Posted on: September 29, 2022
There is no doubt that many B2B businesses are finding it harder to market themselves successfully and stand out to potential clients.
Most digital marketing channels are swamped and people’s attention spans are diminishing. The current economic climate also warrants sensitivity to audiences and their possible pain points.
With the media focusing mainly on today’s economic and political challenges, if you have a solution or product that can help then it’s important potential and existing clients are alerted to it.
It’s also important your existing clients or valued contacts know what you do, so they can recommend your service or product to others (find some good tips here).
With many B2B marketing budgets tightening and increased pressures on the time and resources available, here are some realistic approaches to help. They will enable you to cut through the marketing noise of others and help your business stand out.
What’s Your Story?
One thing clients and contacts are drawn to are interesting stories. Think about this in the context of your business currently – for example, what talented people make up your team? How are customers benefitting from what you do for them? How is your business offering relevant to the current season, latest news etc? What environmental or social aspects does your business actively support?
Sharing stories and insights on your website, on social media, and in newsletters can be incredibly powerful. Where possible, use positive imagery and videos with subtitles to make your stories really stand out. The key thing is not to blatantly sell but instead let the story do the selling for you.
One for all and all for one!
When was the last time the whole business got on board to be advocates of your organisation? A motivated team can be a sizeable group of influencers who can communicate on behalf of the business – for example sharing and amplifying the messages the organisation posts.
This doesn’t have to be a major increase in work; it can be as simple as sharing social posts from the company page on LinkedIn. It could also involve colleagues thinking about their own professional network and sharing a link to sign-up for a newsletter. Where possible get the whole team involved. Note, you will need to earn the right to make them feel motivated to act as ambassadors for you.
Target your approach
Being targeted in who you’re trying to engage with, and how you reach them, is fundamental to success.
Such focus allows you to be seen, perhaps by fewer people overall, but by individuals who are much more likely to be interested in what you do. Get this right and you can make smaller budgets go further. It will also generate a better return on investment.
Approaches to try here, as they allow you to target more precisely, include:
1 Targeted LinkedIn Ad Campaigns
These give you the ability to focus on specific decision-makers in a particular industry and location. You can select different criteria to segment the list to be more focused and relevant. You can also set an overall budget and manage the cost overall or on a daily basis.
2 Boosting a post on your LinkedIn company page
This will help get a popular post visible to a wider audience for a small fee. Again, there are opportunities to target the type of audience you want it to appear to.
3 Reintroduce direct mail
A marketing tool from the past, this tactile channel is gaining a fresh resurgence as email inboxes are overloaded, email browser technology auto-filters emails and people complain of digital and virtual overload. An eye-catching and personalised piece of direct mail, along with a polite follow up call can prove more effective in opening doors.
Be more visible
Thankfully in-person networking has resumed. For many this is a valued approach, as people are more likely to remember those they meet and often build trust more quickly. It can greatly speed up the buying process and helps you get in front of people far quicker than staying at your desk and emailing.
But ensure you are investing wisely in the right events. Do your research first to find those which your target clients or referrers frequent. Whilst there, show genuine interest in those you meet. This comes from listening as much as it does talking.
Another way to be visible is running your own event for both prospective clients and existing clients. The latter can be a great help by sharing positive experiences they’ve had in working with you. Your event needs to have a clear attraction to encourage people to come.
For example, you could use it to give advice and insight on a topic/issue pertinent to them. You could use it to help the audience gain valuable contacts or meet other potential contacts who will be helpful to their business.
If locality plays a part in bringing in new business to you, focus your efforts on being even more visible in that territory. This is helped by building a strong partnership with other local companies and supporting the local business groups and events, such as those run by your Chamber of Commerce.
Dare to be different
Why not branch out and try an approach your business hasn’t explored before? Here are just a few ideas to consider:
Go for an award – Why not enter an industry award (more advice on this topic here), and become recognised as a specialist in your field? Be sure to make the most of taking part in your marketing to gain additional visibility.
Speaking opportunities – Accept an opportunity to be a speaker at a conference or workshop, or perhaps form part of a round table to provide insight into your sector/field.
Get in the press – Working with a PR professional, raise the visibility of you and your business by becoming renowned for giving valued expert comment to journalists on a certain topic.
Taster sessions – Could you offer taster sessions of a particular service with a timed promotion to appeal to people signing up? Alternatively, provide a free masterclass or ‘surgery’ that allows you to share expertise and offer people the chance to experience the value you bring.
Collaborate – All too often businesses obsess extensively about their competition. In doing so, they miss opportunities to see other businesses that complement them and could prove an impressive partner via a collaboration. This could result in joint promotions to reach a bigger audience, or lead to a more substantial and valued business offering. It can be a great way for smaller companies to compete with larger organisations.
Though the current market for many may be tricky, there are many opportunities for businesses to attract new clients through their marketing. Challenging economic times naturally make organisations economise. One thing that has been seen from previous recessions though, is that culling your marketing efforts only makes recovery even more protracted and painful.
If your business could benefit from input on how to best navigate the current marketing challenges, please do get in touch.