9 Hot B2B Marketing Strategies Proven to Leverage an Advantage in The Post-COVID World
This blog post was originally contributed by Dan Fries, Director and Producer at www.danfries.co.
Does your company have a winning B2B marketing strategy?
B2B companies struggle with creating a successful marketing strategy largely because they rely on outdated communication channels to connect with current and potential clients. Showing up at trade shows, passing out pamphlets, and making cold call after cold call simply aren’t good enough in today’s incredibly competitive climate. Also, the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t allow for much in-person connection, which is yet another reason to modernize.
Modern B2B marketing strategies are an absolute must. These strategies start with:
- a solid eCommerce website,
- a robust social media presence,
- and extensive buyer personas.
Thousands of ideas for driving sales are out there, but how do you know which ones really work?
Read on to discover nine proven marketing strategies that are made for B2B agencies.
What Is a B2B Marketing Strategy?
Before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at the definition of B2B marketing strategy.
B2B (Business to Business) marketing strategy is a bundle of marketing tactics meant to increase leads to a business that sells to other businesses.
B2B organizations use many of the same marketing strategies used by companies that market their products and services directly to end-users, but there are some key differences.
Building a B2B marketing strategy requires focusing on lead generation at every step. This is the process of converting a stranger into a lead that eventually becomes a customer. With persistence and excellent service, that one-time stranger may soon become a promoter, which is the goal of all marketing efforts.
1. Build a Sales Funnel for Your B2B Business
Every B2B marketing strategy should begin with an analysis of the sales funnel. This will help you define your organization’s sales cycle and the common experiences that clients go through as they traverse the distance between brand awareness and making a purchase.
Most sales funnels look something like this. Of course, your organization’s sales funnel isn’t necessarily identical to the sales funnel of another organization. Some B2B companies even have multiple sales funnels for the various industries they serve.
However, if a B2B company is looking to attract more customers to its multi-vendor website, it’s critical to consider the classic sales funnel.
2. Choose a Niche or Specialization for Maximum Effect
The best B2B agencies tend to market themselves as specialists or experts in a particular industry. This means that they are the indisputable leaders in this space.
Any company that chooses specialization makes its B2B advertising strategies as simple as they come. That’s because specialization precisely outlines what your company does while also establishing it as the unquestioned expert in the field. This means that whenever a client needs something that your B2B agency specializes in, they’ll know exactly whom to call. Moreover, they’ll know which B2B company to recommend whenever someone asks for a referral.
Below is an example of an amazing B2B agency that can support your B2B marketing initiatives:
Kosmos Central is a valued X-Cart partner offering B2B eCommerce website design and development services.
With specialization, much of your marketing is done for you once you have gained a reputation as an expert in your field. You’ll be asked to contribute guest blog posts on industry websites and to speak at conferences. People in the industry will associate your services so closely with theirs that your name will always be on the tip of their tongues.
When you choose a particular niche, your marketing team will be able to drive the company forward to greater marketing success.
3. Research Your Clients, Brands, and the Marketplace
For B2B companies, all marketing campaigns will only be hit-or-miss efforts unless due diligence has been performed. That means knowing the target audience inside and out, including their needs and wants. It also means knowing your brands and understanding your competition.
If that sounds like a lot of work, it is. However, it is far more productive to do this homework than not because it enables you to craft a B2B marketing plan that is more likely to be successful and drive your sales.
Case studies and other reports will help you to create the best B2B sales strategies, and it will make performance measurement possible later on. This research will provide baselines, which you need to tell whether or not your B2B marketing planning is giving you a solid return on your investment. This means enhanced opportunities to make changes when they are needed.
With extensive buyer profiles and other research, you’ll know your clients as well as you do your oldest friend, allowing you to anticipate their needs. If you know what your customer needs, you can offer a product or service that shows clients just how valuable you are.
Don’t limit your research to existing clients. Your efforts in this area should be just as robust for qualified leads and potential customers so that you can convert them into loyal clients.
4. Create an Online Store That Is Immersive, Engaging and Encourages Action
It’s no longer enough to have a bare-bones website that contains some contact information and a blurb about what your organization does. Effective marketing strategies demand that you create an online store that delivers an engaging experience that persuades visitors that your company not only is the industry leader in this niche but also that it is the only logical choice.
Creating an Immersive Website Is a No-Brainer With X-Cart
X-Cart is a robust B2B eCommerce platform that grows together with your business. Request a personal demo to find out more about its capabilities.
If you’re wondering how to generate B2B leads with your website, there are several options.
- Get your website professionally designed. This means that it will look great and function the way it’s supposed to. A well-designed website tells customers that your company knows what it’s doing, that it’s reputable and successful.
- Content is just as important as aesthetics. The more content your website has, and the more informative and authoritative it is, the higher it will rank in search engine results. This is critical for inbound marketing as B2B buyers are searching online for providers with increasing frequency. Your content may include in-depth descriptions of products and services, a blog, FAQs, white papers, detailed descriptions of the company’s experience in the industry, and other components.
- Great website content is driven by search engine optimization, or SEO. On-site SEO revolves around the keywords that you use on your website, which are directly tied to your products and services. When you start an eCommerce store, you begin building these keywords into your content. These keywords tell search engines about your website so that it can identify appropriate search results.
Off-site SEO involves links to your website from other websites. When you write a guest article or someone else mentions your website and links back to it, it establishes your company as an authority in the industry.
The best B2B marketing companies fully understand the SEO process, and they work on it every day.
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
These days, decision-makers aren’t confined to a desk. They may constantly be on-the-go, which forces them to do quite a bit of work on a mobile device. Since most executives and marketing professionals use their cell phones to find providers of products and services, it stands to reason that your B2B agency’s website must be optimized for mobile devices.
With X-Cart, you’ll get a mobile-ready site from day one, no need to code anything. There is a bunch of beautiful themes that suit all types of businesses and any market niche.
Responsive design is one of the leading methods for ensuring that your customers can easily and successfully browse your website regardless of what kind of device they are using.
Alternatively, some companies choose to create two versions of their website: one for viewing on PCs and one for mobile devices. The solution you choose is entirely up to your company. The only imperative here is that you ensure that your website is fully functional across a wide range of devices so that you are not losing potential customers to the competition.
Just remember that B2B mobile marketing is a critical element of your overall marketing program.
6. Make Social Media Work for You
Today’s B2B marketing channels must include social media. These platforms raise your profile with potential clients, allowing you to interact and get the word out about your services. The only question you have to settle is which social media platforms to get on first?
In the business world, a LinkedIn presence is a necessity.
This is where most B2B buyers will go for information if they search social media for service providers. It may also be helpful to have a presence on Twitter, Instagram, or another relevant platform to your industry.
Facebook is not as relevant for many industries, so a presence here isn’t as critical as on LinkedIn. Nonetheless, some B2B companies may be tailor-made for Facebook, which makes it impossible to ignore the possibilities. Facebook ads and pay-per-click ads may be an important part of your company’s B2B digital marketing strategy, especially if you know that your clients spend time there.
More on social media marketing here:
Social Media Marketing Guide [Definition, Pros & Cons, and Resources]
7. Fully Integrate Media Channels for a Cohesive Message
Business to business companies can’t afford to rely on just one marketing channel. When mapping out a marketing strategy, it’s not always obvious whether you should use paid search or organic search optimization, email or social, or some combination of them all. The most successful of these organizations take advantage of several channels, such as:
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Content marketing
- Appearances at events
- Paid advertisements
- Social media marketing
Having such a wealth of channels available is certainly an advantage, and the best way to make full use of each is by integrating them so that one leads naturally to another.
For instance, a prospect stumbles across your blog and is intrigued by the posts. One of your company’s marketing tactics is to have your social media information included on every page of your website. The prospect signs up for your updates on Twitter. At the same time, she sees a call to action, inviting her to subscribe to the blog, and she clicks on it.
Alternatively, someone may come across a social media post that links back to your blog or an article on your website. You immediately begin to build relationships with these prospects. This is one of the best B2B marketing strategy examples if you want people to think of your company before the competition.
8. Create an Online Community for Interacting with Customers
When you’re considering how to create an online store, it’s helpful to go beyond the basic widgets and apps. For many, it makes sense to include an online forum where your customers can give you feedback and share their unvarnished opinions.
As you can see below, X-Cart store ChillBlast.com offers many ways to get in touch, including a link to Live Chat on their homepage menu.
If they like, customers can chat anonymously or by name so that you can help with any difficulties they encounter.
While managing an online forum provides you with a valuable opportunity to interact with clients, it also creates a useful database of information that you can use to create an FAQ page. Many people who look for SaaS services, for example, aren’t ready for one-on-one interactions. A customer forum or a FAQ page provides the ideal opportunity for customers who want to know more.
The chances are good that there are already numerous online forums related to your industry, so why should you create your own? Easy. It offers your company a chance to interact with a target audience without having to compete with other organizations for attention. You’ll also have more comprehensive analytics to review and better control over the platform. This is one of those B2B business examples that just makes sense.
9. Leverage X-Cart Tools & Functionality to Maximize Your B2B Marketing
Now that you have a clear understanding of the main B2B marketing strategies let’s talk about building an online store. While no solution is perfect, one trap in many common website builders is limited functionality. They may offer all of the basic features to quickly launch an online store. However, extending your functionality might be an issue in the long run. To make matters worse, it can turn into a money pit that cuts into your profits every single day.
Merely building an eCommerce website is not enough. You need a robust eCommerce solution that will convert your one-time visitors into loyal buyers, grow together with your business, and sell your products and services like hotcakes.
X-Cart was designed to allow online business owners to dip their toes into the eCommerce waters at no additional cost with a 30-day free trial, and then continue using the benefits of this robust eCommerce platform for as little as $49 a month. Plus, you won’t get suffocated with add-ons.
The open-source nature of X-Cart allows for maximum flexibility of design and function when compared to the other contenders. There’s a lot to like about this B2B eCommerce platform:
1. Ready Integrations With All the Complex Systems
X-Cart offers a full range of ready integrations with all the complex systems your B2B business may need.
Business Intelligence (BI) apps for X-Cart:
Mode Analytics is a business intelligence system that will let you build and customize charts and reports.
Kount is a fraud prevention app that works via X-Payments. It will help you maximize sales opportunities through BI and reporting tools.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) apps for X-Cart:
RetailCRM is a specialized CRM system that will allow you to automate sales processes and grow revenue.
Freshsales is a handy CRM tool designed to meet all the major needs of sales teams.
Dashly integration for X-Cart will help you automate all your communications with your customers.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) add-ons for X-Cart
Acumatica ERP Integration by Kosmos eSync will help you sell on more channels and manage your business more efficiently.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) apps for X-Cart
Inventory Source app for X-Cart will let you dropship inventory and automate your orders.
2. Support of Various Types of B2B Companies
X-Cart supports various types of B2B companies, including distributors, retailers, resellers, and even enterprise sellers. Some of the best features that may come in handy for enterprise-level B2B merchants are:
- Round the clock support with everything from set-up assistance to personalized recommendations regarding business development;
- Unlimited customizability and extensibility allowing you to build a store of your dreams;
- 99.99% uptime guarantee through server monitoring, PCI-compliant payment processing, and SPAM filters.
3. Top-Notch Tools for B2B Marketers
X-Cart offers many awesome tools for B2B marketers to help them easily promote products or services and grow traffic. Some of them are as follows:
Advanced Customer Reviews will encourage more shoppers to review your products and services, which is a great marketing strategy.
PureClarity Personalization. Using AI and Big Data, this add-on will provide your customers with a personalized experience, presenting them with highly targeted products, banners, and other marketing materials.
Justuno is an amazing conversion marketing tool that will push your B2B marketing strategy to the next level.
4. Seamless Workflow Management
X-Cart allows for flowless workflow management, including shipping, fulfillment, payment processing, inventory management, and customer service.
ShipStation is a shipping and fulfillment app available by default on all X-Cart Cloud plans.
X-Payments Cloud connector is a PSD2/SCA ready credit card processing tool available as a custom feature on our X-Cart Cloud Premium plan.
Kayako Classic Integration with X-Cart will let you deliver customer support over email, tickets, remote desktop support, VoIP, and self-help.
5. Multi and Omnichannel Experience
X-Cart provides B2B businesses with multi and omnichannel experience through a number of sales channels that work in accordance with each other.
Selligent app for X-Cart will help you build omnichannel campaigns and send triggered messages across email, web, mobile, offline, and more.
Marketing planning requires time and effort, as the nine strategies described above demonstrate. A well-designed, immersive, interactive website that’s optimized for mobile viewing is an excellent place to start.
Ideally, that website contains dynamic content, calls to action, and links to your company’s social media accounts. This helps your website to rank higher in search engine results. In turn, this translates to increased sales and ensures your B2B company’s longevity.
Carolina is the Senior Marketing Manager at X-Cart. Results and data-driven, she has spent her career navigating through multiple disciplines within Marketing, and lately focusing on her passion: Content and Organic growth. She is fluent in 3 languages, with 14 years of experience leading B2B marketing strategies domestic & internationally. In her tenure, she has had the opportunity to navigate in multiple industries: Technology, Telecommunications, Construction, eCommerce and SaaS. An avid traveler, she's now halfway through visiting all of US' 50 States.