There are many elements that influence a successful B2B marketing strategy – your unique industry, target audiences, brand strength, budget and more. Additionally, the landscape is constantly changing due to technological advances, new generations of buyers, and other market forces.
For these reasons, there is no one-size fits all solution for B2B marketing success. However, there are certain best practices and tactics that have proven to work.
By applying these to your ongoing strategy, you can make the most out of your marketing dollars and drive ROI for your business.
5 B2B Marketing Best Practices You Can’t Ignore
There are a variety of best practices and strategies that should be considered to successfully execute B2B marketing campaigns in 2020. And, these are just a handful that have proven to drive real business results. Let’s jump into the details.
1. Build a data-driven strategy.
Having the ability to fully leverage data allows marketers to make faster and better decisions, reduce spending waste, and improve customer experiences and targeting. On the other hand, the inability to use valuable and accurate data will lead to wasted marketing spend and lost customers.
We know that data is absolutely essential for delivering personalized customer experiences. However, many marketers still struggle to harness the power of analytics.
I’ll be diving into the importance of providing personalized customer experiences in a moment but, first, let’s talk about the common challenges marketers are up against.
Arm Treasure Data reported that silos, in particular, are hurting marketers looking to leverage data. Nearly 47% of marketers claim that their information is siloed and difficult to access.
When it comes to developing an integrated view of the customer journey, I’m sure you can see how this is extremely problematic.
On top of that, the customer journey is becoming even more complex with the number of different touchpoints continuing to increase. According to the report, 15% of customers hit at least 11 different touchpoints before making a final purchase.
While there are many challenges bound to arise on the path to building a data-driven strategy, predictive analytics solutions continue to help marketers overcome them and improve the effectiveness of their strategies.
2. Create consistent yet personalized experiences across channels.
In order to stand out from your competition in today’s flooded marketing landscape, providing consistent and memorable customer experiences is no longer an option. It’s a necessity for any successful B2B marketing strategy.
Offering personalized experiences helps marketers increase conversion rates and visitor engagement, improve customer experiences, boost lead generation and drive customer acquisition.
According to a recent Evergage report, marketers see the following results from personalization:
- Measurable lift in business results (90% of marketers report this – with 58% reporting a lift greater than 10%, and 15% reporting a lift greater than 30%).
- Impact on customer relationships (98% believe this – while 70% believe personalization has a “strong” or “extremely” strong” impact on advancing customer relationships.
- Continued support and investment (97% plan to maintain or increase personalization budgets this year).
Personalization is key for delivering better customer experiences, increasing loyalty and generating measurable lift in business results/ROI. This is why 25% of customer experience leaders and 23% of mainstream marketers will be focused on targeting and personalization in 2020.
3. Offer high quality and interactive content.
When it comes to B2B marketing, research suggests that it’s in a marketer’s best interest to have a sophisticated content strategy in place. It’s no coincidence that 93% of successful B2B marketers are extremely committed to content marketing.
A comprehensive content strategy offers many benefits for B2B companies – increased traffic and leads, strengthened thought leadership, boosted engagement and more.
Interactive content, in particular, is a fundamental way to better understand potential buyers and help sales close more deals.
DemandGen research found that 86% of buyers prefer interactive content they can access on demand, compared to static content formats.
The most valuable assets? Most buyers cited video (51%). About 80% said that they would spend up to 20 minutes watching video content in one sitting. Now, that’s engaging your audience!
But, does this actually drive real business results? Forrester reports that interactive content leads to:
- Business growth: as a result of higher conversion rates, from improved lead generation processes and accelerated lead nurturing.
- Raised standing of the marketing team: by connecting marketing activities to business impact, proving ROI, and elevating marketing’s role in closing business.
4. Align content and sales.
B2B marketers should constantly aim to identify and address the questions that customers are asking, the information they are looking for, key challenges they are facing and painpoints they are experiencing. This is yet another reason why marketing and sales alignment is imperative.
As I allude to above, there is great potential for marketing efforts to support sales and vice versa. Perhaps one of the most overlooked opportunities is the ability for marketing to support sales teams with content that incorporates messaging and insights that resonates with potential buyers.
Regularly sync with sales teams to get feedback, hear what customers are saying, see if there are ways you can support them.
Remember, not every content asset needs to drive traffic or rank for a keyword. Content also offers value by arming sales with a resource, educating potential buyers, generating social media shares, and more.
5. Leverage social media as a conversational tool.
Don’t forget about social media. Despite all of the noise, it’s still an impactful B2B marketing channel when used properly and continues to drive website visits for organizations.
To get the most out of social media, it should never be leveraged as a one-sided channel. Instead it should be used as a conversational selling platform.
The key is making sure that each and every interaction is valuable and relevant by providing your audience with helpful information.
Did you know that 59% of all links shared on social networks aren’t actually clicked on at all.
Please stop doing this. Don’t just share content for the sake of sharing it. Yes, it’s important for brands to be regularly active on social media, but not at the risk of driving your audience away.
B2B marketers should continue leveraging social media to interact with key audiences and prospects, build long-lasting relationships with customers and establish trust.
B2B marketers just can’t do it all! At least not effectively. This is why you must deploy best practices and strategies that have proven to drive real business impact.
I hope you consider these best practices to help guide your marketing strategy in 2020 and beyond.
What other marketing best practices do you have for B2B companies? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or reach out to me directly on Twitter @Kristen_Vaughn.