Digital Marketing Tips for Building a Strong B2B Strategy
The B2B marketing landscape is constantly shifting. New technologies and emerging channels, changes in supply chains and manufacturing, and other B2B marketing challenges can hinder growth. Gone are the days when referrals alone can power your business.
Luckily, there are so many great tactics at your disposal that you can implement to supercharge your digital marketing efforts and scale your business for the digital age.
As we prepare for the new year, we thought now would be a good time to share our top tips for B2B marketers in nailing down a strong digital strategy sure to lead to success. These tips are meant to tether your business to a strategy that works, regardless of what the next big thing brings to the table, and help you rise above your competitors.
Here are our top five tips for B2B marketing strategies heading into 2024. If you're interested in diving in even deeper, check out our first Perrill POV installment where Aimee Atkinson and Nate Tower sit down together to discuss B2B marketing strategies:
Establish a clear value proposition
The best way to beat your competitors is to do something better than them — and to make sure that thing matters to your customers. Many B2B companies are still simply stating that their people and services are better than everyone else's and are expecting to win on that alone. But guess what? Your competitor is saying the exact same thing, and your potential customer doesn’t believe you. That isn't a strong value proposition, and it certainly isn't a differentiator. Having great people and great service is table stakes. Without those two elements, you don’t have a business.
If you can’t tell your prospect what value you are providing beyond your people and service, then you will lose more often than you win. It might not be obvious when you look at your proposal close rates, but you’ll be losing out on so many opportunities to even get to that proposal stage. If your value proposition is not immediately clear when someone lands on your website, they aren’t going to talk to you. You have to be extremely clear from the beginning and then carry that value prop consistently through the sales journey until you close the deal.
A few years ago, we were working with a B2B manufacturing company that insisted their value proposition was better service and better people. We pushed back and dug into their business until we uncovered the fact that their processes and supply chain allowed them to get products in their customers' hands 45% faster than the competition, a statistic that truly is unique and makes the company stand out. We convinced them to lead with that instead of their people and service message. That massive reduction in lead time was enough to overcome any pricing objections and helped them see a huge increase in business.
The whole point of a value proposition is to figure out what makes you different and how that's an advantage. Don't get caught pitching the same worn-out value proposition as your competitor. Find something truly unique that your audience cares about.
Utilize multiple marketing channels
A lot of B2B companies treat marketing as a bunch of "stuff." They run ads, they post on social, they create some content, and maybe they do some SEO. But they do all these things in a vacuum instead of as a cohesive strategy. Or maybe they only do one of these things (or none of them) and say it’s all they need.
The best way to tackle your marketing activities is by combining your efforts across channels to ensure you’re taking the most holistic approach possible. SEO, ads, content, email, and social all work together to achieve greater results instead of operating as independent silos that compete against each other and result in a confusing, inconsistent approach.
It’s easy to end up with siloed efforts, but every part of your digital marketing should be informing the other parts. Any paid advertising you’re running should tie into your SEO strategy, your SEO strategy needs to tie into your content marketing strategy, etc. It’s all connected, so if you’re treating each channel as a completely separate entity, you’re likely losing out on business. A holistic approach allows you to tell stories across channels and reach your audience in different capacities, planning touchpoints and learning from your holistic strategy rather than just one channel. It’s arguably one of the most overlooked components of B2B marketing and can make a huge difference in smarter, more effective marketing.
Invest in the continuous improvement of your website
Another big aspect of any type of marketing, really, is the idea that your website should be the center of your efforts. Without a strong website that has meaningful, convincing conversion points, there’s little point in driving traffic through your organic or paid efforts to your site. Websites are the heart of a business’s digital presence, but they’re often not treated as such. Your inbound B2B marketing tactics will drive people back to your website, and if your website isn't equipped to inform and inspire your audience, there's not point in spending time on those activities.
We like to say that your website is your hardest working employee. It’s always on, it’s one of the first points of introduction for your customers, and it has to deliver your story in a compelling way. That’s why you can’t go cheap or templated with your website if you want to be successful in today’s highly competitive landscape where most people don’t want to talk to anyone until they know for sure you provide exactly what they need.
We’ve had so many companies come to us asking to improve their SEO and launch digital ad campaigns, but they often have a website that’s 10 years old and doesn’t accurately represent their brand or clearly convey their value props. Sending a ton of traffic to a bad website is like giving all your leads to a bad salesperson. It isn’t going to lead to any business.
Plus, your traffic is likely suffering from a bad website anyway. Websites quickly grow outdated, so if you haven't been making regular updates for mobile usability, responsiveness, and the overall user experience, you're probably experiencing users bouncing from your site to find one that's more modern. Remember, your website is a reflection of your company, or at least it should be. If your website feels outdated, it's probably signaling to visitors that your company is outdated, too.
And a website isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it tactic. It’s an ongoing strategy. You need to dedicate resources to the continuous improvement of your website. That means investing in conversion rate optimization, ongoing content creation, updated imagery and case studies, and more. If you are only updating your website once every few years, then you are getting left behind.
Utilize a CRM
Before you launch another marketing campaign or complain about your sales pipeline one more time, make sure you have a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that is fully dialed in across all revenue efforts. Marketing, sales, account management, customer service, and whatever other functions that are responsible for generating leads and revenue should all be using your CRM to track everything they are doing. Without this system in place, you are operating your business blindly and losing out on a lot of revenue opportunities.
How often have you heard the arguments between sales and marketing? Marketing blames sales for not doing anything with the leads. Sales blames marketing because the leads suck. And when you ask to see the leads or ask for the data behind any of this, you either get silence or a stack of spreadsheets formatted in different ways that tell you nothing.
About half of the businesses we talk to are still using spreadsheets or notebooks to track their sales and marketing activities. Knock it off. If you are running a real business, you need to use real business systems. There are perfectly built and customizable systems that will make all of these processes easier and more trackable.
Don’t operate your business and determine your marketing efforts based on your gut feel. Use a system like HubSpot that will create a centralized database so you can understand your customer lifecycles, close rates, attribution, and dozens of other things that will help you grow your company to wherever you want to take it. A business that doesn’t use a CRM ingrained in all revenue operations is not scalable and not likely to succeed in the future.
Determine which channels are the best fit for your brand
When it comes to marketing, it seems like companies are trying to do more with fewer resources. There are constantly more channels and technologies to explore, like AI or Threads. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest shiny object. I can’t tell you how many times a B2B company has come to us and said they should be doing more with TikTok or Facebook or some other channel only to discover that their audience isn’t spending any time on these platforms.
Your marketing efforts are only going to be impactful if they're taking place where your audience lives.
Rather than leaning into the latest trend, focus on the platforms that are serving you and your audience. If you try to focus on too many things, you’ll spread yourself (and your budget) thin, so prioritize the channels that your audience is actually using where you know you can connect with them, and don’t stress about the rest.
That doesn’t mean you should toss all your eggs in one basket. You need a diversified approach, but your approach shouldn’t include everything and the kitchen sink. It should be a smart, data-informed approach that is based on impact on your business, not vanity metrics. Remember that CRM we were just talking about? If you aren’t using it correctly, then you won’t know which channels are driving the best results.
On the flip side, and this may sound a bit contradictory, don’t get too bogged down by the data. You can’t ignore the incremental, untrackable lift that some activities provide. For example, if you notice a lot more leads coming through when you do webinars, then do more webinars even if the attribution methods you are using don’t give those webinars credit. You have to be smarter than the data.
Build a strong B2B marketing strategy with Perrill
At Perrill, we bring together all aspects of marketing into our strategies. We have a full team of in-house experts who can start driving meaningful outcomes for your business. If you're ready to take your business to the next level with smart, strategic digital marketing, reach out. We'd be happy to build a strong marketing strategy to power your business to win online.
Nate Tower is the President of Perrill and has over 12 years of marketing and sales experience. During his career in digital marketing, Nate has demonstrated exceptional skills in strategic planning, creative ideation and execution. Nate's academic background includes a B.A. with a double major in English Language and Literature, Secondary Education, and a minor in Creative Writing from Washington University. He further expanded his expertise by completing the MBA Essentials program at Carlson Executive Education, University of Minnesota.
Nate holds multiple certifications from HubSpot and Google including Sales Hub Enterprise Implementation, Google Analytics for Power Users and Google Analytics 4. His unique blend of creative and analytical skills positions him as a leader in both the marketing and creative worlds. This, coupled with his passion for learning and educating, lends him the ability to make the complex accessible and the perplexing clear.