The Business-to-Business space is always a bit misunderstood by most marketers. The tactics, strategies and methods used to get new customers/clients differs dramatically from the B2C space. Some may argue that it is not even at all comparable, as many of the concerns that business owners have when making purchasing decisions do not parallel the concerns that consumers have when buying goods.
This follows logically when we consider that business spend thousands, if not millions of dollars each year on various services and products for their business. They must give these buying decisions much greater consideration than consumers, whose standard purchases are for relatively small items (and only larger purchases are made infrequently).
So here are a few things that you can do, as a B2B marketer, to acquire new and lasting customers, and how those things differ from a standard consumer outreach method.
Establish Yourself as an Authority
This is probably one of the most important aspects of marketing to large businesses. You will need to establish yourself, your “brand”, whether its your personal name or your company, as an authority in your space. This will make both name recognition and word-of-mouth advertising flow much more easily throughout the community.
For all the work that goes into fulfilling your business, perhaps the most valuable work will be in merely establishing yourself and your reach to all potential customers. In this regard it’s almost more important to focus on client outreach (at speaking events) and leave the nitty-gritty of the business to your staff or outsourcees.
Some of the ways to establish yourself as an authority:
- Publish Expert Content (on your own blog and on authority websites)
- Speak at industry conferences
- Give free webinars
- Reach out to niche radio and podcasts
Get Niche Specific With Your Targeting
If you were selling oreos or medium prices cars, you could probably advertise on TV and reach an extremely broad audience. However when you are offering a very specific and valuable service to a small section of the public, this would be a huge waste of money. Instead you need to get extremely niche specific with your targeting.
Go where you audience is. If you deal specifically with business owners, you should advertise in niche audience magazines, radio shows and the like. LinkedIn is also a huge opportunity for business owners and can provide very targeted ad platforms. Facebook, as always, has some of the most micro-targeted demographic data, and can be a huge win for getting in front of the right audiences, cheaply.
Offer Value for Free, Don’t “Expect” a Return
One of the best methods for making a B2B sale is to offer yourself as an expert and provide a ton of value up front. Don’t do this with the expectation of make a sale 100% of the time, but do it to separate yourself from your competition. Building a good faith relationship with potential clients can payoff in unforeseen ways, like referrals or sign-ups when budget becomes available.
If I were to pick one method, it would be this one. You’d be surprised what a selfless act of “free” consulting or other valuable activities can pay off in the long run.
I hope you can take some of these suggestions to help build your business. Now go take action!