If you Google how to grow your B2B business, you will find tons of tips on how to manage social media, email marketing, networking, Linkedin ads, trade shows, free strategy calls, and countless other activities.
Too much, and all these promotional activities can get too complicated. Over 70% of our brand audit customers complain about being overwhelmed with promotions and marketing their business.
How digital marketing really works for new B2B businesses?
If your company just started out, limited resources will often leave no choice but to manage all digital marketing yourself.
You will likely end up spending lots of money on tools, software, Google Ads, Facebook ads, CRM systems, and email automation tools – just to get a few free “strategy” calls with mostly unqualified clients. That’s that sad reality for over 80% of online businesses.
When work gets too much, you will start paying freelancers who only care about getting paid, and later on, you might end up working with “marketing consultants” who will tell you that you did it all wrong, but they will put you on the right track.
Thankfully, in this article, you will get all that information for free.
You need a brand and marketing strategy for your B2B business
Let’s start with the obvious pros and cons of B2B businesses over B2C. Businesses purchase something that makes them more money, unlike consumers who buy things to consume. This puts your B2B company in a great position, if your solution, product, or service can truly generate positive returns, or save money for potential clients.
If you are not sure that your branding is correct, you can start an auditing process by clicking on the below links:
1. Brand positioning: the basis of your marketing strategy
Start with crafting an internal brand positioning statement. A brand positioning statement explains what your brand does, who you target, and the benefits of your brand, in a short, concise statement. The statement will generally be an internal document, although it should be used as a guide to ensure all content is consistent.
This article on Hubspot goes in-depth about brand positioning statements: https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/positioning-statement
A solid brand positioning statement sounds like the following:
For [your audience], [your brand] is the [your market] that best delivers on [your brand promise] because [your brand], because [your brand], is [your evidence].
For Brand Auditor, the statement will be:
For small and medium businesses who want to troubleshoot their brand and marketing communications, the Brand Auditor is a solution that enables them to measure what people like and dislike about their brand.
Unlike social listening tools and shady brand consultants, our product delivers targeted market research-based insights, based on thousands of responses from the target customers of the company.
Benefits of a positioning statement
A brand positioning statement will clarify and specify who you need to target, what marketing messages you need to communicate, and what values your brand should display that will help to win customers.
2, Introduce yourself to non-competing businesses in your niche
This is a big one and goes against most traditional business techniques. I am not sure about neighbor habits now, but back in the 70s and 80s, neighbors used to put effort into building and maintaining a good relationship. They used to bring cookies to each other, sometimes inviting each other over for dinner or lunch. This social interaction helped co-existing and prevented conflicts.
You can do the same with your business, there is nothing wrong with doing some business networking to greet your new “business neighbors”. It will help you to open some doors, exchange value, information, and valuable market insights.
This is the basis of making good connections in the industry. Don’t be the loner in the game – make connections, give a free sample of your products and services so they will know what your business is about. Good industry connections will get you referrals, recommendations, and open collaboration opportunities.
3, Find out what brand and marketing techniques work for your successful competitors
Do not waste your time on observing unsuccessful businesses, or doing tactics to keep up with similar startups. Check how few-year-old businesses made it to the level where you aspire to be.
Yes, you read it right. Analyze the growth of businesses that started just a couple of years ago, and see what brand and marketing communication techniques made them successful.
Is it social media, SEO, or public relations? Perhaps they built a network and utilized their connections? Find it out and get inspired by their success. Is their marketing communication too good? Or maybe their products are actually in demand? Most likely it is a combination of all the previously listed items.
Copying the same tactics is not a good strategy, but understanding the key elements of their success can give you ideas to plan your brand and marketing management priorities.
Also, check out what is not important
If you know that your successful competitors are doing amazing business but their social media is close to zero, then you can be sure that they don’t get their clients from social. A very strong indication.
Sign up for their email list. If you don’t get daily sales emails then you can also know that email marketing is not among their main sales channels.
With these checks, you can specify your brand building and marketing strategy further, by excluding items that are seemingly not important.
4, Occupy strategic positions with your brand online
Once you have identified what marketing communication and client acquisition channels work for your successful competitors, you want to get your brand there too.
Start by making a list of important online locations where potential customers might look for solutions to problems your business can efficiently solve. In a B2B environment, these are typically the following:
- Google, Bing, and other search engines
Build your brand on Google, Bing, and other search engines
Your tools for these platforms are content marketing, link building, and paid search engine advertising. Creating high-quality content and link building is an amazing investment that will benefit your business forever. When we started Brand Auditor, most of our traffic was coming from paid search. Within 6 months, thanks to articles like this, our main traffic became an organic search. Needless to say, visitors from organic search are of the highest quality – from a conversion point of view.
YouTube, video content marketing, and video ads
If people are looking for video guides regarding issues that your business can solve, then you need to get on YouTube. Informative videos are very much appreciated and you can always promote your videos with additional views.
Keep in mind people go to YouTube to find and consume interesting content, so advertising-style videos will not be as successful as informative ones.
For commercial-like content, use video ads which are an amazing solution to boost brand awareness and drive visitors to your website.
Quora & Reddit: how to build your brand?
Both Quora & Reddit are community platforms where people exchange thoughts, ideas, and solutions. Both platforms offer tons of groups, topics, and interest-based groups where you can join the conversation.
Spamming is not welcome on neither Quora nor Reddit, but helpful answers to questions will help to establish your company or personal brand as an expert, or authority.
Link sharing is possible on both platforms, but prepare to be downvoted to oblivion with irrelevant and spammy links.
A good tactic for Quora and Reddit is to research trending topics relevant to your business, create in-depth and helpful content related to those, and share links to your posts and articles whenever you feel it would be useful to the community.
5. Embrace clarity and simplicity for your branding and marketing communications
In B2B, the less is more so cut all the clutter from your brand and marketing. Have clear product descriptions, make sure that photos and videos add to the information value of your marketing communications, and be as concise as possible.
Design your brand personality to be transparent, clear, straightforward, reliable, and helpful. These are the traits people look for in a business environment.
Unless your business operates in a highly creative niche, try not to be funny or quirky as that will seriously undermine the credibility of your business.