With so much conflicting advice out there, it can sometimes be difficult to know where best to start. Whilst each market sector requires a unique approach and the use of different channels, there are some core behaviours and practices that hold true for every marketer.
Research your audience
If you want your marketing to really hit the mark, then you need a complete and comprehensive understanding of who you are aiming it at. You need to know your target market inside and out.
Creating buyer personas is a great first step and will help you to tailor your messaging and create effective content. You should always speak your audience’s language. If they don’t use jargon or an overly formal tone, you should be seeking to mirror this. That said, even if readers will be familiar with their industry’s jargon and used to more technical terms, it’s always better to provide something that is easy to read.
Build trust with your leads
Establishing trust with potential customers is massively important within B2B marketing. You need to be seen as a trusted voice and an expert within your target market, by showcasing your expertise and what it may be like to work with you. The perfect way to do this is through a combination of content marketing (that will prove your extensive knowledge and how well you communicate) and social media marketing, which helps you keep in regular contact with potential and existing clients.
Set realistic KPIs
To be able to set the right goals, you need to understand what the key metrics are that you need to be tracking and how these align with the overall goals of the business. It isn’t just about revenue. Some marketing channels will focus on getting a set number of followers, or driving a certain amount of inquiries. In some cases, metrics such as bounce rate and time spent on the website will be much more important than the sheer volume of traffic.
Every marketing channel needs to have an expected cost and outcome outlined in advance, which should then be measured against. Once you’ve decided on the best metrics and KPIs, you can use these values to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t, then see which areas need more work and equally where you should be investing more resources.
Take an inbound approach
Marketing used to be about forcing your way in front of as many people as possible, at a time of your choosing. While this may have been effective in the past, modern B2B buyers are increasingly cynical of these tactics. This has led marketers to adapt a methodology that considers buyers’ needs and preferences and aims to attract them through relevant and helpful content.
Inbound marketing is about drawing in relevant businesses so they find and come to you, rather than forcing your way in front of them. A well rounded inbound marketing campaign will produce much higher quality leads, as many will qualify themselves though their behaviour, making the sales process more straightforward and often helping to shorten the sales cycle.
You need to set and track KPIs and goals to succeed in business, but it’s always important to make sure any objectives you set are achievable. If you aim too high, you run the risk of making your lead generating channels appear less successful than they actually are. You should be ambitious but always realistic, otherwise the goals you are setting are pointless.
Timescales also need to be set realistically. If you don’t give a marketing channel or project sufficient time to run, or be established, then you’ll be analysing an unfinished product and incomplete data set. It will be a much harder – if not impossible – task to draw accurate conclusions from this. The result will be data that fails to help you improve your current marketing methodology, as is it likely to be flawed.
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