Creating a B2B Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy
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One of the top challenges for B2B marketers is generating more leads in a crowded marketplace. With the amount of noise out there, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to spread the word about your brand and create meaningful connections with prospects, so it’s important to catch your buyer at the right place and time.
How do you do this? Create a multichannel marketing strategy.
A multichannel marketing strategy refers to the process of creating a single, unified strategy for attracting customers across all facets of the marketplace, from your social media platforms and online advertising to direct mail and text messages. It’s a key element of any successful B2B business and the benefits are multi-faceted, including increased sales, better engagement with your customers, and improved customer retention.
Adapting Your Marketing to Today’s Marketplace
A recent report from Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80 percent of B2B sales interactions will take place on digital channels. In the previous generation, many business owners subscribed to the idea that an effective B2B marketing strategy was equal parts cold calling, professional networking, and standard email marketing. However, the buyer’s journey continues to evolve, with B2B buyers taking it upon themselves to explore solutions and compare vendors before actively seeking to purchase. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to be present online and meet your prospects where they are.
Creating the Right Blend of Marketing Channels
Marketing B2C products or services involves a relatively simple client acquisition process, starting with a consumer visiting a shop or company website, searching through the options, and making a purchase right then and there. In most cases, it’s a short sales cycle.
On the other hand, marketing B2B solutions are complex and the sales cycle can be significantly drawn out. There can be multiple reasons for this but oftentimes there are more stakeholders involved and/or purchasing this product/service entails a LOT of research. This can make attribution a pain since the client may go through multiple different channels and even engage offline before they make a purchase.
This process of identifying the right product will involve days, weeks, or even months of vetting to determine which one has all the necessary ingredients. The buyer will spend time researching your offerings, cross-referencing them with their own needs, and carefully selecting the option that will deliver the results they desire. In this type of buying situation, you must meet your prospects at the right time and place. To do this, you need to select the proper channels to engage with them by considering these questions:
- Who is your ideal customer? Consider everything from their current job title and company to their education level and special skills. Please note that for most companies, you’ll have more than one type of ideal customer. Outline a clear buyer persona and use that to define your multi-channel strategy.
- Where are your ideal customers spending time? For example, is your target audience spending most of their time on social media or attending industry trade shows? Usually, the answer is that you’ll need a cross-channel strategy to reach your audience most effectively.
- What type of budget do you have? While it would be fantastic to have an active presence on all available channels of communication, this isn’t feasible for a vast majority of companies. Define your budget and determine the number of channels you’ll be able to engage on.
- What goals are you out to accomplish? This could include lead generation, improving brand awareness, identifying new markets for your offerings, or something entirely different. For your strategy to be effective, you need to be specific in what you’re looking to accomplish and be careful in your execution.
Steps for Crafting a Winning Digital Strategy
Craft a Consist Message to Be Used Across Multiple Channels
The most important thing to remember when beginning to execute your new strategy is that consistency is everything. It can be challenging to coordinate your omnichannel marketing efforts, but your ultimate success depends on it. If your social media is spouting one thing but your website has a completely different message, the customer experience will suffer and your audience will be confused. When you’re selling your products and/or services to other businesses, you’ve got to remember that they’ve got a keen sense of when a company is being disingenuous. They’ve worked hard to craft a uniquely compelling, genuine message and they expect the companies they support to do the same.
Create a Website That Converts
Having a visually appealing website with clear calls-to-action (CTAs) is an essential part of any successful business. In addition to conveying your company’s mission and the unique value proposition of your offerings, your website should offer a clear path for getting started, whether that be scheduling a demo, requesting a quote, or placing an online order. Your website is an important tool for captivating customers and convincing them to trust your organization.
Ensure that you have the proper analytics and tracking set up! Without the right technology on your website, you won’t be able to execute a true omnichannel campaign. At the bare minimum, make sure you have Google Analytics installed. To go above and beyond, implement a CRM like Hubspot that can help you with marketing automation, handling inbound leads, and more.
Optimize for Organic Search
In the past, many buyers looked to sales representatives for guidance on what to purchase. Well, times have changed and in 2022, a majority of B2B buyers are doing their vetting online. They have a good understanding of what type of solution they’re looking for and aren’t interested in deferring their purchasing decisions to a salesperson. As a result, your company’s success is dependent on being featured on the first page of Google. Instead of focusing on “selling” buyers on your offerings, instead, you need to provide them with resources to make their own decisions. The more relevant and helpful your content is, the more likely you are to be listed at the top of Google and to land a new client. Content marketing is one of the most effective communication channels today, don’t neglect it!
Advertise Online to Targeted Audiences
If you’re looking for fast, efficient results, launching a targeted advertising campaign is a good move. For just a few dollars, you can reach qualified leads and increase engagement with your brand.
Perhaps the most powerful marketing tool in today’s marketplace is targeted online advertising via platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google Ads. You can create campaigns that target specific people based on their company, job title, experience level, interests, and the list goes on.
Historically, you would have to purchase online ads directly from the source of placement. With the development of programmatic advertising, however, you’re able to buy any ad space on the internet that your audience would be visiting. You can run ads that are relevant to your ideal buyers, and when and where they’re interacting. This form of automated advertising enables you to reach consumers in a more targeted way and delivers powerful results, fast.
You can target defined areas of the world, whether that be a city, state, or region. Geotargeting is good for events or specific accounts that you’re looking at going after. For example, if you want to sell something to Knowmad, you could target our headquarter’s address and anyone in the building would receive the ad.
This type of targeting enables you to present an ad to anyone who has visited your website. This can be one of the most potent and effective forms of paid digital marketing in your arsenal; however, it requires a bit of setup and technical support. Especially if you run an eCommerce business, providing multiple touchpoints to potential customers with different types of content through retargeting campaigns can yield huge results.
Be Present on Social Media Organically
Depending on your industry, business goals, and the types of customers you serve, you’ll need to decide which social platforms to be active on. Generally speaking, the best platforms for B2B marketing are LinkedIn and Facebook, but Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok can be useful, too. One of the best aspects of social media is that it’s cost-effective and enables you to reach a wide audience of interested buyers.
Nurture Prospects Via Email
The B2B sales cycle can be long and you don’t want your prospects to feel forgotten or lost. This is where email marketing can be useful. It’s helpful because you can provide them with valuable content and periodically remind them that you exist (without being intrusive or sales-y). Then, when they’re ready to make a purchase, they may reach back out. It’s important to provide them with continuous support while they’re in the process of vetting your offerings so that you’re on the top of their minds. Email marketing can help to shorten the sales cycle and create more informed customers.
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
Executing a Multichannel Marketing Strategy Can Be Difficult But Worth the Effort
The success of your B2B business can be held back by several factors, such as extra-long sales cycles that never seem to draw to a close, improperly targeted advertising campaigns, or a lack of relevant content for your customers. These issues can be resolved by implementing a multichannel marketing strategy that can help you reach a wider audience of potential customers, improve your brand awareness, and generate high-quality leads. All of which, should in turn help you reach your business goals and grow revenue.
That being said, it needs to be done right to deliver your desired results. This process can be difficult and involves a lot of moving parts. Managing this complicated transition can be daunting or impossible for companies that maintain small marketing departments, which is very common in the B2B space. Not only is it time-consuming, but each channel is very specialized and deserves its strategy.
Partnering with an agency comprised of experts in their respective disciplines, whether that be social media or search engine optimization, might be a smart move for your business. If you’re in a highly technical field, make sure to partner with an agency that can get into the correct mindset. To create content that will resonate with your prospective customers, they need to have the right background and experience level.
Imagine what you’ll be able to accomplish when you take a holistic approach to reach and engage with your buyers.