.

All of this is adding in creating your path to your ideal buyer persona. With your ideal persona now nailed down, you can now tailor your content towards them with personalised messaging. Yes, having your ideal buyer is the aim, but realistically you have to watch where your business is most likely to make sales. So always create multiple personas so you can change up your approach to address the needs of each persona.

3. Create your web/search strategy

With your buyer personas and marketing direction sorted, the next step is to create your web/search strategy. In marketing, there are many ways to generate leads, including, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay per click (PPC) or via social media. Now there is nothing to say that you shouldn’t try all of these methods at the same time, but if you do, you will have to make sure there is a structured approach otherwise you may end up wasting some of your marketing budgets.

A study in late 2019 found that “64% of B2B organisations have a formal marketing plan” and there is a good reason for this. Without a plan, much of your marketing resource can be wasted, and your strategy will lose its sense of direction. For example, if you are looking to do a Google Ads campaign, you must allocate time each day to check the progress and success. Thousands of pounds of businesses marketing budget have been wasted on poorly managed Ad campaigns because the ads were not optimised correctly, leading to clicks that cost money without providing appropriate leads. Also, if your SEO strategy does not align with your ads strategy you might be doubling your effort and diminishing returns.

By picking one or two strategies, you and your team can consistently put out content that can be monitored and improved depending on the results you are seeing. If you were looking to do a LinkedIn lead generation campaign but see no results within the first couple of weeks, you can change your message. The point is, being on top of whichever strategy you choose is essential and is the critical component to getting a good return on marketing investment.

4. Publish quality content for different stages of the buyer journey (Awareness, Consideration, Buying)

With your strategy now in place, you can begin to publish the content you have prepared. As mentioned previously, with the vast amount of information that is posted each day, it can be challenging to make your business stand out. However, publishing content for different stages of the buyer journey is one way of keeping your consumer hooked to your content. Beginning by addressing their interests and problems, you can attract an initial number of clicks/impressions early on that can set up your next piece of content.

 This technique only works if the content you produce is relevant to the time it’s posted and that there is consistency in the way it is published. For example, you could begin a blog series that is industry relevant to your ideal buyer persona and each week post a new blog. By creating a series or something similar, you are giving the consumers regular content while also leaving them asking what will be posted next week.

With potential leads now following your new ‘series’, the content can then progress onto how you will resolve these problems and how it has worked for others. By progressively painting a picture to your consumer, they are more likely to get in contact as they understand the product and can see how it works.

If your approach was to click-bait consumers with an eye-catching headline which then led to mountains of text, your consumers are more likely to close the page and switch off from your business’s potential offerings. With this drip-feeding method of explaining your product and how it can help them, a level of trust is already formed before any direct contact has been made between you and your consumers.

5.     For B2B marketing, we suggest focusing on one key persona and messaging per quarter.

When looking to combine these strategies for a trial for your new marketing outlook in 2020, we advise focussing on just one of the key personas that you have generated.

Once selected, begin a LinkedIn campaign working on sales navigator to engage with your target audience. LinkedIn is so far the best social platform to drive b2b engagement. In addition, it builds up traffic to your website too. By driving traffic to your website, you can begin a blog campaign that has a weekly topic relating to the interests and problems your target persona may face. Try and have a focus for each quarter of the year. You don’t want your message to be distorted, so keeping a clear message throughout each block is essential. Depending on the industry you are targeting, make sure your content is relevant to any current affairs or changes that may affect the industry. If the content you have planned is now irrelevant because of legislation changes etc. don’t post it, it will only lead to your consumers losing trust in your business’s knowledge.

Using these steps to create a detailed and structured marketing plan will go a long way in seeing an increase in leads and ultimately, sales. With the amount of content and data being produced now at an all-time high, it is essential that the content your business creates stands out from the crowd. Define your direction and execute your plan and you will soon see brilliant results.

If you would like to know more about how Predictable Marketing has helped B2B companies develop and implement marketing campaigns for increasing sales, please follow us on LinkedIn or drop us an email.