When many people think of the B2B organization, they imagine large factories or manufacturing companies, turning out large orders to other big companies. However, the reality is that companies of all sizes are business-to-business-oriented, which means that marketing strategies need to be utilized by every company, no matter the size or level of complexity in their solution offerings.
Size Doesn’t Matter
Businesses at their core, exist to solve a problem for their target audience. Once a business remembers this (even if they consist of a single person), it’s easy to see how basic B2B marketing strategies as mentioned on Forbes, like targeting actual humans, building trust, and reducing expenses for clients can have true appeal and effect.
By focusing on what the client needs (instead of your size relative to theirs), it can help you communicate better to the client how you can make them better. Furthermore, the internet has made it easier than ever for small businesses to scale, especially because they have better access to vendors and drop-shipping companies they can partner with to make their products and services available to more people.
A few good examples of this were given in Diana Huff’s post titled U.S. Manufacturing Anchors the Innovation Economy, which not only discusses how technology has furthered the development of B2B innovation, but it has also allowed companies like Diverse Woodworking, which started in a garage and now has scaled to large warehouse to create custom wood-carved products.
B2B Can Still Be Localized
While B2B marketing is often focused on creating a global presence there are several key areas of local SEO that all companies should be paying attention to, no matter their size.
Some of these areas, as identified by B2BMarketing.net, include:
- Making sure the contact information on all local listings is correct. Moz Local is a good tool for this purpose, as it scans the top local directories (including Google and Bing maps) in order to make sure your business information is correct. This is especially useful for multiple businesses in different locations, so customers don’t get confused about a location when they are trying to find you.
- Monitor review sites like Yelp: Yelp just isn’t for restaurant reviews anymore– its platform is open to all businesses in any industry, which makes it necessary to monitor for B2B companies. Another resource that offers reviews on all types of businesses is Google+ (which integrated with Google Local/Maps in 2012) and Angie’s List.
- Not utilizing social media: Because social media sites like Facebook have their own review systems, it’s important for businesses to have a local presence. Clients are much more likely to choose a business based on a referral, whether it’s from someone they know or a handful of online reviews they’ve read. Having an active social media presence can help ensure that not only are reviews being left on website profiles, but that they, along with other current updates about the company, are being shown to as many people as possible.
In John Deere MachineFinder, optimizing John Deere dealer web pages and contact information has become an important localization element of the entire online marketing program. Indeed many of the organization’s social media mentions and inbound links can be realized through localization efforts.
Ties To Traditional Marketing Tactics
No matter its size, most companies try their hand with a few types of marketing, but in the digital sense (like a website and PPC campaigns) and through traditional means, like newspaper advertisements or banners outside a retail store.
Traditional marketing can go hand-in-hand with digital marketing (and in fact, it should!) without necessarily diluting or taking over a company’s entire marketing budget. There are several ways that companies should combine their digital and traditional efforts, but here are a few examples:
- A highway billboard directs customers who see it to a URL or landing page for that specific advertising campaign
- Retargeting exposes clients to multiple forms of advertising from one company. This could include commercials, radio ads, and YouTube video ads that all feature the same messaging or theme
According to Visante Communications:
“[A] Corporate Executive Board (CEB) 2012 survey showed B2B customers are making 70% of independent purchase decisions before engaging a sales person. B2B businesses are traditionally driven by direct sales team, but now marketing has to play a bigger role to ensure that we can positively influence the 70% of decision before buyers identify themselves.”
A good example of this was a content initiative by Long Range Systems (LRS), which invented the guest waiting pager and targets restaurateurs with products that improve the dining guest experience.
LRS created a study on restaurant wait times and their marketing agency repurposed the study by creating an infographic for sharing online. They combined this effort with a traditional PR approach of sending press releases to top news outlets, many of which (like the Wall Street Journal MarketWatch and Motley Fool) ended up reporting on the study findings.
Because more is usually better when it comes to marketing and advertising, businesses of all sizes can benefit from exposure from multiple outlets, as increases levels of exposure to your target audience. The key is figuring out a mixture that works best for each separate business.
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