B2B selling is similar to B2C selling in that you’re selling to humans and they conduct online searches long before they contact you.
Well, that’s about all there is in comparison.
B2B selling is tougher since the buyer isn’t buying your solutions out of emotional values.
They are looking for a measurable return on investment. In several cases, the decision is made by more than one person meaning your value proposition has to be top-notch.
The first thing you want to do is ensure your offerings have differentiators from everyone else in your industry.
The second thing, which is where we come in, is to take advantage of digital marketing strategies that keep you ahead of the competition.
We’ll explore five essential strategies here.
1. Paid Digital Advertising
Paid digital advertising offers an effective way to reach potential customers since everyone is hanging out online nowadays. Some of the best platforms to advertise on include:
Most B2B professionals have LinkedIn profiles. They post content, read other posts, comment on articles, and build relationships.
The platform has excellent demographics targeting features that marketers can use to hone in on their target audience.
It allows cost-per-click optimization, geo-targeting, conversion tracking, and even budget control.
Google Search Network
The Google Search Network offers a network of correlated websites and apps where ads can appear.
The Google search engine results page is a fine example that offers detailed keyword targeting and pay-per-click features.
When you buy space, your ad will appear at the top of the results any time prospects search for terms related to your business. This helps ensure instant traffic to your site.
Google Display Network
Unlike Google search ads, this platform provides visual ads allowing B2Bs to generate interest and leads.
With 2 million-plus websites under its arm, the platform offers substantial reach to audiences.
Remarketing ads is one of its most notable features, letting you create ads that target those who have visited your site.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
Millions of businesses world-over use these platforms for professional purposes. They are great for lead generation with the cost per click being much lower here than on LinkedIn.
The Facebook Messenger feature can be combined with bots to nurture leads via automated chat sequences.
2. Cold Calling
Cold calling is tough.
Teams would rather do anything else other than make cold calls.
Justifiably so, because no one likes being rejected. That said, a recent survey showed that 69% of people willingly accepted cold calls from salespeople they hadn’t heard from before.
Cold calling still works and we are going to share tips to help you succeed at it.
- Research your prospect: know their name and designation, the size and location of their company, the values they stand for, and their pain points. You can then gauge how well your offerings can solve their problems.
- Aim to learn not to sell: make the call about them and not what you’re selling. This way you can pick up issues you hadn’t considered and solve them.
- Use a script, but only to guide the conversation. The call may take on a different direction, in which case, your script will help guide you back to the main topic.
- Find a common interest, LinkedIn connection, acquaintance, or achievement the contact or their company has had in the recent past. It’s a fine way to break the ice.
- People are more receptive to receiving calls on Tuesdays through to Thursdays. Schedule an hour between 10 – 11 am and 3 – 4 pm to make your calls.
What if the prospect rejects me?
Industry experts suggest practicing with a colleague beforehand, to help you get a hang of things.
Close your eyes and visualize the call in your mind. Make several calls, with each call posing a stronger resistance to your efforts.
With practice, you’ll build creative responses to tackle objections as you go along.
3. Link-Building for SEO
Search engines focus on users rather than websites, that’s why we have all these evolving algorithms and ranking guidelines.
Search engines’ primary goal is to serve high-quality content to their users. This means B2B marketers have to be savvy about their content marketing and link-building strategies.
Ideally, earning hyperlinks from other websites is the best way to do this since the links endorse your site as trustworthy.
Search engines crawl your website, index the link, and consider if the webpage provides valuable and sufficient information to rank for a specific keyword.
Other than ranking high, link building:
- Send more traffic your way for lead capturing.
- Builds brand awareness
- Establishes you as an industry expert
- Help you build and strengthen relationships with other professionals in your industry
Link building for SEO will involve developing high-quality and valuable content.
You’ll need to research your content well and provide accurate information.
Ensure that the content carries keywords, is written for humans (not search engines), and speaks to your audience’s needs.
If your content is desirable, other websites will link to your site.
- Case studies: success stories will intrigue audiences and they will want to understand how you achieved your success. You can turn those successes into valuable resources that offer in-depth knowledge and statistics.
- Infographics: From charts to diagrams, and timelines, people love reading aesthetically appealing and digestible infographics.
- White papers: this content is a superb way to stamp your authority in your field and get industry-specific links.
- Interviews: interviews with industry experts allow you to build relationships with them. Since you’re featuring their knowledge, they are likely to link this content to their website.
4. Consider Using Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation software allows you to streamline, automate and track marketing campaigns.
The software keeps track of those who have downloaded your content or subscribed to your mailing list and sends them a series of messages.
The purpose behind this is to nudge the leads towards conversion by providing helpful educational content.
It’s much faster and more efficient than human effort.
Some benefits of using marketing automation software include:
- Segmenting leads based on past interactions, interests, or preferences into the mailing lists.
- Lead nurturing to convert them
- Generating analytics following marketing campaigns
Who qualifies for marketing automation software?
- Businesses with huge contact lists that prove difficult to manage manually.
- Companies with small customer lists and want to generate more leads.
- Those who have curated great content and need an efficient system to deliver it to their audiences.
Some of the best marketing automation software on the market include:
- Marketo Engage
- HubSpot Marketing Automation
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an effective channel for generating leads in the B2B space. It’s also cost-effective and easy to implement.
If you want to turn your cold list into customers, you’ll need to send personalized emails to them.
Research shows that personalized emails have higher chances of being opened by up to 26%. People appreciate tailored content as it makes them feel special and thought of.
Start by classifying your list into low value, mid-size value, and high-value prospects.
The low-value list may make up most of your list. The emails you send to these contacts should contain their name and designation as well as their company name.
Your mid-size value prospects should feature more effort on your part. Research their interests, mutual connections, or developments within their organizations and mention them in the emails.
The high-value prospects are where you want to spend time. Here the research should be more thorough as you want to build rapport and address their specific pain points.
Some of the best ways to break the ice include:
- Highlighting mutual connections (if they are available).
- Complimenting the prospect on recent achievements, awards, interviews, podcasts, articles they have written, or any achievement.
- Addressing specific pain points along with your proposed solutions showcasing clear ROI. Remember to back up your points with case studies, testimonials, and other forms of social proof.