If your B2B strategies aren’t bringing results, you’re probably focusing your efforts in the wrong places.
But how do you develop B2B marketing strategies that actually get more customers?
The key is consistency, which many companies don’t implement in their marketing strategies.
They’ll start strong, maybe see some immediate results, then they taper back their marketing spend over time. But as a consequence, they reduce their growth as well.
The strategy discussed today is perfect for developing an effective marketing plan for B2B companies, who especially need to focus on generating and engaging new leads to keep growing.
It’s fantastic because it lets you spread out your spending to maximize results over time without breaking the bank. At the same time, you can still scale your company at will with this framework by using the same strategies, changing only your budget!
We can break our B2B strategy into three repeating phases that we use to implement creative marketing that continuously grows your audience: the first is to build memories. Next, maximize availability. Finally, you have to reach the market.
- Build Memories
- Maximize Availability
- Reach the Market
Phase 1: Build Memories
In the first phase of this marketing strategy, focus on building memories and associations that establish a unique, recognizable identity for your brand.
This includes creating a distinctive identity through elements like branding and packaging, developing catchy taglines and ad moments, and standing out in the market through creative marketing tactics that engage emotions and appeal to logic.
Why is it important to appeal to logic in your B2B marketing strategies? Think about it: businesses often make decisions based on which products or services will benefit their bottom line most. Plus, the person searching for your solution often won’t have the final say over whether or not they complete the purchase.
If your brand is clear about the advantages your products can bring to companies, the chances of being selected by decision makers in that deciding moment are much higher.
(We’re not saying that copy doesn’t matter. We’re saying you should have both, good copy that appeals to emotion and logic, and distinctive design – more on that soon.)
There are two key ways to make your company memorable to potential clients. The first is to leverage distinct branding. The second is build connections with uses.
Leverage Distinct Branding
Companies can leverage distinctive branding elements by meticulously choosing everything from your company logo to the colors and fonts you use, as well as by designing unique images and graphics.
Another part of distinctive branding is having consistent messaging in all of your marketing content as well as in your interactions with customers. This helps solidify your company identity in their minds, making it easier for them to remember and recognize you in the future.
This phase involves heavy brainstorming, testing, and experimenting with different branding elements until you find the ones that stick in people’s minds. One way to determine which elements are most effective is by hosting an online survey to a large (500+) group of users. Explicitly ask them: which logo, font, color, or design looks best? How unique is each option? Ideally, you’d want 50% or more of the survey responses to indicate that a design is unique for you to incorporate it into your brand.
Once you use their responses to create a solid brand identity you gain the ability to be quickly recognized, making it easier to attract and engage businesses that are looking for your solution in future marketing campaigns.
Build Connections With Uses
Second, try to build connections with the specific uses for your product or service. Remember, companies buy your product because they need it for something – so focus on those needs and how you can build unique associations between them and your brand.
For example, if you’re a product-based B2B company that specializes in selling office furniture, think about the ways in which your product can improve efficiency, comfort, and organization for businesses.
Consider questions such as:
How does your product help employees work more effectively?
What practical advantages does a company gain by purchasing your product?
How does your product change a business for the better?
Advertise these qualities directly on your product pages. Post about their usefulness on social media. The idea is to find the reasons why businesses should choose your product or service, then promote them in your marketing materials – Microsoft is a great examples of a product-based company that does this effectively.
Phase 2: Maximize Availability
Now that you’ve built up a memorable identity for your brand, it’s time to maximize your availability in the market. This phase focuses on putting yourself out there and making sure other businesses can easily find and access your product or service.
It’s like being “in stock” in a grocery store… but digitally.
Do this by optimizing your presence on search engines, maintaining an active and informative website, being listed in online directories, and ensuring your product is readily available in stores and online marketplaces (or wherever customers go to find it). It’s all about making it as easy as possible for potential clients to find and buy your offering.
Just like Phase 1, Phase 2 can be broken down into different parts. The first part of maximizing availability is identifying where people find whatever you offer, then establishing a presence in those places. The second step is to remove friction from the purchasing process to remove barriers for customers.
Be Easy To Find
In highly competitive B2B industries, being easily accessible can often be the deciding factor for converting potential clients. Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining a strong online presence and making sure your product is readily available whenever and wherever customers are looking for it.
Sit down with a piece of paper and write a list: if a business wants a product or service in your category, where are all of the places they’ll go to get it? Use every resource you can to help you brainstorm – online B2B marketplaces, industry-specific publications, and keyword research tools can all provide useful information about where potential customers might be going to find and purchase your product.
There isn’t a number of list items or time limit to aim for when listing possible locations. Take time to consider both digital and physical locations that offer similar products or services to those your company offers. You can even ask yourself where they go to find competing products to help you identify undiscovered distribution channels.
Using growth marketing tactics such as targeted advertising and referral programs can also help increase your accessibility and visibility to the right audience. It’s all about finding creative ways to get in front of potential clients and make it as easy as possible for them to become paying customers.
Be Easy To Buy
Maximizing availability isn’t just about making it easy for consumers to purchase from your website or physical storefront. It’s about removing any and all friction from the entire purchasing process, from the moment a company considers buying your product or service to the moment they successfully complete the transaction.
This means staying competitive with pricing and features, as well as constantly considering new B2B strategies and growth marketing tactics that place your products and services where companies go to look for them.
In short, never give customers a reason not to buy from you.
Keep the buying experience simple and seamless. Do this by:
- Limiting the number of steps customers take when making purchases
- Accepting multiple payment methods
- Existing across various platforms
- Optimizing mobile purchase processes
Focus on finding ways to remain accessible when customers need support or have questions. To do this, either establish a dedicated customer support channel or use an AI tool to create a chat function that answers FAQs. Apply one (or both) of these techniques to create a supportive environment for your customers that shows them how responsive and attentive you are to their needs. Request and listen to feedback, then make changes accordingly.
In the end, companies in search of your product want convenience and ease – so give it to them. To ensure sustained growth for your business, make sure you’re constantly evaluating and improving upon purchasing ease for consumers.
Phase 3: Reach the Market
Once you’ve built a strong, memorable identity for your brand and maximized your availability in the market, it’s time to focus on reaching other companies and converting them into paying or repeating customers.
This phase is all about forcing your way in front of a large audience to generate interest and target potential clients with messages that resonate with their needs and pain points.
In order for a company to extend reach, it must do two things: continuously target the whole market, and get noticed.
Continuously Target The Whole Market
The traditional B2B approach is to target specific market sectors. This can be helpful when for companies who offer industry-specific solutions, but ultimately, your goal is to tap into the entire market rather than finding a “niche” market of companies that fit a specific profile.
Limiting yourself to specific, smaller segments of the market means missing out on potential clients and limiting your brand’s growth potential.
It’s like choosing to decrease your sales.
Again, fine when you have a limited budget. But the ultimate goal is to reach the whole market.
Instead, focus on reaching all buyers in your service or product category by utilizing both physical distribution channels and marketing communication tactics.
Your first goal should be to maximize reach, not frequency. Most sales happen the first time someone sees an ad (the idea that someone needs to see an ad 7 or 8 times before they buy is a myth), so start out by using your marketing budget to get in front of the most people possible, once.
After that, your frequency should be spaced out. It’s not the number of times someone sees your ad that compels them to buy. It’s if they see your ad when they’re ready to buy. This is where the myth of frequency comes from. Yes, some people will respond the 7th time they see your ad. But it’s not because they saw it 7 times. It’s because they’re finally ready to buy. The timing is what mattered.
This is why targeting the market continuously is important. You want to be in front of people when they’re ready to buy.
Growth comes from gaining more buyers – including those who may only purchase our services or products occasionally – so it’s important for companies to make sure they aren’t overlooking any potential clients.
A note on target audiences. Target audiences are helpful when you have a limited budget because they give you a place to focus your ad spend. In the long run, you will need to expand your target audience to include more people. But, in the short term, it can be good to focus on a specific demographic.
In addition to continuously targeting the whole market, you also need to take action that makes you stand out in the long term.
The best way to get other companies to notice you is by appealing to logic, facts, and figures rather than emotions. Make it clear how companies will benefit when they choose your product or service.
A good way to know if you’ve done a good job is asking, “Is this worth watching over and over?” The answer should be “yes.”
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and be imaginative – the more visible your brand is, the more likely it will stand out and attract potential clients in a sea of competitors.
But make sure to stay on-brand. Put your logo right at the beginning of the video or in the corner of every image ad. Have similar tone, sounds, and moments in videos. Use your distinctive assets throughout (Geico’s gecko is an example of a great distinctive asset that stays on-brand).
Remember, in this phase it’s not just about conveying information – it’s about generating interest and looking useful for companies interested in buying your products and services.
Where Can This Methodology Be Seen In Action?
Adobe has several marketing strategies in place to attract B2B leads and convert them into clients.
For example, Adobe representatives frequently give presentations and demonstrations at industry-specific trade shows and conferences in order to promote product-specific features that attract new companies as customers.
Adobe also has an extensive online presence, with a dedicated website and blog that provide information about how to use the company’s products and services. They maximize their availability through publishing useful content that makes it easy for customers to find support and answers when faced with product-related questions.
As a result of these efforts, Adobe is one of the leading providers of design and editing software for businesses in multiple industries (like film, photography, and graphic design), making it the intuitive choice for many b2b companies looking for these types of products.
Take a look at the webpage for Microsoft’s Office 365 Suite and it’s immediately clear that they capitalize on uses to build memories and attract new leads. The headings here include calls to action like, “get things done,” “collaborate and connect in real time,” and “protect what’s important.”
These simple statements do a clever job of appealing to both logic and emotion. They’re quick, punchy, and to the point. The result is that they effectively advertise product uses and excite leads by revealing how much productivity could improve after purchase.
Salesforce’s website shows a great example of maximizing availability. Even if a company is discovering Salesforce for the first time, their navigation bar makes it incredibly easy for any company to quickly determine whether or not Salesforce offers them a useful solution.
The top navigation bar is cleverly broken into sections like “Industries,” “Support,” and “Learning” which make it easy for companies to find what they need whenever they need it.
The “Industries” tab is particularly useful because it concretely identifies uses for Salesforce products based on specific industries. Any company can determine which products are most useful with just a quick glance and a couple of clicks.
What Low-Cost B2B Techniques Use This Methodology?
Techniques To Build Memories
Below are some specific techniques that B2B marketers can use to effectively build memories and unique brand associations. Mixing and matching these techniques along with any other creative memory-building strategies your team comes up with will help establish your brand as a known provider of B2B solutions.
There are several different ways to build memories using design elements alone. Experiment with various logo designs, color palettes, and fonts until you find a combination that makes a strong statement. Along the same lines, test different writing styles and tones for your marketing content, or try different slogans until you find the perfect blend between clear and catchy messaging.
2) Email Marketing
Email marketing comes with many advantages and is a relatively low-cost way to re-engage large numbers of potential clients quickly and directly. Every time someone opens a message, they’re exposed to your company’s distinctive design elements. Sending marketing content and updates regularly via email keeps your company fresh in the minds of those on your mailing list, which means they’re more likely to remember your company at critical moments (for example, when making a purchase).
3) Social Media
The image-centric nature of social media makes it a great medium for leveraging distinctive elements of design and messaging.
Unlike email, social media gives companies the added benefit of providing access to a massive number of new users.
Tools like hashtags are great for gaining organic traffic based on trends and search tendencies from user bases who may not otherwise find your brand. This would also put social media in the “Maximize Availability” and “Reach The Market” categories, depending on how the hashtags are used.
4) Free Trials / Free Personal Licensing
By giving potential customers a taste of what your solution has to offer through free trials, you can position your product as an industry standard.
Think about Microsoft.
Most of us who grew up using computers grew up using Word to write documents, which came preinstalled on many computers that ran Windows. As computers became more and more frequently used in businesses, Microsoft Word had already positioned itself as the top word-processing software across all industries by offering a widely accessible solution for individual users.
From the perspective of a company considering whether to buy Microsoft’s products, it only makes sense to save money and time by adopting the solution employees already know how to use.
Free trials can help you achieve a similar level of success with your b2b marketing strategy. By offering potential customers a chance to try out your product, you can create a buzz that will position your solution as the go-to choice in your industry. And when customers are ready to buy, they’ll already know that your product is the best on the market.
5) Advertise Certifications & Successful Case Studies On Your Website
To stand out from the crowd and show other businesses what you can do, include case studies on your website.
Showcasing your company’s past success demonstrates how your product or service has helped companies facing similar predicaments, and it helps to build trust and grow your reputation.
Certifications can also help to build trust and make you more memorable, so including these on your website is another great way to show prospects your expertise.
Businesses have tons of options to choose from when it comes to B2B products and services. If you can show them that you have a track record of helping companies in their industry get ahead, they’re more likely to remember you next time they need someone to provide similar solutions.
Techniques To Maximize Availability
Looking for effective ways to maximize availability for your company’s product or service? Here are 4 useful techniques your company can use to ensure that your B2B solution is available both where and when people are looking for it. Companies can practice these techniques to better compete against other brands with similar offerings. When used correctly, you are more likely to persuade customers who might go with the competition to choose your company instead.
It takes time to build quality content for SEO, but once obtained, the advantages are massive. SEO is the only technique on the list that is 100% free to implement, and a quality piece of content can result in thousands of quality leads. Optimization isn’t easy, but there are tools available to help companies ensure they’re producing excellent content that balances search engine requirements with information that users find useful and engaging.
2) Running Search Ads
Search ads are great for delivering punchy, targeted B2B advertisements to people who are already searching for your company’s products or services. The beauty of search ads is that they allow companies to start advertising on a small scale while permitting them to scale as needed.
3) Getting On Lists And Directories
One often overlooked B2B growth strategy is the power of being listed on top-10 lists and directories.
In addition to potentially bringing in organic traffic through these listings (which tend to rank well on search engines), they can also be a powerful tool for social proof. By showcasing awards and rankings from industry leaders, potential clients see that your company is already highly respected within the your industry.
These lists and directories often have their own dedicated followings of B2B enthusiasts constantly searching for new products and services to try out. Being listed on a reputable directory can bring in a steady stream of highly-targeted leads that are already interested in the types of products and services your company has to offer.
4) Staying Physically & Digitally Available
Placing your products or services wherever people usually look for them is a simple B2B growth marketing strategy, but its effectiveness shouldn’t be underestimated. By placing your products or services in as many places as possible, you maximize physical and digital availability and make it easier for potential clients (who may be shopping for a competitor’s similar product) to find and choose them.
Techniques To Reach The Market
The techniques that follow are useful for getting in front of people who may (or may not) be searching for your company’s services at the present moment. Because 50% of revenue comes from light buyers, it’s extremely important for companies to expand their target audience over time rather instead of focusing on more specific subsets of users. These techniques place your brand in front of as many people as possible.
1) Display Ads
Display Ads are a crucial part of growth marketing strategies for B2B companies. They allow you to target the entire market and extend your reach beyond just organic search traffic or word of mouth.
By placing ads on business-focused websites like Forbes and other sites related to your industry, you can greatly increase the number of potential customers who see your brand. And because these individuals are already interested in products and services that are similar to what you offer, they are more likely to convert into paying customers.
Not only do display ads increase brand awareness and attract new leads, but they also allow for retargeting – targeting individuals who have previously interacted with your website or shown interest in your products. This means that you can actively nurture existing leads and turn them into paying customers.
Overall, utilizing display ads as part of your B2B growth strategies is a great way to effectively reach the market and drive more conversions.
2) Facebook & Instagram Ads
One specific advantage of using ads on social media platforms like Facebook is the ability to target specific audiences based on interests. This level of targeting ensures that your ads are reaching the individuals who are likely to be interested in your B2B products or services.
Additionally, running Facebook ads consistently helps establish brand awareness and familiarity with your company. By continually putting your brand in front of potential leads, they are more likely to remember and recognize you when they are in need of a B2B solution.
In sum, Facebook ads are similar to display ads in the way they allow for targeted and personalized advertising, but they also make it possible to hone in on audiences based on specific uses that relate to user interests. They also increase brand recognition and provide additional exposure to your company’s unique branding elements to continuously build memories at the same time.
3) Affiliate Programs
Affiliate and referral programs are some of the most valuable techniques to use in B2B growth marketing strategies. By partnering with influencers or affiliates who have already established an audience, you’re able to expand your reach and target a larger audience that may not otherwise find your company. These partnerships can also increase trust and credibility for your brand because the affiliate is effectively endorsing your product or service.
However, selecting the right affiliates and creating a successful program takes effort and strategy.
It’s important to prioritize quality over quantity when choosing affiliates, as having a small number of dedicated and successful partners is more beneficial in the long run than a large network of unengaged affiliates.
Additionally, offering enticing incentives and regularly communicating with your affiliates will help foster strong relationships and drive more conversions.
4) Paid PR
Paying to have articles, advertisements, and press releases featured in publications like magazines, newspapers, press releases, and online as well as in digital sources like online newsletters and press releases is a reliable way to place your offering in front of diverse audiences.
To find paid PR opportunities, first create a list of publications where your content is more likely to be seen. Ask yourself why people use your product or service. What are their interests? Next, find publications that reflect those interests and reach out about paid media opportunities.
5) Cold Emailing & Cold Calling
B2B marketers have long relied on cold calling and cold emailing as part of their strategy, and for good reason – it works. Why? Because when you’re selling to businesses, you have a limited number of potential buyers and they can be hard to reach through other channels.
If the VP of Marketing at a company needs to know about your product, there’s no point in targeting the whole company with a social ad – you’ll just be wasting money.
Instead, you can research the companies in your target area and get the contact info for the people in the right positions. This way, you’re only reaching out to people who are actually interested in what you’re selling, which makes it a much more effective use of your time and resources.
8 Tools For Creating Effective B2B Marketing Campaigns
1) Google Ads Suite
Google Ads Suite is one of the most popular general-use toolsets B2B companies use to add leverage to their marketing strategies. Google Ads Suite allows you to place search and display ads on partner websites and apps, targeting audiences across more than 2 million websites within Google’s advertising network based on their interests. This targeted approach can boost campaign success by connecting potential customers already interested in related products or services with your company.
Some B2B companies that have effectively utilized Google Ads Suite in their affiliate marketing strategies include DocuSign, Dropbox, and Wistia.
These companies have all built strong affiliate programs by offering incentives such as commissions for sales and free service for referring new customers.
By leveraging Google Ads Suite to broadcast these characteristics, they’ve been able to increase their reach and drive more conversions.
PartnerStack is a platform that connects B2B companies to affiliate partners within their network.
It offers access to thousands of potential affiliates, making it a highly effective way for B2B businesses to expand their reach through partnerships.
Additionally, PartnerStack provides tools for managing these relationships including conversion tracking and communication resources. They also offer useful insights about factors like reach and follower count for each affiliate so that you can get as many eyes as possible on your products and services.
Apollo.io is a b2b marketing strategy platform that helps companies generate contacts to identify and connect with potential customers. The platform provides a range of tools to help users research their target market, create marketing plans, and track the performance of their campaigns.
In addition, Apollo.io offers a number of features designed to help users improve their B2B marketing strategies, including a library of resources, expert advice, and an online community of B2B marketers. Whether your company is marketing for the first time or you’re looking for ways to improve your existing strategy, Apollo.io is worth checking out.
In addition to its CRM and sales capabilities, HubSpot’s marketing suite offers B2B companies a range of valuable tools that enhance your affiliate and referral programs.
One such tool is the ability to track partner performance through custom affiliate links.
This allows B2B businesses to monitor conversions and optimize their partnerships by identifying successful affiliates and targeting similar demographics in future recruiting efforts.
HubSpot also offers features for creating customized landing pages and calls-to-action for partners to use in their promotions, as well as tools for managing communication with partners through personalized email templates.
5) Yoast SEO
As a B2B company, the visibility and searchability of your brand online is crucial for driving conversions. Yoast SEO is a wordpress plugin that can help optimize your website’s search engine rankings by analyzing factors such as keyword use and readability.
By utilizing Yoast SEO to improve your website’s overall searchability, you make it easier for potential customers and affiliates to find and engage with your brand through organic search, ultimately boosting the success of both your referral and affiliate programs.
6) Crazy Egg Heat Maps
To effectively promote B2B products through affiliates and referrals, it’s important to understand how potential customers interact with your website. Crazy Egg’s heat map feature allows B2B companies to visually track user behavior on their website, providing valuable insights for growth marketing strategies.
Heat maps can show where users are clicking, scrolling, and spending the most time on a website, helping B2B companies optimize their website layout and design. This can result in increased conversions and improved user experience.
In addition to website optimization, Crazy Egg’s heat maps provide B2B companies with valuable information for A/B testing and growth strategies. By identifying user behavior patterns, B2B companies can make data-driven decisions to improve their overall growth and success.
7) SEMRush Backlink Tool
SEMRush offers a range of features for improving online visibility and search engine rankings, making it a valuable asset for growth marketing strategies when it comes to maximizing availability.
One key feature of SEMRush is its backlink checker tool, which allows B2B companies to analyze backlink profiles between themselves and their competitors to optimize their domain authority.
SEMRush also offers technical SEO analysis, allowing B2B businesses to identify and fix potential issues that could be hindering their search engine performance.
In addition, SEMRush offers B2B companies comperehensive tools for monitoring their competitors’ search engine strategies, providing valuable insights that help you remain at the top of your industry.
As a B2B marketer, managing various software and platforms can become overwhelming. This is where Zapier comes in as a valuable tool for streamlining B2B marketing processes. And in addition to saving time and increasing efficiency, Zapier’s automation capabilities can also help eliminate human error.
Zapier allows users to connect and automate tons of different software, making it easier to manage tasks like data entry, lead generation, and email marketing.
For example, B2B businesses can set up a “zap” that automatically adds new leads from an online form to their CRM or sends a personalized email to each new subscriber on their email list, which lets your marketing team apply their time and effort where needed most.
Access Effective Marketing Strategies With ClearBrand
Every company must continuously target the whole market and take actions that make them stand out in the long term in order to reach potential clients and convert them into paying customers.
This can be done through creative marketing tactics such as unique branding or unique advertising campaigns. It’s also important to focus on creating a strong customer experience.
From the moment a potential client first hears about your brand to when they become a satisfied customer, their interactions with your company should be positive and seamless.
If you’re looking for expert guidance on B2B growth strategies, consider working with ClearBrand. Our team has years of experience helping B2B companies reach their potential and grow their businesses. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist in your B2B growth journey.