B2C marketers have been engaging with their clients digitally from the get-go yet, with B2B audiences, this type of marketing has not really been used, let alone deployed, to its full potential. B2B marketing has not really moved on from the idea of sales people calling potential clients consistently until they either agree to the sale or refuse. This is a time-consuming process and many leads will not develop into new business. Using digital marketing techniques can make B2B marketing more efficient and cost effective.
One of the key things to do in order to engage your B2B audience is to push them content they will be interested in. It would be time consuming to individually create and push tailored content to potential clients but, broad customisation is possible. Developing a robust tagging system for your content is a must, especially if using platforms such as WordPress. Following on from this, you can split your clients and prospective clients into personas – simply: groups that share interests/industries/ages, for example. Then, when pushing out this content via digital ads on platforms such as Facebook, build new campaigns based around each persona and target them with content that’s relevantly tagged to the persona. Simple.
The content that you are giving to your audience needs to move beyond the traditional channels such as on a company’s website or in a newsletter. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have been used for B2C but never fully used for B2B marketing. One exception to this is Cisco. Their Instagram account has 192K followers, allowing the company to reach an audience of people that it would not have been able to reach with the same ease through more traditional methods.
While those following a business account might not be as interested in the business in the same way as those who are specifically targeted by phone calls, Instagram, for example, has two advantages over traditional telesales. Firstly, its reach is far greater. A single Instagram post will appear to the followers of your account whereas a phone call will only get to a single client. Secondly, Instagram is a free platform to use!
Another advantage of using digital channels to engage your B2B audience is that you can use interactive content. Whether this is in the form of a video they can watch, a podcast they can listen to or a survey for them to fill in, it will allow you to track the number of engagements that your posts are having. It will have the additional benefit of adding personality or a face to your brand – something that’s notoriously been lacking in the B2B sector.
Digital channels can give you better client retention. Bain & Company have estimated that boosting client retention by only 5% can lead to an increase in profits anywhere from 25-95%. These are huge margins and effectively marketing on digital channels can help to achieve this. Early phase contact is key here as they would have just brought into your brand so will be receptive to your content. Immediately engaging them, as well as, continuing to give them relevant and personal content will help to keep your clients and boost your profits.
Here, there is a wealth of untapped resources for B2B marketing which some brands are only starting to use. Breaking away from the old way of sales will allow you to reach a larger audience by putting in less money and booting your retention rate.