2020 is ending and it’s time to start thinking about how your company will perform in 2021. But which marketing tactics to use in the new post-pandemic scenario? How to unite them into an effective strategy? Let’s be honest, you should not choose your B2B company’s marketing strategy from a list of tactics on a blog. What we seek in this text is to help you think so that you can start structuring your B2B marketing strategy for the coming year. Check out our 5 steps:
1. Define your position in the market
Before setting your goals for 2021 and deciding how your company will achieve them, reevaluate the market, analyzing the changes that have occurred in the last year. Understand if your value proposition still has the same relevance and, if necessary, how you will adapt it; how this value proposition stands in comparison to other companies in the market; how your competitors are positioned in this new scenario, in what looks like the final stretch of the pandemic, their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Set goals
After analyzing the market and the competitors, you will be ready to define your goals. Pay attention to some important points: establish the goals together with the sales team; design a schedule of goals with division per month, quarter and year; and set goals whose results are easy to analyze (well-defined metrics).
3. (re) create your personas
In case you do not yet have a definition of personas in your company, it is time to create one. If you already have them, rethink your target audience profile based on the new changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To whom will you direct your B2B marketing strategy? How old are they? Where do they live? What do you know about them? What are their pains and how will your company solve them? Does your target audience have only one or more personas? How will you reach them, whether online or offline? These are some important questions for outlining your personas.
Your marketing strategy needs to include a detailed profile of the people you are trying to sell to, otherwise you won’t know how to sell to them.
4. Understand the buying journey of your B2B target audience
To create a good marketing strategy, including your digital branding, it is critical to understand the buying journey of the B2B audience in your market. Below, see some common stages that this audience typically goes through:
- The discovery of a problem or need for improvement: this is when a decision maker becomes aware of some problem within the company, or the need for process improvements in order to achieve new goals. It also usually happens when the company enters a new market, launches a new product, or faces changes, as has happened during the pandemic period.
- With the problem identified, the search for potential solutions begins. This is when the buyer’s journey really begins. It usually begins through organic and paid research, through visits to websites relevant to the market, through conversations with colleagues in other B2B companies, through forums that evaluate the services or products, including cross-brand comparative analyses, and through Social Media.
At this point in the buyer’s journey, research revolves around which companies are offering solutions, what features each solution provides, the pricing page, and other basic information that will be presented to a broader group before a buying decision is made.
- The potential solutions are presented to the team, including the decision makers. The average number of people in a B2B buying decision has risen to 6.8 in recent years, according to the Harvard Business Review. At this point, some products or services will be eliminated from the survey, additional suggestions will be made, and questions will be raised, causing additional information that needs to be collected.
- Now considering fewer options than in the initial research, the buyer starts looking for case studies, E-books, Webinars, White Papers, Blog Posts and other educational content that can help in the decision making process. It is mainly because of this phase that B2B companies increasingly invest in good Inbound Marketing strategies. Discounts and special attention from the sales team, as well as offering trials, can have a big impact on this decision phase.
- The moment of purchase has arrived! After a final conversation with all interested parties, the B2B customer will make the purchase.
5. Choose the tactics for your B2B marketing strategy
This is the moment when you, knowing all the possible marketing tactics that fit the reality of your B2B company, will unite them into a cohesive strategy. To help you at this point, we bring you some tactics that can be used in a B2B marketing strategy.
Event Marketing for B2B
Until 2019, meeting customers in the real world was still the most effective way to generate leads and close sales. Almost 75% of B2B marketers agreed with that. However hosting events has always been a strategy that created challenges, especially in terms of its costs.
With the arrival of the new Coronavirus pandemic, this B2B marketing strategy needed to be revised. With the new rules of social isolation, we could observe the rise of digital and hybrid events, with much lower costs and, if conducted correctly, with enormous potential for data collection and attendee engagement.
For 2021, with the predicted gradual return of in-person events, especially in the third and fourth quarters, the trend is for in-person and digital events to share space.
Influencer marketing for B2B
84% of business decision makers start their buying process by researching opinions from industry experts and colleagues. Your B2B marketing team can tap into this behavior using an influencer strategy.
Identify the key influencers in your industry and/or market. Research the micro influencers, those with less than 10,000 followers on social media, but who are people seen as thought leaders for your target audience. Talk to your current customers to find out who they are following and use those referrals as a starting point to develop your strategy.
Referral and Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when a site joins an affiliate program and generates revenue by promoting another brand’s products. Over 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage affiliate marketing as part of their marketing channel mix. For example, 40% of Hubspot’s revenue comes from affiliate channel sales.
Those who still think that social media is only useful for B2C marketing are mistaken. CEOs of B2B companies breathe Twitter; more than 30% of the world population connects to Facebook every month and LinkedIn is effectively the 2020 version of a business card.
On social media you can both share relevant content about your company’s industry and products, and have direct interaction with customers and prospects.
We all already know that the importance of online paid media, whether through search or social, is undoubtedly important for businesses that want to have digital relevance. Check out some interesting data:
- 26% of Facebook users who click on ads have made a purchase based on the ad;
- The typical global Facebook user clicks on an average of 8 ads per month;
- 2/5 of customers buy something after seeing a YouTube ad;
- Google Ads generates a click-through rate of almost 8%;
- More than 2/3 of B2B marketers worldwide invest in paid media on social networks. For them, Facebook and LinkedIn are the platforms that offer the best ROI.
With organic search impressions and click-through rates decreasing every year, it becomes increasingly important to invest in paid media for the B2B market.
E-mail marketing is not dead, as many said a few years ago. It has come back strongly and proved to be the most effective marketing tactic, with an average ROI of 122%. To use it effectively, segment your contact lists and direct a differentiated communication according to the characteristics of each one.
B2B buyers usually search organically for a product to solve their problem, as we talked about earlier.
By working on SEO, thinking in the medium and long term, you will increase traffic to your site and reduce advertising costs, making potential customers come to you through searches on major search engines, such as Google. Produce quality content, work well on your site’s keywords, and create a consistent network of internal links and backlinks. You can reap the benefits of good SEO for years to come.
Finally, don’t forget the importance of measuring the results of your B2B marketing strategy and presenting them to your team. It’s an important step in the continued evolution of a company’s marketing.
Want a partner to help you create and execute a B2B marketing plan? Count on Agência Vision Comunicação.
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