However, among B2B companies, only around 30% see their content marketing as effective. Everyone loves to root for an underdog, and many brands have positioned themselves as an alternative to something other companies are or aren’t doing. Then used that research and those marketing goals to plan your customer journey map and executional tactics. Slack is behind Frontiers, about the intersection of technology and organizational performance. The goal is simple: use content marketing to drive more … Customers are savvy; they can easily differentiate the token gesture from the genuine attempt to improve their buying experience. We touched on this during the customer journey mapping stage. People tend to love things that help them solve problems. Again, thought leadership – in other words, offering expert opinion on issues relevant to your field – is nothing new. Experimenting to learn what works and what doesn’t for your customer segment can be valuable, but only if you’re able to capture data you can learn from in the future. According to study.com (great domain name), employee empowerment means giving employees a certain level of autonomy and responsibility for decision-making regarding their specific organizational tasks. We’re living in the age of the influencer, and Instagram is still the capital of their kingdom. Having new stuff to play with online is always cool, but the reason that offering free tools is a great brand development strategy is that it’s all about empowering the customer to do things they wouldn’t be able to on their own. But what “success” actually looks like varies wildly from one company to the next, and how “success” is measured varies just as much. HubSpot hosts Inbound, a conference dedicated to marketing, sales, and business. But good email marketing is about much more than sending a few messages and waiting for the leads and sales to come pouring in. From a marketing perspective, the sooner brands wake up to the benefits of thought leadership, the better. It’s a strategy where employees share company content to their personal social networks and in turn are able to grow their personal brands. There’s an obvious reason for the longevity of word-of-mouth marketing – it works. The company will routinely have employees from different departments create content based on their expertise, such as a customer success manager hosting an informational video about using video in customer success. Of the remaining 11% who don’t currently use content marketing, 52% say that they plan to do so within a year. Expect this upward trend to continue next year. Advertising great Bill Bernbach once said: “If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some against you. (THREAD), — Ross Simmonds (@TheCoolestCool) January 20, 2020. B2B Brands can create a lot of different types of content: How To's, Guides, News, Research, Product Updates, Collections, Round Ups, Stats, Reports, Definitions, etc…, But the most *LINKABLE* asset you can create is often times a TOOL. If you’ve made it this far, you’re not like most marketers…. Are you going to use content like blog posts & videos to attract people first? I’ve never met someone with such creative tactics and deep domain knowledge not just in one channel, but in every flavor of marketing. In fact, 92% of customers say they’re satisfied with their live chat experiences – a higher proportion than any other communications channel. However, that doesn’t mean you should start writing 3,000-word articles and immediately expect to see results. While it is the most popular tool, remember that there are many Mailchimp alternatives that you can try, depending on your requirements. It was one of the best business things we’ve ever done.” —Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. From content, to scrappy guerrilla tactics, to PR, Sujan always blows my mind with what he comes up with.”, Entrepreneur & Digital Marketing Strategist, closer alignment between sales and marketing, ROI they generate from influencer marketing, buying experience could be more personalized, satisfied with the level of personalization, organic impressions on Facebook and LinkedIn, building personal, face-to-face connections. But talking to your customers is only the first step in the research process. That was when just all hell broke loose, because at that point, then once people saw it, it turned into a competition here internally where everyone started to one up each other.” —Dave Gerhardt, VP of Marketing at Drift. Ask your customers what their biggest pain point is. And as an added bonus, it’s no surprise that the best free tools are also often the most linked to free tools. And in this post, we’re going to talk about why exactly that is, how you can navigate the process, and share some real-world examples from brands you know (and maybe love). In short, content marketing should be about creating high-value pieces that make a direct contribution to your sales efforts. And while most tactics don’t last, the rules of brand strategy have proven to be far more consistent. Before you start planning your marketing strategy, you need to figure out if you’re on the right track—will your efforts create value, or are you trying to fish with dynamite? Look at the customer research you’ve collected. Alright, so now that we’ve touched on the *why* behind a documented & research-backed strategy—it’s time to talk about *how* you can do it. But if you still need convincing, consider the following: Just as importantly, organic – or non-paid – activity is becoming increasingly ineffective. It’s also worth using resource lists and pain-point content (such as service/tool review content related to problems) as a key source of traffic for B2B lead gen. In any case, using a good email marketing tool can boost your email marketing results multifold. Look at common behaviours and actions that are happening on your website, If you have a sales team, ask them what questions come up the most, If you have active social media pages, look at what people are messaging you, If you have a support team, ask them what problems are the most common. It’s because it works. More than two-thirds of B2B marketers worldwide invest in social ads. Another group of actors pretended to be a news crew covering the “protesters” (who were advocating for Salesforce’s cloud-based system). You may have the most success with TV ads, so your tactics will reflect how you’re going to get more value out of that channel. “Marketing, like war, is a zero-sum game. Not tomorrow. And as you’re working backward from that primary business goal, the almost unavoidable step you’ll hit is lead generation. But they share a common theme – leveraging the authority of third parties to promote your own brand or product. What’s more, they’re likely to spend 60% more on their purchases. Next, the decision-makers and marketing team for … “This marketing stunt worked across many fronts: we built Salesforce.com morale, got great press coverage, and brought our competitor’s customers to our event to hear our message. Contently, the content marketing platform. Listed below are some of the best content marketing strategies and ideas that can be used to market your products to businesses: 1. Just 8% would be encouraged to engage with a brand that addressed them by their first name, and only 7% would be likely to engage with a birthday email. To gain the best possible understanding of the market and your customers, you’ll need both. In that letter, Slack spoke about the lessons it had learned in building its platform, noting that communication software has to be more than a list of features. It’s hardly surprising that customers love live chat so much. This will keep track of who’s visiting your site and what actions they’re taking. In their classic book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Reis and Jack Trout write about The Law of the Opposite: “If you want to establish a firm foothold on the second rung of the ladder, study the firm above you. Specifically, long-form content delivers much better results than short-form content. “It cost us a bunch of money because it was total revenue. This approach really works, with the average buyer viewing five or more pieces from the winning vendor before deciding to make a purchase. Adam Morgan described it as ‘like a knife-fight in a phone box.’ there isn’t anywhere to hide. When you know the specific pains your best customers are experiencing at each stage of their journey, you can reach out with the right message at the right time to help them solve those pains. The culture of cause and purpose association has thrived even without Chouinard at the helm. If the goal of marketing is to persuade the right sort of customers to buy, then promoting yourself as a leader in a specific area is one of the most surefire ways to do so. Use the Sherlock Homeboy Technique to see what’s working best for your competition. But before you dive right in, we want to share a handful of examples from the real world. Naturally, this focus on helping their customers win is going to lead to the company winning long-term as well. The Use Of Social Media: The 1% Marketing Strategy However, when it comes to B2B marketing, many B2B … It’s just good, common sense. It’s easy for a business to say they’re customer-focused. Very few companies have gone completely under from a single bad marketing decision. The customer journey map is an opportunity for you to become familiar with the various touchpoints that are involved in your B2B marketing strategy … Specific: Explain exactly what it’s you’re trying to accomplish. Unbounce: Page Fights (R.I.P.) Check out Finteza for automated funnels. So are lawyers that write custom privacy, refund and TOS policies. B2B stands for Business To Business, it refers to any content marketing strategy that is created to target an organization or business. Intercom in particular frequently hosts webinars that feature a well-known guest or business leader sharing their expertise. If you ask leading questions here (i.e. According to the B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report from CMI and MarketingProfs, LinkedIn is the most-used social media platform for B2B marketers (at 97%), and also the most effective. Content marketing is huge. And if you were to ask them the same question a decade from now, they’d probably give you the same answer. Things like free strategy calls, templates, extended trials, etc. Just because it’s collecting data doesn’t mean you have insights in a bottle. With one advertisement, Slack positioned itself as both the underdog and the master. What’s more, it has a key role to play at all stages of the user journey – from initial consideration to the moment of purchase – and in both mature and developing markets. “It’s more work to be transparent, because you’re sharing the data, the numbers, and you’ve got to explain the context. According to McKinsey, it’s the primary factor behind 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions. First, let’s use a simple example to compare B2B to B2C from a marketing standpoint: For B2B companies, the potential buyer pool is typically smaller and less urgently looking to buy. Perhaps most significantly, automation holds the key to creating personalized customer experiences. Importantly, there are no shortcuts here. Some people hated it. While Intercom may talk a lot about the features of their platforms, their public-facing webinars are intended to be as valuable as possible, and that’s what will lead people to poke around their websites and sign up for trial accounts. Relevant: If the goal doesn’t connect to your business goals and won’t directly impact your overall success, it’s not worth setting. Just creating a bunch of content doesn’t mean you have a content marketing strategy… focused on buyers and leveraging the buyer’s experience to move them along to purchase. A successful content marketing strategy where SEO is a major part is going to lead to long-term success when executed well, but the other search-related tactic you can start executing right away is Google Ads. And here’s how you can get started with a journey map: At its core, the customer journey map helps you understand your different buyer personas and identify opportunities to get their attention. Create 1 short-form video for social media each week, Be a guest on at least 1 podcast per month, Conduct at least 1 link building outreach campaign per week promoting our new blog posts to improve our rankings in Google, Include multiple call-to-actions in blog posts to relevant case studies, Launch a retargeting campaign on Facebook/LinkedIn to promote our case studies to blog post visitors and video viewers, Ask current customers for testimonials & include them on your case study landing pages, Figure out what your audience is searching for the most, Setup a landing page that offers a downloadable resource related to their question. Because the protest was so realistic, Siebel Systems called the police, and it wasn’t long before actual reporters showed up (ultimately earning Salesforce hundreds of new customers). This doesn’t mean you need to ship a press release for every single thing that ever happens with your company, but promoting and announcing that your company is top rated SaaS product in your category can affirm your position at the top. You need a plan, whether it’s rewarding referring customers or providing a email template that makes it easy for them to do so. And in order to win those customers and become profitable (or stay that way), your company is going to need a marketing strategy. Seeing how far his message had spread, he wondered what would happen if a hundred people at Drift posted videos to LinkedIn to promote a new product. As a marketer, your natural instinct is to focus on bringing in as many leads as possible. And one of the best in the industry at doing exactly that is HubSpot. It’s all about diverse and consumable content aimed at your targeted buyer, … If you want something you have to take it from someone else. Organic search click-through rates are continuing to decline, while organic impressions on Facebook and LinkedIn have dropped by as much as 90% in recent years. After all, it’s the fastest and most comfortable way for them to get a response to their queries. That’s huge. After you identify which metrics have the most impact on your business goals and which you’re planning to actively track—the next step is setting targets and marketing goals. With Google Ads, your customers are actively looking for something that you offer. The user gets actionable insights and suggestions. (Hint: It starts with a good amount of research). The benefits of retargeting are clear. But not all content is created equal. ), Relies on questions that can be answered with data, numbers and/or statistics. First of all—what does this *actually* mean? One of the main advantages of being customer-focused is being able to grow a community of people with similar interests. About 90% of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years, launching us into what Deloitte has dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution. That’s better described as employee advocacy. In 1986, Chouinard committed either 1% of sales or 10% of profits (whichever was larger) to environmental activism, and 10 years later the company started to exclusively use organic cotton. Just a few short years ago, the web was full of articles proclaiming the death of email marketing. First, setup a Facebook Pixel and LinkedIn Insights Tag on your website. They’re not *selling* Notion on the webinar—the goal is to show how awesome the product can be, introduce plenty of great ways to get value from it and let the rest take care of itself. researching which questions are getting the most search volume in Google, and using the findings to prioritize your customers’ most common problems.). Instead, you’ve got to create a formal program that actively encourages employees to get involved. Software is obsolete!”. Are you going to share the case studies directly on these channels? Consultants to analyze our website are expensive. Like Kickstartershows us here, a compelling narrative can work wonders for your brand. #2 for 70+ branded terms.#3 for 60+ branded terms.#4 for 80+ branded terms. With that in mind, here’s my rundown of the 12 most important B2B marketing tactics for 2020, and all the reasons you can’t afford to ignore them. Favourite lead generation tactics? Visitors type in their email address and the URL of their website, and the Website Grader will measure the site’s marketing effectiveness, generating a score between 0 and 100 based on factors including traffic, SEO and social media. But this typically means the great service they provide ends with sales and support. More customers, better retention, higher quality pipeline—all of these goals have one thing in common: Revenue. However, companies are starting to recognize that webinars are more than just great tools for interacting with and helping to educate current customers—they can also be used to increase customer lifetime value, reduce churn, convert trial users and, yes, even generate leads. Let me know in the comments below: “When it comes to marketing, Sujan is the best. All of this traffic, combined with the social proof these sites provide, can act as significant lead drivers for B2B software. And that’s the art of the pitch: Demonstrate the value of a product to a user, showcase how it can make their life easier, and they’ll typically be willing to at least give it a try. It is for businesses that sell services or products to other organizations or businesses, unlike consumers, usually use B2B marketing strategy … I wanted to draw attention to this particular aspect of content marketing. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. You need to be willing to own your position of strength. Companies that are truly customer-focused are investing in long-term relationships with their customers. Those relationships may end up being more valuable than the product or service that is being provided. It’ll also keep your sales team from becoming the annoying sales reps that keep showing up in your inbox with the wrong message at the wrong time. Here are two of our favourite methods to put into practice here: 1. Depending on your business and marketing goals, the tactics you outline are going to look slightly different. Indeed, it’s been shown to be the most effective digital marketing tactic, with a median ROI of 122%. , (Post written with contributions from Matthew Rawle), Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est eopksio laborum. Effective B2B marketing allows marketing teams to effectively educate, acquire, and retain customers. And leave it as open-ended as you can. In fact, longer posts are nine times more effective at generating leads. With account-based marketing (ABM), you’ll concentrate instead on targeting a specific set of accounts – say, a group of senior buyers at a company whose business you want. Strategy 5: Influencer and Co-Marketing. Collecting answers to interview or survey questions from your customers is only the first step. Because people love personalization. Thought leadership is a viable approach for any number of business types and marketing strategies, but it’s particularly powerful for reaching the power brokers within target businesses. Not only should the content be in line with the strategy, defining the B2B marketing strategy must be compatible. Indeed, 52% of business leaders believe event marketing delivers greater ROI than any other channel or tactic. You won’t be at the top of a product or service category forever, but when you say your business is #1 in your vertical or within a certain customer base, that becomes your reputation with customers and competitors alike. That strategy may work for some, but the fact is that having transparency as a core value has earned Buffer a ton of attention from the likes of Forbes, The Atlantic, and Fortune. That would be Google. They’ve created and launched dozens of free tools over the years. Don’t forget to hit “bookmark” so you can come back to the examples we shared down the road. No matter how you tackle the brand building side of B2B marketing, one thing will almost always be true—you need more (or just better) leads. There’s no denying that it’s an extremely effective customer service channel. — Katelyn Bourgoin, Growth Strategist & Trainer. This is the template we use at Foundation: (You can download a copy of your own here). As Mike Tanner explored in his book Really Little Wins, when given autonomy and the ability to tackle his tasks in whichever order he desired, he experienced a dramatic increase in job satisfaction and productivity. What are they doing marketing-wise that’s achieving that result the best? Your audience has pain points and questions that they’re asking. Offering downloadable assets is one of the most common lead generation strategies—and for good reason. Which distribution channels are you going to experiment with? A marketing strategy that isn’t getting any likes or shares from us would be one that ignores the unique reach and appeal of social media influencers, and the many possibilities afforded by co-marketing. And that’s where the qualitative and quantitative analysis comes into play. It might seem that these three disciplines are quite different. They’d rather focus in the moment on trying to be successful, assuming there will be time for reflection afterwards. Measurable: Make sure there’s a way for progress and success to be tracked. I’ve seen countless brands that claim to be doing employee activation, when in reality they aren’t. They’ve created a Slack community for leaders to share their ideas, discuss industry trends, network and learn from guest speakers. And there’s another key component to paid media strategies – retargeting. Over the years, Benioff has grown fond of these guerrilla marketing tactics—using the actions of competitor companies to put a spotlight on his own brand. If you want to just open up Facebook and launch a campaign to target certain interests or demographics, the audience you’re targeting is going to be quite cold. But taking the time to create a documented strategy could mean the difference between effective content marketing and ineffective content marketing. Where is it strong? Plenty of B2B companies host conferences with the goal of helping to educate and inform. The same goes for having Google Analytics installed on your website (if you don’t, you should). They treat the amount of money they can make as secondary to the personal growth and development of the customer. Let’s run with an example… Here’s the details: “Since our case study leads have the highest close rates, we want to generate 100 total case study downloads by the end of Q2 this year.”. They run weekly webinars on CrowdCast that just explore the hundreds of ways people use Notion. Focus on Personalized Content. Three in five digital marketers say their biggest challenge is generating traffic and leads. For those keeping track at home, that’s seven brand building strategies that the top brands in B2B have used over the past decade to position themselves as industry leaders. What you need to figure out now is how you’re going to increase the amount of case study downloads this year. In an ever-more-digital world, the advantages of building personal, face-to-face connections have never been greater. It’s a two-day customer and developer conference focused on Twilio’s products, one-on-one engagement with experts, networking and building stronger relationships with customers. With social ads, your customers are not actively looking for you. Creating helpful tools and releasing them for free is a fantastic way to help your customers solve their problems and build up brand affinity. If you can create something that’s helpful for your target users or customers, they’re highly likely to be willing to give you their email address to get access. We built an email marketing platform that actually matches how people want to buy…’ and she’s literally skiing down the mountain. B2B content marketing is the process of creating and promoting content that appeals to businesses who are your target customers. The first question you’re probably asking is this: Why is a documented and well-researched marketing strategy so important? Over the past few years, Shopify’s also gotten in on the action—creating privacy, refund, and terms of service policy templates for its users (which are bundled with a free trial of the product, of course). HubSpot may be one of the best-known free tool providers, but it’s not the only one. But live chat is so much more than a customer service function. Welcome to the future of B2B marketing. Here’s the high level view of the 4-step persona process, but the full post is worth a read if you’re still at the persona-building stage. In other words, businesses aren’t often going to succeed by caring deeply about how their competitors might feel. You’ll have set your high-level business goals and connected them to marketing activities and metrics that carry you toward them. “Instead of trying to guess what your customers were thinking, you can actually ask them what they were thinking.” — Josh Gallant, Digital & SEO Strategist with Foundation. You’ve come to the right place. There’s little room for humility in marketing. So if you’re customer has questions, and you have answers—where is it that you need to be? Let’s be clear. Our personal behaviours of looking for social proof, reading reviews, and making judgement calls about products or services have slowly but surely spilled over into the business world. 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