The B2B, or business-to-business, marketing industry is significantly different than its B2C (business-to-consumer) counterpart. First off, the sales cycles are markedly longer when working from one business to the other. Additionally, the amount riding on a B2B sale can be hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single purchase whereas a B2C purchase may just be a couple bucks. Because of this, the techniques utilized must be different from those that are used in B2C marketing.
Here are three B2B marketing tips that we’ve tested and have seen great results utilizing.
1. Socially disrupt your next trade show.
Trade shows can be boring. At least, that’s what most people attending them will tell you. But they’re a necessary evil of the B2B world. They allow companies to meet -- belly to belly -- with their partners, clients and competitors. Plus, it gives businesses the chance to see product demos and learn from thought leaders in their industry. But they’re also quite repetitive. The same companies go to the same shows and they have the same pitches.
So, instead of doing the same old thing at your next trade show, shake it up with some social gamification. Scavenger hunts, selfie competitions and trivia games all work incredibly well on Twitter and allow attendees to play along in real time. We’ve seen these games become the main point of conversation at many trade shows. They’re disruptive, and they are great for brand recognition.
“Anything you can do to stand out from the booth and seminar crowd is invaluable,” says Troy Ireland, CEO of Digital Current. “Trade show attendees are looking for something to break up the monotony and allow them to unwind. If you’re the reason they can have a little fun, they’ll be sure to remember you and look deeper into your services.”
2. Webinars with multiple companies.
The typical webinar is usually hosted by one company that is attempting to promote its goods or services. This will often give the viewer a myopic point of view and can be limited in its value.
A great way to shake up the existing model is to invite numerous companies to take part in the same webinar. Find several companies that you like, that offer services that are beneficial to your customers and ask them to contribute to the webinar.
Not only will you have more companies promoting the webinar, thereby ensuring there are more attendees, but you’ll also have access to the other companies’ customer bases.
Margarita Hakobyan, the CEO of Movers Corp, has seen the benefits first hand. “After our first group webinar, we saw three to four times the amount of viewers we would normally receive. I can’t imagine going back to our old model after seeing the success we achieved with the group webinar.”
3. Give away your trade secrets.
I know it sounds crazy to give away your company’s techniques and processes, but the customers that are seeking you out aren't looking to perform these processes themselves.
Plus, when you give valuable information away for free, it has the uncanny ability of building your thought leadership and expertise -- two things most B2B customers are looking for in the first place. So, tell them how you achieve your results and show them how it’s accomplished, and they’ll come back to you to do it for them.
“We’ve written eBooks and guides on everything we do,” says Jake Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising. “Not only are they great tools for gaining new clients and building our thought leadership, but we are constantly getting thank you emails and posts on our social media thanking us for writing them. People really do appreciate free content."