Ideally, an increase in profits happens as your B2B company matures into a healthy and robust industry leader. However, even the strongest competitors reach a financial plateau if they don't change up their game to meet the ever-evolving marketplace.
So how do you avoid going the way of dodo (or we could say MCI, Blockbuster, or Bear Stearns)? The answer may be a little uncomfortable for you, especially if you are the founder and operator of your business:
You must rethink your B2B strategy.
Are you still sending out advertisements by mail? Are you banking on the success of trade shows to boost your profits? Then it's time for a marketing rehab.
You may even feel that your search engine optimized website has your digital presence covered. Think again.
Change is hard, uncomfortable even. But it's absolutely necessary if you want to see growth.
Alright, Ready to get uncomfortable?
5 Ways to Rethink Your B2B Strategy
"Look for ways to blow out the org chart and bring the right people into the room to better engage the customer and reach them with relevance at the right moment." - Will Margiloff
1. Stop Paying for Methods That Don't Drive Results
Sounds pretty logical, doesn't it? And yet, many B2Bs still prioritize high-ticket marketing techniques such as direct mail and print advertising.
If you're still using these methods because you feel they're in your wheelhouse, but want to make a move to more cost-effective methods, what can you do?
Try replacing these traditional marketing methods with a modern-day counterpart: email marketing. It's extremely inexpensive and you can readily determine your prospects' interest.
We're not talking about buying email lists! No, your email marketing efforts should be directed at your existing contacts. Where do you get these contacts, and how do you build your list?
2. Create Your Own Content
It may be tempting to republish affiliate industry articles on your website in order to drive traffic. However this doesn't deliver the holy grail of digital marketing: viable leads.
How can you develop leads if you're directing attention (leading) to another brand name entirely?
Rather, you want your content to be original, to showcase your knowledge and drive prospects directly to your brand.
Don't have the time for crafting unique content? An alternative is to curate content, providing your own point of view to another person's content.
Be sure to include a call to action with your content (just like we do at the bottom of this post) to get someone to engage with your content. Click on the CTA and you'll be asked to complete a very brief form to before viewing the content. It's our way of getting to know you and your content preferences.
If you're having trouble brainstorming on what type of content to create, check out this post on How to Rock Content Creation, or you can check out the video at the end of this post.
So now, you have a way to grow your contact base and watch your leads increase!
3. Spread the Word
The basic philosophy of the door-to-door salesman philosophy has always been to build a personal relationship with the prospect. During each encounter, he tries to learn a bit about the needs of his potential client and gets to know them on a personal level.
However, it's not 1965, so you're not marketing your product or service door-to-door, although your basic aim is the same.
Social media is your calling card, and it's much more transparent and genuine than a cold call. Oh, and it's also pretty much free.
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (a favorite platform among the B2B crowd), are your platforms for distributing valuable content, and is a primary means of increasing your contact base and site traffic.
"Social media creates kinship between companies and customers, and kinship equals purchase intent." - Jay Baer
So, if you're not already busy on social media, get with the program. Ignore that self-doubting voice that says your B2B is too dull for social media. It's wrong. Let the personality of your company shine through on social media platforms.
4. Get to Know Influencers
Is there someone in your industry you admire? Would you love to get their insights into your B2B? Better yet, would you love to collaborate with them?
Years ago, this would likely be impossible. However, modern-day influencers are accessible to the public like never before.
Next time an influencer provides a thought-provoking quote, cite it in your blog post. Then, make sure to reach out to them and let them know that you've quoted them. Also, while publicizing the post, make sure to mention them, as well as thank them.
You'll likely be surprised at the reach your piece will have. Again, the cost? Nearly free.
5. Make it Easy for People to Talk About You
Referrals are a key element in your B2B strategy. Make it easy for your customers to give you a shout out. There are a few simple ways you can do this:
- Ask them. Then post their testimonial on your site.
- Stay active on social media so that you notice, and can respond to comments.
- Host a Blab session where the speaker and audience can immediately interact.
- If you are selling a product, allow for reviews on your website.
Turning a Profit the Modern Way
You'll notice that the above methods are all subtle ways to increase your profits. Rather than directly asking people for business, you are making it easy for them to do business with you. This is the ideology of inbound marketing. It's marketing people love, and it costs relatively little to do compared to cold calling.
Are you ready to shift your B2B strategy from traditional to inbound marketing? Trust us, you'll never want to go back! Marketing content is so much fun that we decided to make a video about it! We know it's not always easy to come up with fresh content that motivates, so sit back and watch the video, and see how to get inspired!