By Karl Kangur, CEO, Result Compass
Marketing in the world of B2B needs to take into account certain considerations that don’t apply to customer-faced marketing. For starters, you need to understand how the decision-making process works in the companies you’re pitching to. You need to be prepared for much longer conversion times and longer sales cycles.
So, let’s talk about the four key rules of successful B2B marketing and how to utilize them to your advantage.
Tell Customer Stories
In order to make your product more relatable and more tangible, showcase your customer stories. They are a great way to communicate your values and products better as well as to humanize your brand.
Your goal is not to close a sale, however, but to communicate genuine value and let the message speak for itself. As soon as you turn it into a sales pitch, you will have defeated the purpose. Don’t even include a CTA. Those who are interested in learning more will certainly know how to do so.
Mixam does this very well on their LinkedIn. First, they have chosen a great platform, as LinkedIn is the preferred marketing channel in B2B. And second, they’re able to speak both about their own work and show various examples of their printing services while also shouting out some amazing small brands and giving them some free exposure.
Image source: Linkedin.com
Their posts are also short and easy to read, and they certainly sound nothing like a sales pitch. It’s a great point of view and tactic to adopt if you’re looking to attract a B2B client.
Highlight Your Credibility
Trust matters a lot in B2B marketing. If you don’t come off as professional, reputable and reliable, you won’t close many deals.
And since first impressions matter so much, you want to ensure that every client or customer who lands on your website instantly sees that you are a business they can place their faith in.
Start by showcasing some of your past work and successes. You can do this by:
- prominently displaying case studies
- asking customers for testimonials
- simply displaying the logos of the brands you’ve already worked with
Affinda does this well, and very simply too. No bells and whistles, just a simple element on their homepage that shows you who they’ve worked with before. They’ve also made sure that the brands they highlight come from various industries, just to further enhance their appeal.
Image source: Affinda.com
You can use other kinds of social proof too. Using testimonials paired with a customer’s image and their title always works, for example. Zapier does this, plus they have a page for sharing customer stories too.
Make Realistic, Measurable Claims
Business decisions are made based on logic, not emotion. You may want to include the emotional element, but you need to back it up with some concrete, measurable claims as well. Otherwise, your brand will get rejected by the higher-ups who handle the money in your prospect’s company.
If you focus on selling via stats and figures, you won’t have to worry about the impact you’re making and what someone’s decision-making process is. You’ll know that your offer is sound: you just may not fit into someone’s budget or align with their goals.
Take a look at Aura’s messaging. They refer to specific increases in sales, and they don’t just use vague promises of increased conversion rates. When they state that “basic repricing can raise your sales by as little as 30%” but that “with Aura, you’ll be able to control the Buy Box for 65%+ of the time against other repricing tools,” the benefits of choosing them are staring you in the face.
Image source: Goaura.com
Publish Content That Speaks with Authority
In the world of B2B, content marketing is not just about generating organic traffic and raising brand awareness. Crucially, it’s also about establishing a certain image. Optics do matter: to score higher-profile clients, you need to uphold the image of a professional and successful brand.
By publishing credible, intelligently written and highly authoritative content, you will boost your credibility and reduce the perceived risk a brand will have of doing business with you.
Salesforce, for example, has published dozens of very high-value articles that speak to their expertise. They stand alongside hundreds of other posts that are just as important but that have less conversion-swaying power. Nonetheless, all their posts testify to the brand’s commitment to its product.
True, Salesforce also sits at the very top of its niche tree. But they’ve climbed there by using content marketing to their advantage.
By implementing these four B2B marketing rules, you’ll be able to project the right image to your prospective clients. And, you’ll ensure that your message and ethos are clearly communicated to all interested parties. Lastly, remember to always tailor your tactics to your brand and give them your own personal twist. It will make you much more memorable.