Driving business growth is a key priority and also a challenge for many start-ups and SMEs.
And planning & implementing an effective B2B marketing strategy is critical to driving the B2B sales and growth you seek.
Here are 3 proven B2B marketing strategies that can help your SME or start-up grow.
1. Create and share insightful, helpful content
Providing information, advice and tools to help B2B buyers and Decision Makers to solve problems and meet their priorities and objectives—commonly referred to as content marketing must be the foundation of the B2B marketing strategy for every startup or SME.
It is vital that you position your company as a trusted advisor and partner that can help your customers and prospects to succeed.
Create content that educates and advises your target audience (but be sure to deliver the content in the format that your B2B buyers prefer to use!)
The use of videos, infographics and podcasts is continually on the rise and becoming preferred mediums so be sure to incorporate them into your content mix where your target customers’ preferences indicate that it makes sense to do so.
Also, remember that creating content is not enough!
You need to promote and share your content so that it gains reach, and is seen by your customers and prospects where they look for information and advice.
One way to help achieve this is through guest blogging.
Use services such as Spotaguest.com to identify opportunities to guest blog or be interviewed on established podcasts which have a large following that matches your target audience.
2. Form Strategic Partnerships
Establishing a strategic partnership can be a great way to increase your start-up’s or SME’s reach and customer base.
Potential Partners include:
- Current suppliers or service providers
- Industry and professional associations or Business Groups-where your target customers are members
- Industry influencers for whom your target audience highly regarded and seek their advice and point of view
The kinds of joint activities that could potentially be undertaken to help you drive B2B sales and overall business growth include:
- Co-marketing of your products and services
- Undertaking a joint research project such as an Industry or Market study-the findings could then be distributed and promoted via social media, industry and professional association as well as use as the basis to host your own event
When considering establishing a strategic partnership, be sure to consider the following:
- What are the goals you hope to achieve from the strategic partnership?
- How will each party contribute to the partnership?
- Does the potential partner have a product or service that is complementary and would be appealing from a customer perspective? (In other words, would appeal to their broader needs)
- Do you both have similar target audiences that you are trying to reach and engage with?
- Are you both aligned in your values and ways of working?
3. Build trust via social proof
Establishing trust is the cornerstone of B2B as it is integral to building the relationships with your customers and prospects that will result in the B2B sales and business growth you seek.
Obtaining social proof of your company’s value and how it helps its customers to meet their objectives will enable your start-up or SME to:
- Gain credibility in your target markets
- Establish expertise in a particular specialization
- Establish its presence in a new industry or market
An effective way to build social proof is through customer advocacy whereby the clients and customers that love you (i.e. your “raving fans”) serve as your company’s brand champion and advocate by undertaking activities such as:
- Speaking at your events
- Speaking on your company’s behalf at industry or professional association events
- Participating as your guest for interviews your company conducts (e.g. via video, Facebook Live, LinkedIn Live) which can then be shared and distributed through social media platforms and groups
Other examples of social proof include:
- Case studies
- Industry or Professional Association Awards
You should consider developing a formal Customer Advocacy Program so that your start-up or SME can have regular engagement and endorsement from your clients and customers.
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About Michael Haynes
B2B Customer & Marketing Strategy Consultant
For over 20 years, Michael has worked with micro-businesses to large corporates alike across Australia and Canada, developing and implementing business growth strategies and programs.
Listening to your business customers enables your start-up or SME to identify precisely where it must innovate.
Advocacy marketing is an essential part of your B2B marketing strategy, with buyers finding peer to peer dialogue to be authentic and trustworthy.