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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.

November 28, 2019

B2B Marketing strategies for the holidays

The Holiday season is near, how do I market my software product/ services?

The fact that the festive period is approaching is good news for any tech company because people use the quiet period to research, read and plan for next year. So, it is an excellent opportunity to increase your visibility and brand awareness. Also, it is the end of the year for most businesses which means they will be looking to spend any unspent budget. 

What implications does that have on marketing?

This means marketing teams need to gear up marketing campaigns to increase awareness. Holiday related messaging is an excellent way to raise awareness. But be careful and stay relevant! Going overboard on holiday messaging can backfire. Keep it genuine, relevant and make use of social media platforms as they are perceived as more relaxed and informal. 

Don’t forget the second set of audience who are looking to utilise their unspent budget for the year. They are further down in the buying cycle and hence would be interested in content that helps them make a decision quicker. If you are marketer, you must be already thinking business cases, client case studies, testimonials and product videos. Who says you can’t make any of the above marketing assets festive. 

Coming up with an effective holiday marketing strategy can be a challenge, as competition is always high during this period. Not to worry, this guide contains the answers you seek. Let’s consider five winning strategies you can use to market your tech products as we approach the UK holidays.

Start planning early

You don’t expect to plant a seed this month and harvest its fruit the following month. The same principle is also applicable to marketing. If you wish you to make more sales in the forthcoming holidays, then you must start brainstorming what content strategy would be the most effective for your website,  emails, and ads. Try to be creative and flexible, welcome new ideas, and make sure you don’t leave it too late.

While preparing for your holiday marketing, you need to ensure :

  • Improve the bandwidth of your site: You need to plan for future increase in traffic caused by seasonal spikes. Hence, your website requires some extra bandwidth to be able to cope with the pressure. You don’t want to lose customers and sales because your site is slow or crashes.
  • Email Marketing: If you have a list of customers that haven’t bought from you in a while, this is the best time to get back in touch. Send them personalised, relevant emails and holiday-related content to nurture them for future sales.
  • Pay-per-click advertising: The holiday period comes with a lot of competition. However, it’s still an excellent opportunity to win new clients, especially if you plan and launch your product/software early.
  • Leverage on Social Media: Identify your customers and find out which social media platform (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) they use the most. Connect with them on these platforms and let them know why they need your products, especially as the festive period approaches.
  • Create landing pages for unique products and promotions
  • Track the results of each strategy you use to see which channel is giving you the best results.

 Be ready for more competition than before

The increased rivalry during the festive period makes marketing more difficult. Hence, you need to plan early and ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by it. Examine what marketing strategies your competitors are using and brainstorm on how to stand out.

Create an influencer strategy

Your customers are expected to make use of social media more during the holiday periods; thus, influencer marketing can be a game-changer. Increase brand awareness on social media by creating an influencer strategy that would stay in your customers mind. 

Don’t fake it. Give customers good reasons to buy

Your customers know what they want, better than you do. But can you make your value proposition attractive by offering year-end discounts or bundling up extra support and services? Can your solutions help your customer manage seasonal peaks more effectively? Then your marketing messaging should focus on that. 

Don’t ignore your existing customers

The chances are that both new and returning customers will visit your website during the holidays. However, it is far easier to convince an existing customer to buy your products than the new one. While it is good to make new customers try not to forget the existing ones in the process. 

Plan to cross-sell and up-sell to existing customers in advance. Start by analysing how their business will be effected in the holiday season and how you could help them. Creating marketing messaging that is relevant to their immediate needs could result in quick sales. 

For example – if your existing customer is in the retail industry, could you provide a solution to manage seasonal peak in sales? Or help them manage their inventory better? 

Conclusion

Coming up with a unique and effective marketing strategy during the holidays can be challenging. However, using the tips in this guide would help you make the most of the holiday season. Keep in mind that there would always be quiet times during this time of the year. However, starting early with a good plan makes it easy to overcome any challenge. If your customers have seen your messaging, they might not react immediately, but you are investing in your future pipeline!

The Christmas and New-Year holidays are approaching fast; hence, you need to start planning now.  Happy Holidays and Good luck!