I’ve worked with a lot of B2B focused clients who have trouble adapting to the strategic internet marketing mindset. They think internet marketing is something an expert does to their business – not a process where they work with the team to find their strengths. But B2B marketing on the Web is about translating the methods that work and expanding them beyond your personal sphere. Alone or with experts, you can’t sit on your hands and wait for it to just “happen to you.” You need to stick to the five laws.
Adapt Your Successes
This is the big one. B2B marketing is all about making connections and asserting authority in a network of businesses. If you’re doing something offline that works, you must bring it online. There must be no contradiction in approaches. For example, if you’re getting offline results by using a lengthy, detailed process where you make multiple touches with a prospect, don’t replace it with impersonal e-commerce! (If the former method isn’t working, that’s another story.) Too many companies think, “Thanks to the Web I can drop that boring old method (that worked) and get push-button results!” Use the Web to extend your reach instead of dumping a working process, and to experiment with new methods until you find something that works.
Cure Their Pain
B2B marketing online often takes place when a prospect is sick of dealing with bad situations from previous suppliers of a product or service. They’re searching the Web because they aren’t satisfied with the solutions in their immediate network. They’re feeling pain – can you cure it? Right now, ask yourself what five of the most common complaints about your industry are, and then ask yourself which ones you can cure. Be practical – if you know that complaints about expense can’t be fixed while keeping you in business, don’t cut prices. Once you find a cure you can deliver, put that at the front of your marketing message, on your site, social media marketing – everything.
Clients’ Lingo = Your Keywords
You may know what all the proper terms for your products and services are, and you should keep them in mind for keywords when it comes to effective search engine optimization and PPC efforts, but what’s more important is what clients call them. Pay attention to your current contacts and listen to what they say about your industry. Write down the answer and make those your target keywords, because that’s what they’ll be searching for. Your marketing experts can thoroughly analyze these keywords and target them with a number of tactics.
Know Where Clients Hang Out
You hear a lot about social media and social media optimization these days. In B2B marketing, the best way to harness the social Web is to find out where your prospective clients go to talk about your industry and related industries. Research popular blogs, internet forums, Facebook groups and anywhere else they go, or you go. That’s where marketers should be aiming your message.
Make Yourself Interesting, Constantly!
This is incredibly important! Remember when I said B2B marketing isn’t just something that happens to your business? You need to step up and answer this question: Have you been interesting lately? Did you go to a convention? Post a video on Youtube? Pull a publicity stunt? Give away something? You should be doing something press release worthy virtually every month. If not, you (and your marketing team) don’t have much to talk about.
Follow these laws and you’ll work in harmony with your marketing, creating something bigger and more successful than your individual efforts. Contact us to see how we can create this kind of partnership with you.