B2B (business to business) marketing refers to marketing strategies that target other businesses and not individual customers. When done correctly, B2B marketing can be very effective in generating leads. However, there are some mistakes which could result in a waste of time and money.
1. Ignoring vital metrics
If you don’t keep track of your B2B marketing efforts, you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t. As a result, you might end up spending lots of money on strategies that yield little or no return on investment (ROI). When it comes to monitoring, you need to ask yourself questions such as:
- Which are the most effective Calls to Action?
- Which blog topics generate the most engagement?
- Which social media channels generate the most traffic to your site?
- What kind of headlines is most effective?
- Which are the most visited pages of your website/blog?
The good news is that tools like Billy, BuzzSumo, and HubSpot allow you to measure different aspects of your B2B marketing strategies. In addition, you need to understand Google Analytics terms such as bounce rate, average session duration, page views, exit percentage and average time on page.
2. Failing to blog
Many B2B marketers assume that blogging is only relevant for B2C (business to consumer) companies. However, nothing could be further from the truth. There are several ways B2B companies can also benefit from blogging. First, posting regular content on your blog can boost the search engine ranking of your site. This will make it easier for customers to find you when searching online. In addition, a blog gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
3. Not maximizing visual content
Visuals make it easier for people to understand, process, and retain information. Research has shown that marketing messages accompanied by images generate higher engagement than those with text only. Therefore, be sure to use photos and infographics more frequently in your marketing campaigns. Tools such as PicMonkey and Canva can help you create great graphics within minutes. Don’t forget to make use of video content to capture the attention of your prospects and customers. For instance, you can create videos to describe the features and benefits of your products or services. You could also create customer testimonial videos, video interviews of staff members, or even clips from industry events. Animoto and YouTube Editor are some of the tools you can use to produce quality videos. Facebook Live is another great way of sharing videos in real time.
Also, don’t forget to add a watermark to your visual. According to Shopify’s guide to selling photos online, a small watermark, often in the corner, still lets others enjoy your photo, while a larger tiled watermark with reduced opacity offers the most protection against theft.
4. Excessive self-promotion
One of the biggest mistakes B2B marketers make is spending too much time talking about their product or company. While this helps build credibility, it does not guarantee sales. People don’t really care about how big your company is or how good your product is. They want to know how their problems will be solved. Therefore, it’s advisable to switch to a more customer-focused approach to marketing. For instance, you could highlight the challenges of your audience and offer different suggestions for overcoming them. Your product or service can then be mentioned in a subtle way as a solution.
5. Ignoring email marketing
Most people that hear about your products or services for the first time will not be ready to make a purchasing decision. Creating an email list is one of the most effective ways of keeping in touch with prospects, and enhancing the chances of converting them to customers. Statistics show that email marketing is one of the marketing strategies that generate the highest ROI. Therefore, it is very important for every B2B company to have an email list as part of their overall marketing strategy.
6. Failing to segment your audience
Using a one-size-fits-all approach is another major mistake of B2B marketers. You cannot treat everyone the same and expect to succeed. Therefore, before embarking on any marketing campaign, take time to segment your audience accordingly. For example, you need to segment based on where prospects are in the buyer’s journey. While some have just heard about your product (awareness stage), others are at the consideration stage, while others are ready to make a buying decision. Be sure to align your marketing strategy with the buyer journey.
7. Under-utilizing social media
Social media marketing is not just about having a business profile on channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. There are many strategies that B2B marketers can use to create community and generate engagement. You can create a LinkedIn or Facebook group to promote engagement among your target audience. Take advantage of LinkedIn Showcase pages to showcase your main solutions and products. Create an SEO optimized YouTube channel and upload community, customer and product videos.