You really don’t understand a concept until you know what it’s made of. The normal framework of B2B marketing (filled with a ton tactics) is dismal at best. The tactics are so numerous, expensive and sometimes emotional that we easily focus on the shiny and urgent instead of the important. Perhaps we could try a different approach:
Today I would like to outline what the best marketing (dating) framework might actually look like from a tactical standpoint for a typical B2B service business.
This is the act of creating awareness so while it sometimes starts with a referral received, it’s often the act of putting something out there that gets the attention of your prospect.
If you’re a B2B, high-quality content and referrals are your most potent form of advertising.
You may be advertising to attract more clients to a service business. You may be advertising a product. You may be advertising an idea.
- Podcasting/online radio, or Adwords ad promoting free content that is related to your service offering but doesn’t sell anything directly,
- blog posts answering common client challenges amplified in social media,
- Facebook promoted posts for free content,
- LinkedIn groups discussions geared towards blog posts and free content.
Imagine two people with an identical product and an identical price.
One person comes across as boring and impersonal. The other is charming, interesting, and makes you feel good. Which one would you rather continue talking to and do business with?
In this step you must move towards gaining permission to continue a conversation. The key here is your email capture activities.
- Create landing pages for specific networks,
- create content landing page with a autoresponder that delivers even more information,
- offer weekly newsletter to all who download your content.
While you’re developing “the Know” through articles, advertising, networking and referrals, “the Like” through your website, reception, and newsletter, you’re still not selling. But you are paving the road to eventually selling a product or service that’s related to your marketing down the line.
When it comes to B2B businesses selling their products or services, know and like alone are rarely enough — you need to become truly trusted.
Trust is perhaps the most important step and yet it’s not one you can simply manufacture through one or two tactics – it’s comes together through many activities.
- Consistently deliver your newsletter,
- educate – don’t promote,
- get backlinks from reputable websites,
- participate on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter by sharing great information and helping others find what they want,
- consistently write educational blog content,
- stimulate reviews on sites like Google+, LinkedIn and Yelp,
- submit press releases to online distribution sites such as PRWeb and
- find industry or local publications that accept contributed content.
Some questions marketers must ask: Does this interaction lead to know, like or trust? Do our services, processes and products support our framework? Is the framework pulling in numbers that demonstrate that it’s working?
In that light, what are you working on? If it’s not one of these three, you’re not going to seriously change the dynamic of your marketing, why exactly are you bothering?