Business-to-Business marketing is up higher than ever, largely due to an increase in social media and content creation. An article on The Content Standard cites a study where businesses in 2013 increased their efforts by 73 percent.
In order, most B2B marketing strategies are pushed through:
- Social media
- Article-style content
These six elements are seldom at the top of a busy business owner’s list of priorities. In response, the lowly Internet marketer in an office filled with entrepreneurs needs to strike out solo and take ownership of all things social media and marketing.
Marketing catastrophes arise when there are too many opinions and ideas. A single entity, be it a marketing-savvy business owner or a Web designer, needs to hold the keys to the castle. This includes account info, publishing schedules, and content curating. They are then in a position to benefit from business-minded folks with content ideas for harnessing B2B clientele.
The Goal of B2B Marketing
For businesses seeking businesses, the primary goal is lead generation. This sparks from other companies visiting websites, reading up on blogs, and following others on Twitter and Facebook. Larger companies are better suited to tackle media creation, especially when it comes to full-on YouTube productions and major social media campaigns. Startups and smaller businesses, however, often struggle with starting out.
To begin with, marketers need to intermix business branding with social engagement. People should not be forced into following business Twitter accounts or anything of the sort; instead, companies need to incentivize the process. Here are a few strategies to get started:
- Keep company names, accounts, hashtags, profile pictures, and other branding materials consistent across different social media channels.
- Connect with other businesses and groups through LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook. Not only does this raise exposure, it lets marketers see what others are doing to generate B2B leads.
- Don’t become overwhelmed early on. Instead, marketers should have a select set of goals that are obtainable through three or four different channels. Start with building up Web content and Facebook profiles, perhaps, before jumping into the Twittersphere and pinning.
- Put quality over quantity every time. Posts, blogs, comments, likes, and other forms of socialization need to be professionally inclined, and marketers should be proud of their work. The age-old, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it” applies to B2B marketing.
B2B Vs. Consumer Marketing
These are two totally separate realms that seldom overlap. Regardless of your industry, you need to implement different strategies when approaching potential business clients. This has a lot to do with how you shape content.
Other businesses, for instance, don’t mind reading business-esque articles and blogs. They want to know who you are and what you do, not to mention why they should do business with you. This doesn’t mean you should publish PR and promo-heavy content; instead, tailor your posts and blogs that put an emphasis on your services and history.
Knotting Together Marketing Strategies
Listed above, B2B marketing requires a multifaceted approach. Marketers and content creators need to tie together different campaigns, posts, and publications to position themselves as authorities and to increase online readership. One way to bolster these efforts is to create a publishing schedule that keeps track of posting times, topics, and other branding considerations.
Called “content repurposing” by some, this is when B2B marketers utilize a single topic and dish it out over different resources (think horcruxes, HP fans). Did your company recently open up a new service? Write up a business-style article and post it to your website. Follow up by linking the article through LinkedIn. After the piece disappears on the platform, reach out again through Facebook and Twitter by reposting the link and creating common hashtags. Continue to experiment with different publishing processes to find out what works for every campaign.